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Author Topic: Does Love Exist?  (Read 9804 times)

DIASPORA-1963

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Re: Does Love Exist?
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2016, 02:17:12 pm »
Quote from: Jack;189677
No really, I highly recommend not spending your life in a sitcom or a stand-up routine. Like I'm all for being fictional, but go all-in fantasy soulmates if you want to derive your love life from a fictional example.

 
Those are things I've heard people say: my brother-in-law, uncles, cousins, my father, my father's friends.

I have never been married, will never marry, am uninterested in marrying - so I'm an outsider, looking in. This is what I have seen. Very little Hallmark Greeting Card romance, but a great deal of exhausted, overworked, overwrought people, huddling together for warmth and company in a cold World that frightens the Hell out of them. And, unbeknownst to the upper classes, for centuries, perhaps millennia, among the lower classes, slaps, pokes, pinches, hair-pullings, teasing, picking-on, and name-calling were more signs of affection than anything else. Hatred got a throat cut, not a sharp slap in the puss. Your elder brother wasn't about to tell you that he loved you, no; instead, he'd give you a black eye - and beat the daylights out of any bully that looked cross-eyed at you.
MARK aka CELLVLANVS MAGVS
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Jack

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Re: Does Love Exist?
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2016, 02:40:43 pm »
Quote from: DIASPORA-1963;189679
Those are things I've heard people say: my brother-in-law, uncles, cousins, my father, my father's friends.

I have never been married, will never marry, am uninterested in marrying - so I'm an outsider, looking in. This is what I have seen. Very little Hallmark Greeting Card romance, but a great deal of exhausted, overworked, overwrought people, huddling together for warmth and company in a cold World that frightens the Hell out of them. And, unbeknownst to the upper classes, for centuries, perhaps millennia, among the lower classes, slaps, pokes, pinches, hair-pullings, teasing, picking-on, and name-calling were more signs of affection than anything else. Hatred got a throat cut, not a sharp slap in the puss. Your elder brother wasn't about to tell you that he loved you, no; instead, he'd give you a black eye - and beat the daylights out of any bully that looked cross-eyed at you.

 
You know who I huddle together with against the cold World? My spouse. My chosen family. The people who give me strength to deal with the world.

Nobody who ever pulled my hair, or called me names, or gave me a black eye in the name of so-called affection really loved me. At first they were little kids getting a reaction out of another little kid. (I teased my sister mercilessly, because we lived in a sitcom, and yes, I also beat the crap out of the neighbor boys who gave her shit. But now I don't know how to have a conversation with her that isn't about one of us "winning" and even if I try, she doesn't either.) At best they loved the idea of me, and felt entitled to bully me back into the submissive ideal they had in their heads.

Black eyes are not romantic. Grinding your spouse into an egoless puddle is not love.
Hail Mara, Lady of Good Things!
"The only way to cope with something deadly serious is to try to treat it a little lightly." -Madeleine L'Engle

DIASPORA-1963

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Re: Does Love Exist?
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2016, 02:53:45 pm »
Quote from: Jack;189680
You know who I huddle together with against the cold World? My spouse. My chosen family. The people who give me strength to deal with the world.

Nobody who ever pulled my hair, or called me names, or gave me a black eye in the name of so-called affection really loved me. At first they were little kids getting a reaction out of another little kid. (I teased my sister mercilessly, because we lived in a sitcom, and yes, I also beat the crap out of the neighbor boys who gave her shit. But now I don't know how to have a conversation with her that isn't about one of us "winning" and even if I try, she doesn't either.) At best they loved the idea of me, and felt entitled to bully me back into the submissive ideal they had in their heads.

Black eyes are not romantic. Grinding your spouse into an egoless puddle is not love.

 
No, I'm not talking about beating somebody to a pulp. I'm not talking about brutalizing anyone. I'm talking about life among people who are not raised in a refined manner - people like my mother's family ("rednecks"). Your brother would not give you a hug - not until you were both much, much older - he'd give you a "noogie" - or a "wedgie". The kids teased the hell out of each other - and nobody thought a thing about it. Get to school, open your loose-leaf, only to find nothing but blank paper. Slip your feet into your sneakers to find that they had been packed w/snow. There was never a roll of toilet paper in the bathroom! - stuff like that - Who said anything about beating somebody bloody?
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Jack

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Re: Does Love Exist?
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2016, 03:46:00 pm »
Quote from: DIASPORA-1963;189681
No, I'm not talking about beating somebody to a pulp. I'm not talking about brutalizing anyone. I'm talking about life among people who are not raised in a refined manner - people like my mother's family ("rednecks"). Your brother would not give you a hug - not until you were both much, much older - he'd give you a "noogie" - or a "wedgie". The kids teased the hell out of each other - and nobody thought a thing about it. Get to school, open your loose-leaf, only to find nothing but blank paper. Slip your feet into your sneakers to find that they had been packed w/snow. There was never a roll of toilet paper in the bathroom! - stuff like that - Who said anything about beating somebody bloody?

