Friday, December 1, 2006

Trashed Love

Every one of us has an obsessive-compulsive disorder. The need for romantic love. But it's not our fault. After all, every bit of television and literature we are daily exposed to, insidiously weaves into its plot, connotations about the sweetness of sexual love and the cataclysm of life without it. And Researchers are busy, busy, busy, uncovering all the biological and hormonal stuff that cause us to yearn and yen for sexual completion. To make us understand why we must have it.

But I don’t see anyone doing the work to find out the biological and hormonal stuff that makes two friends the very best of friends. Or what part of the brain lights up or what role endorphins play in the warm ecstasy ignited when we see that special friend we grew up with, and shared all our pains and sorrows with, coming up the walk. I’m not talking about the bland emotional charge of ‘fondness’ here, I’m talking about a highly-emotionally-charged-feeling of complete adoration. (I don’t even see anyone investigating the unique affection we have for grandchildren or that special niece or even our own offspring).

No one is pursuing this kind of stuff. To understand why it happens or doesn’t happen. My fear is that maybe, just maybe, we have forgotten it exists. You know, the sweet-adoring-platonic-friendship-love of two of the same gender. (See all the hyphenated words. These are characteristics of a phenomenon so out of the mainstream that there are no simple nouns to adequately name it).

Do the purveyors of all that sexual wisdom invading our schools fully know and have the ability to understand the non-sexual love of true comrades, good buddies, kindred spirits, two school-girl friends, or two school-boy friends bound together by heart and soul? Or do they, in their inability to understand how emotionally deep-seated such affection can be, simply guide our young people into punctuating that kind of relationship with a ‘question mark’ about gender preference? Is there that kind of bias going on here?

So where, amongst the self-help books/magazines are the articles on understanding the sensory stimuli and brain-synapses of pheromones that lead us into deep life-long loving friendships outside of romance? Where is the literature to help us understand the brain and body chemistry that makes the love of comrades, buddies, and kindred spirits, so unique and special? Where is the offer of understanding for future generations?

What have we done with this unique, one-of-a-kind love? Is it possible, like global warming, that we have so contaminated it with toxins, that friendship-love is extinct? And like our environment, we just don’t have a hope of ever returning it to its rightful place?


Matty said...

Wow! I really have to read this post twice! When I spoke to my son last, he was telling me that love is love, regardless of who,,,,partner, parents, children, etc.
And I told him,,,no way son,,,,the love you have for a partner cannot even compare to the love you have for your children or grandchildren.
He thinks love is love,,,,no matter what. I told him,,,,,you can love a partner so much, but when and if you decide the relationship is over, it's over! You may end up hating this person,,wishing they never entered your life...But your children....ahh,,,,,,you love them the instant they are born, and no matter what they do, you will never stop loving them. So, I believe that yes, there are different kinds of loves.....and there are many fish in the sea,,,,but you never ever stop loving your children no matter what., although at times you may not like them.
The same with friends,,,you can love them or leave them,,,,,,but its an unwritten law, you can't stop loving your kids.

Anonymous said...

Just because it isn't studied doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I would think that if there were scientific studies done on friendship love for example, it would prove some similarity to the way our brain and body reacts to favorites such as chocolate or lobster; or the tests showing images of anger or laughter and then measuring the viewer's response. It's just not a sexual response which affects other things.

And as you, I strongly believe in the value of a lasting friendship that endures beyond a lot of other forms of love.

susan @ spinning

Roberta said...

Hi matty. Oh yes, there are expressions of love in more than one form than romantic love. Your comment would make any who read it deeply aware of that.

And susan, thanks for following along to my new place. Regarding your comment, although a scientific study is irrelevant to our understanding, I sometimes think the 'new age' requires a scientific explanation for everything or else they tend to simply dismiss it. But your theory of what the tests would uncover are no doubt uncannily accurate.