Why do you we fall in love? Why do we chase it down like hopeless addicts looking for another fix? Is it for the longevity of it, the all encompassing, for all time emotional roundhouse punch to the solar plexus that it is? I don’t believe so.
Then perhaps love is sought after for the rush at the onset of a relationship–the glittery sensation of lust wrapping up all the senses in pheromones and body spay in order to convince unknowing (and often the all-too-knowing) hearts of a higher state of feeling.
But, I don’t believe any of that. It is far more sinister. We live in search of pain.
This isn’t meant to sound maudlin, or angst-ridden. Instead, it is an honest belief that is entwined with the state of our society’s mental dependency on stimulation. But first:
It is no stretch of the imagination to accept that love is nothing without pain, if one to accepts that life is nothing without death. The absence of one, or both, of these negates the acceptance of the whole. We live, thus we die; one can never experience love if one has never experienced pain. To live in a perpetual state of pain would mean the individual would never experience love, erasing it from their world. The coalescence of the two polarities brings the ideas full-circle.
So the question remains: why do we search for pain rather than love?
This masochism is a result of the influx of fabricated happiness running rampant in our time. The ways to stimulate the human body, both physically and mentally, have jumped ten fold, causing the ability to discern real, heart quaking emotion difficult due to the synthetics available. We live in a perpetual state of arousal, hunger, thirst, drunkenness and so on. We are filled beyond our wildest dreams, so when love comes, or doesn’t, the ability to see the naturalness of it is clouded by the delusion that what we want now can merely be replaced later by something else, similar.
Ah! But pain, there’s a devil that has no companion. BDSM and other forms of pain for pleasure are just that: pleasure. Real pain isn’t simply physical experience, but an all out offensive on your facets. The ability to eat, sleep, dream, stay awake, stave off illness, all suffer. It is a human emotion that is still pure and without an equal in a world of fabrication.
It is because of this we must venture into the past momentarily.
Love in the less than modern age
Once upon a time love was believed to possess more weight than money, prospects and what tangible objects are brought to the table. Even when arranged marriages ruled all, and the quality of wife was predicated upon by the quality of livestock you provided a father with, love still had greater weight than it does today. That is because there was no saccharine substitute to convince a person that something was replaceable. Marriages happened, and for better or worse, they stuck.
Now, I’m not a proponent of forced marriages or sticking out loveless relationships, however there is a need to give a tip of the cap to families that were built on finding ways to love one another, regardless of whether or not either wanted to be in the relationship at first. It was the times, and there is nothing we can do now but learn, and give a respectful nod to our forbearers.
But today, is it any better? Marriage is an institution that fails as often (or more so) than it succeeds. We’ve come of age in a culture that believes experience is replaceable, and then we replace it. And it is precisely this that prompts me to make the claim that those that look for love, are truly looking for pain.
And we fall back into the meat and potatoes of the argument: if you can’t endure pain, then surely you can’t love. This speaks to millions of our generation that refuse to deal with pain, to accept it as a fact of life and instead opt to runaway in hope of finding something greener. Well, here is a bit of bad news for those folks: no pasture is greener, it is a mirage; a piece of your own fallible imagination that leads to a life of perpetual chasing.