 
The only time I ever got a black eye and got told it was affection was in an adult romantic relationship. When you bring up black eyes in the context of a discussion that has thus far been about romantic relationships, that's going to be what I think of.

I don't know what family life you're imagining for me but I grew up in the woods outside a small town. I can talk nice and eat fancy when I have to, because those are skills I intentionally acquired as a teenager. I have uncles and grandparents, I have married friends and divorced friends, I see marriages both happy and unhappy. My marriage is not an anomaly in a sea of unhappiness, was my point.
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Allaya

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Re: Does Love Exist?
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2016, 04:17:54 pm »
Quote from: DIASPORA-1963;189629
Romance is an invention - & a 1/2-baked one at that ... It's better to fall in love w/a good friend, over a period of time than to be struck by the "lightening bolt" or "Cupid's arrow".

Real love is more being able to stomach somebody for long periods of time than anything else - "You make me sick, it's true, but I'd miss you, if you left, so I put up w/your crap" means "I love you!"

Yes - people do love, but love is messy, & it hurts more than it feels good, but, when it feels good, it's so good the hurt is forgotten.

Love & Hate are twins, by the way - never forget that. You can't have one w/o the other. You never love anybody w/o hating him/her, as well - but that's a secret that's so secret I'm sure I'll get blasted from all directions for revealing it!

 
 
It doesn't seem to occur to you that outside of your little bubble of observation/experience, people can and sometimes do behave and think in ways different than what you have observed.

Phrasing things in a declamatory manner is something that really, really does not help when trying to share a viewpoint as it obscures the determination of whether you are aware that it is just a personal viewpoint or that you are trying to dictate some type of universal truth.

Offloading the need to make that determination onto the reader is...tiresome.

Also, count me in the group of people who does not experience love as messy or painful or even on the same axis as hate. Having it dictated to me that one cannot have love without hate is...well...that's something I've heard exclusively from people who come off like jerks.
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Sefiru

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Re: Does Love Exist?
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2016, 06:49:17 pm »
Quote from: Jack;189677
No really, I highly recommend not spending your life in a sitcom or a stand-up routine. Like I'm all for being fictional, but go all-in fantasy soulmates if you want to derive your love life from a fictional example.

 
That is exactly what I was going to say.

Granted, Hollywood uses these relationship stereotypes so much that I can easily see how people could end up with the idea that that is how relationships are supposed to be.

As to my own thoughts on love: I don't think love is the same thing as passion. At all (though of course they often occur together). It has more in common with things like comfort and solidarity. I guess, to use a metaphor, I love like a cat rather than like a dog.

On the point of whether love causes misery: heck no. If anything, love is able to counteract misery that comes from other sources. And further, I'd say that misery results from not receiving love from a relationship your culture says should be loving (family, partners, deities).

AineLlewellyn

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Re: Does Love Exist?
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2016, 10:50:01 pm »
Quote from: Jack;189675
The answer is that we're much better together than we are apart. I love them; I derive a lot of happiness from making them happy, more than I do from doing things that make myself happy. Part of this is probably my own issues, which make it hard for me to make myself happy or to be selfish. (It was a Catholic sitcom.) But it doesn't change the fact that I am a happier person with them, I am a more functional person with them, and I am a healthier person with them. They encourage me to do what makes me happy; they give me space to be selfish and have my own needs, which is not something I had in prior relationships or with my family.

I'm of the opinion that that's how relationships should work. If the people involved don't want the other to be happy and healthy, then the relationship is non-functional. What happy and healthy looks like may be different for different people; I don't judge based on outside appearances.

If someone is not happy in a relationship, they should consider leaving it. But the fact that some people are not happy in relationships and decide staying is the best course of action regardless does not mean all relationships are unhappy. That's just bad statistics.

 
This is how I feel as well. I may not always be happy with my partner, and at times I may be very frustrated. But I never hate them. And, I've found, many of my thoughts concerning my relationship and emotions around it are more about me than my partner. And because we both care deeply and love each other, we help each other work out those things. He helps me work through negative thought cycles and patterns, I help him work out the same, we both work together. We're always learning how to work better together.

