Love Isn't Free Either

When I was a teenager, there was this movement in popular literature (music, movies, novels, TV, ...) about how love should be free.

Well, it was a nice, romantic thought.

Sure, you should be free to choose your own interests, to choose what you like and dislike. But that's not love, even though interests, likes, and dislikes do have something to do with the way love often starts.

Hmm. We should make a distinction between love and lust.

If I say I love pizza, that's not really love, that's lusts.

Lusts are not bad if you don't let them control you.

Your eyebrows are inching upwards.

No. Really.

If you have no lust for food, eating gets boring really quickly, and pretty soon you're eating all your meals at fast food restaurants. And your baser lusts (to simply fill your stomach) control you. And you end up burning your appetite on your baser lusts.

Desires are important, and it is important to have strong desires that can motivate you strongly. These desires are not baser lusts. There is a difference between a Big Quarter-Pound-of-what, with the special Mickey-D's sauce, and a home-made pizza with lots of vegetable toppings and fresh, home-made sauce.

If you like meat on your pizza, it's the vegetables that make the flavor, not just a lot of basil. Likewise, a real hamburger has fresh onions and other vegetables, not just wilted pickles and mystery sauce and maybe processed fake cheese.

[And real meat doesn't need to be soaked in amino acid soups designed, more than anything, to induce more purchases. JMR 2015-08-08]

Okay, it would be more acceptable to say nobler desires, rather than nobler lusts, but we need to separate the desires from the love.

I've talked about that a little, in my main blog. In one definition, love is constructive desires. In a loving relationship, what you desire is the other person's well-being, benefit, welfare, etc. And your desire motivates you to do positive and constructive things for that other person.

Love is not free. The choice of whom you love is not even free, really. If you do things for another person, you find that your love for that person grows stronger. If you don't, the love disappears into simple unrequited lusts, and from there into wishful thinking.

Love engenders obligation.

Now, there are those who think that human relationships are based on power, who would use the obligations of love for their own benefit. That's bad news, and it tends to turn love into hate.

Hate is not so bad, but using people that love you is not serving them and not loving them. It tends more to kill love than anything.

Oh. Love and hate are not really opposites. There's more than one dimension to this thing called love. Sometimes the long-term welfare of the person you love requires you to do things that seem hurtful in the short term.

For instance, if you know you can't follow through on letting a relationship turn into a long-term relationship, it's often better to back off, even if it is painful to do so.

Or, if your child wants a computer game now, letting the child learn patience is usually better than instantly gratifying the desire. [Even if the child claims it means you hate him or here. JMR 2015-08-08]

Real love does sometimes mean having to say you're sorry.

Marriage is definitely not free. Marriage implies obligations to each other, obligations of service, love, and understanding.

In the past, because of the law of the jungle, marriage was a system of chattelry, or property. Without the chattel interpretation of family, the big lions would go around taking what they wanted. The chattel interpretation allowed society to go after big lions who wouldn't keep their lusts to themselves.

Chattel also implied obligations of maintenance, and other obligations of love.

Somewhere, as western society became more civilized, so to speak, those obligations of love seemed too often to be forgotten. Abusive men seem to have thought property meant the freedom to damn themselves by doing what they damn-well pleased.

So we have been setting aside the property interpretations of marriage and family in the west.

But that still doesn't make love free.

We have to remember that, even though marriage partners should treat each other as equals, if they ignore the obligations of love, the marriage is going to disintegrate, leaving little but fading memories of a short, meaningless adventure.

[And it occurred to me, after posting this, that I needed to be more explicit here. Those who choose to abuse the obligations of love in any relationship will find that they are actively destroying the relationship. And themselves. JMR 2015-08-08]

Look up the meaning of romance, sometime. Romance isn't free, either.

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