Darkhawk

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Re: Does Love Exist?
« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2016, 03:02:10 am »
Quote from: DIASPORA-1963;189676
No - if you don't lie your ass off constantly you'll be miserable!


I don't spend time with people who make me miserable.  Life is too fucking short to put up with that sort of bullshit.

Quote
How many husbands do you talk to?


Both of them.

Quote
"I don't say anything about anything anymore. I've learned to keep my mouth shut. It's easier that way".

"I used to argue, but now I just put on my shoes an go".

"It's easier now that my daughter is a little older. She can warn me when the wife has bought something new for the house, so I can pretend to notice it and admire it".

"You know, I've got to where I like to lose at cards. This way, I just get yelled at. I don't have to hand over my winnings".

"It's a funny thing. I like my mother-in-law. I do. If I could keep my mother-in-law and get rid of my wife, I'd do it ... The mother-in-law can cook!"

"I don't know where we're going on vacation. The wife hasn't told me yet".


I mean this shit?  It's like cut-rate sitcom dialogue from a third-rate channel.  I can't even watch TV with people like this in it.  Wouldn't be friends with one, if they even exist in the real world rather than in badly written television.
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AineLlewellyn

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Re: Does Love Exist?
« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2016, 03:44:37 am »
Quote from: DIASPORA-1963;189629
Romance is an invention - & a 1/2-baked one at that ... It's better to fall in love w/a good friend, over a period of time than to be struck by the "lightening bolt" or "Cupid's arrow".

Real love is more being able to stomach somebody for long periods of time than anything else - "You make me sick, it's true, but I'd miss you, if you left, so I put up w/your crap" means "I love you!"

Yes - people do love, but love is messy, & it hurts more than it feels good, but, when it feels good, it's so good the hurt is forgotten.

Love & Hate are twins, by the way - never forget that. You can't have one w/o the other. You never love anybody w/o hating him/her, as well - but that's a secret that's so secret I'm sure I'll get blasted from all directions for revealing it!

 
Romance is an invention, sure, but it's still nice to go on a date and receive flowers and have pancakes to wake up to on the weekend morning and etc etc etc. And my partner and I are best friends...and we met and dated and committed to each other pretty fast, one of those 'lightning bolt' moments. I guess we just respect each other enough to be honest about how we feel when we need to change, and we both knew to seek out a partner who actually fit with our lives instead of picking one who didn't and whining about it.

Anyway. I really liked the idea of how our religious traditions view love that was in the start of the thread and this post made a good jumping off point.

Within my religious tradition and the stories I tell about the gods, you've got the Gods of Love the Laetha and Dierne. They're originally the human Arabella (Laetha) and the star spirit Pallis (Dierne) before they are deified. They are my go-to gods for passionate, intense, fiery, almost-destructive energy, the energy of burning love that sears your skin and soul.

They are fully committed to each other with all their faults. And since the Laetha is actually a multitude of gods, they are committed to each other in a variety of ways. Their love is like fireworks. It's as painful as it is wonderful. And there is anger and hurt there too, with each other. Sadness and loss.

There's not hate.

Now, Mircea - Pallis' starry brother, both Arabella and Pallis' lover and the 'instigator' of their eventual deification - is representative of love-hate in my mind. He loves both Pallis and Arabella. He longs for them. And he despairs not being able to be with them as he begins fading away from existence. The love morphs into something else when Arabella, who was also fading away, is saved from that fate. Rather than allow Arabella to ascend to godhood and live eternally or even just share his struggles with his partners, he lashes out and splits apart the deity Arabella is becoming and expels Pallis from their home. He covets Arabella's divinity. He loves her but he can't get over his rage that she was given a chance he wasn't, so he hurts her and everyone he can. His fire - he's a star spirit like Pallis, and in the Otherfaith stars are bright and passion - drives him to think that possessing Arabella (and possessing her divinity) and controlling Pallis are the same as love. He isn't able to differentiate between loving them and hating them. They become the same to him.

(So, sure, 'love and hate' are twins, but in my religious tradition and in my life, hate is the twin of love when the love is dysfunctional and damaging.)

Mircea's not a figure I worship in my practice. He's useful for doing internal work and poking at my own problems.

But I don't worship him.

Even with differences between themselves, their shapes and souls changing constantly, Arabella and Pallis - the Laetha and the Dierne, they are able to stay with each other, to address their issues with each other, to lay each other open willingly, kindly, and gracefully. They meet each other as equals.

There are other types of love within the Otherfaith, but I wanted to bring up the Laetha and Dierne since, Love Gods, and also because of Mircea. Mircea does not think of others as individual beings with a right to honesty or compassion or decency. He thinks he knows best, and he is willing to suffer and make others suffer to get what he wants or thinks he wants. He is, in essence, about a lot of the bull shit society throws at us about how We're Supposed To Be Romantically (as well as in a larger sense, as I also view Mircea as a representation of oppression and environmental destruction, so. Lots of things.)

DIASPORA-1963

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Re: Does Love Exist?
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2016, 04:06:46 am »
Quote from: Allaya;189684
It doesn't seem to occur to you that outside of your little bubble of observation/experience, people can and sometimes do behave and think in ways different than what you have observed.

Phrasing things in a declamatory manner is something that really, really does not help when trying to share a viewpoint as it obscures the determination of whether you are aware that it is just a personal viewpoint or that you are trying to dictate some type of universal truth.

Offloading the need to make that determination onto the reader is...tiresome.

Also, count me in the group of people who does not experience love as messy or painful or even on the same axis as hate. Having it dictated to me that one cannot have love without hate is...well...that's something I've heard exclusively from people who come off like jerks.

I'm perfectly open to people disagreeing w/me - that's the point that everyone seems to miss. I make a statement as clear as possible, not meaning it to be something handed down from on high. I'm willing to discuss anything that I say - forever - w/o becoming rancorous and w/o calling anyone an idiot. I'm not a belligerent person - I'm dyslexic and have learned to write in a way that is not dyslexic. I have to proof my work in mathematics hundreds of times, just to make sure that I haven't inverted this or mis-stated that.
I do not intend to offend anyone. Yet, I often do. I'm sorry for that, but it seems that I cannot help it.
Love and hate are intense feelings that are immutably bound together. Just think for a moment about what goes on in a drawn out and bitter divorce case: the anger and the bitterness did not manifest over night but took years to develop, were, in fact, there from the start of the marriage, only they were not manifested. The potential for hate always lies in the potential for love and vice-versa.
MARK aka CELLVLANVS MAGVS
OMNIA DEPENDET!

DIASPORA-1963

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Re: Does Love Exist?
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2016, 04:15:19 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;189703
I don't spend time with people who make me miserable.  Life is too fucking short to put up with that sort of bullshit.



Both of them.



I mean this shit?  It's like cut-rate sitcom dialogue from a third-rate channel.  I can't even watch TV with people like this in it.  Wouldn't be friends with one, if they even exist in the real world rather than in badly written television.

Oh, they exist. Those are things that I've heard men say - only they weren't joking.
MARK aka CELLVLANVS MAGVS
OMNIA DEPENDET!

DIASPORA-1963

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Re: Does Love Exist?
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2016, 04:37:36 am »
Quote from: Sefiru;189693
That is exactly what I was going to say.

Granted, Hollywood uses these relationship stereotypes so much that I can easily see how people could end up with the idea that that is how relationships are supposed to be.

As to my own thoughts on love: I don't think love is the same thing as passion. At all (though of course they often occur together). It has more in common with things like comfort and solidarity. I guess, to use a metaphor, I love like a cat rather than like a dog.

On the point of whether love causes misery: heck no. If anything, love is able to counteract misery that comes from other sources. And further, I'd say that misery results from not receiving love from a relationship your culture says should be loving (family, partners, deities).

 
I am autistic, so I do see the World from afar, so, perhaps, in a sense, I am watching television (though I don't own one). I don't become entangled in the World because of my autism, so, I've got a unique vantage point. I watch people closely: what they say has little to do w/what they mean; what they say they want - they don't want. Freedom, for instance. In a country where the voter turn out in local elections is about 3% it's hard to come back at me and say that people really give a damn about being heard, which is essential to freedom.
The amount of cheating that goes on in relationships is astounding - men - and women.
Kids are having sex w/everyone, all over the place; it's amazing.
Do you know how many supposedly straight men sneak off for quickie same-sex, anonymous encounters? I was amazed to find out. And these men would kill you if you even suggested that they were gay. But a gay friend opened my eyes to this going on - showed me the places in New York. An endless stream of wedding bands, sneaking in and out - wow! Working class, white-collar, clergy - all sorts, in and out, in and out.
So maybe I'm Petronius Arbiter reborn, and I see the World as a Satyricon - but that's how I see it. Discuss w/me - minus the digs ...
MARK aka CELLVLANVS MAGVS
OMNIA DEPENDET!

DIASPORA-1963

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Re: Does Love Exist?
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2016, 04:40:25 am »
Quote from: ainellewellyn;189704
Romance is an invention, sure, but it's still nice to go on a date and receive flowers and have pancakes to wake up to on the weekend morning and etc etc etc. And my partner and I are best friends...and we met and dated and committed to each other pretty fast, one of those 'lightning bolt' moments. I guess we just respect each other enough to be honest about how we feel when we need to change, and we both knew to seek out a partner who actually fit with our lives instead of picking one who didn't and whining about it.

Anyway. I really liked the idea of how our religious traditions view love that was in the start of the thread and this post made a good jumping off point.

Within my religious tradition and the stories I tell about the gods, you've got the Gods of Love the Laetha and Dierne. They're originally the human Arabella (Laetha) and the star spirit Pallis (Dierne) before they are deified. They are my go-to gods for passionate, intense, fiery, almost-destructive energy, the energy of burning love that sears your skin and soul.

They are fully committed to each other with all their faults. And since the Laetha is actually a multitude of gods, they are committed to each other in a variety of ways. Their love is like fireworks. It's as painful as it is wonderful. And there is anger and hurt there too, with each other. Sadness and loss.

There's not hate.

Now, Mircea - Pallis' starry brother, both Arabella and Pallis' lover and the 'instigator' of their eventual deification - is representative of love-hate in my mind. He loves both Pallis and Arabella. He longs for them. And he despairs not being able to be with them as he begins fading away from existence. The love morphs into something else when Arabella, who was also fading away, is saved from that fate. Rather than allow Arabella to ascend to godhood and live eternally or even just share his struggles with his partners, he lashes out and splits apart the deity Arabella is becoming and expels Pallis from their home. He covets Arabella's divinity. He loves her but he can't get over his rage that she was given a chance he wasn't, so he hurts her and everyone he can. His fire - he's a star spirit like Pallis, and in the Otherfaith stars are bright and passion - drives him to think that possessing Arabella (and possessing her divinity) and controlling Pallis are the same as love. He isn't able to differentiate between loving them and hating them. They become the same to him.

(So, sure, 'love and hate' are twins, but in my religious tradition and in my life, hate is the twin of love when the love is dysfunctional and damaging.)

Mircea's not a figure I worship in my practice. He's useful for doing internal work and poking at my own problems.

But I don't worship him.

Even with differences between themselves, their shapes and souls changing constantly, Arabella and Pallis - the Laetha and the Dierne, they are able to stay with each other, to address their issues with each other, to lay each other open willingly, kindly, and gracefully. They meet each other as equals.

There are other types of love within the Otherfaith, but I wanted to bring up the Laetha and Dierne since, Love Gods, and also because of Mircea. Mircea does not think of others as individual beings with a right to honesty or compassion or decency. He thinks he knows best, and he is willing to suffer and make others suffer to get what he wants or thinks he wants. He is, in essence, about a lot of the bull shit society throws at us about how We're Supposed To Be Romantically (as well as in a larger sense, as I also view Mircea as a representation of oppression and environmental destruction, so. Lots of things.)

Thank you for such a thoughtful and long response - very informative.
I am gladdened to hear that you have a happy relationship. Good luck you!
MARK aka CELLVLANVS MAGVS
OMNIA DEPENDET!

lioness

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Re: Does Love Exist?
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2016, 06:56:56 am »
Quote from: Nymree;185989
I figured this is an interesting discussion in general, but additionally what do you personally think, and what does your path/specific religion teach? Some people believe in romantic love, and some only attraction. What do you believe?

 
In my path love and trust between circle mates is very important, as is the student/teacher dynamic. On a personal level, the love of family and friends is very important to me, but romantic love has very little meaning in my life. I suppose I could label myself aromantic as I've never had a romantic relationship and when the opportunity arises I tend to run in the opposite direction. That doesn't mean I don't believe in it, romantic love seems to work out just fine for many other people, but for me it's just never connected.

lioness

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Re: Does Love Exist?
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2016, 06:58:46 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;189703
I mean this shit?  It's like cut-rate sitcom dialogue from a third-rate channel.  I can't even watch TV with people like this in it.  Wouldn't be friends with one, if they even exist in the real world rather than in badly written television.

 
That shit gives me some serious heebie jeebies regarding relationships and marriages, and I know that's not what they're all about! But seriously, I agree, I wouldn't want to be around such people. And I can't comprehend why they would stay in relationships that apparently cause such misery.

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