Where did Love come from?

Where did Love come from? Why does this even matter? I’ll deal with these issues together, and start off by way of analogy. In order to understand heart attacks, the first thing we do is use all the medicine we have sitting on the shelf and observe the outcomes. In order to prevent a heart attack, we have to learn everything about it: where does it come from, what makes it happen, and what will make it stay away. The same is true for those things that we wish to have, like Love. We must use what we have, learn as much as we can about where it came from, and why it has hung around for so many generations.

First, a note for those who may think Love has been around as long as the Rocky Mountains. It hasn’t. Love is entirely human, as we are using it here. There are other animals that form lifelong attachments, called ‘pair-bonding’ by ethologists, which means that similar behavior has appeared in other species. However, we are only interested in people. It’s likely that ancient humans, like our simian cousins, normally lived in tribes controlled by an alpha male. Love didn’t exist a million years ago, and it may not have existed even a hundred thousand years ago. At some point in time it came to be; Love was created, by man. Since there is nothing in our species that says we have to pair-bond, why is Love around at all? It’s around because one of our early ancestors successfully tried to pair-bond. The odds were against living happily ever after were never good, as they are even today. Then again, living happily ever after didn’t take as long since most humans barely lived to middle-age.

Imagine the following crazy and possibly romantic scenario. You are in a band of hunter-gatherers living on the fringe of the African veldt. You’ve been born with the pair-bond urge, and your body has matured to the point where your hormones are screaming in your ears. You’re ready. Here comes the romantic part. You’re still part of your birth tribe because you’re not old enough to threaten the alpha male or are too much of a drag on your mother. You’re gathering some berries away from the group far enough so that you can hear them in the distance, but not so far that the tigers can take you by surprise. Suddenly you come across another young human, not of your tribe, and of the opposite sex. Bang! go your hormones, and Thump! goes your heart. You have just had the very first ‘Love at first sight’ experience. He sees she, she sees he, and off they go to start their own tribe.

The implications are tremendous. Because these two have committed to each other, they now have a very different relationship than any of the other competing clans. They present a more stable home for their children. They understand each other better than anyone else, and can tend to each other’s needs more efficiently, saving time and making their time together more pleasing. Finally, they are able to start thinking about other things rather than taking care of their hormones; things like housing, higher education for the kids, and civic planning.

How important was this event, this ‘Love at first sight?’ It was big enough such that those humans who practiced it had a big advantage over other humans. And even today it is big enough that almost all of our cultures revere and promote the idea of life pair-bonding in some way. It’s big enough so that most of our entertainment is focused on the same event – that one special moment when two souls meet and overcome obstacles to begin a new life together.

 

Thoughts on Love: What, How, and Who

Here are some of my thoughts about love.  Not a story, not a poem or metaphor, but about the very special thing we know as love.  This is about people attaching themselves to another person.  Sometimes the attachment lasts an hour, sometimes a lifetime.  All of these attachments, no matter how long they last, are what we call love.

Such a big thing in our lives, and there’s much to say.  This is a tiny slice about one aspect of love.  What I offer is a set of tools to help you understand and enhance love in your life. Real tools.  Nothing to buy, nothing to ‘believe’ and no special religions or brands.

There are too many facets of love to choose from, and way too much to say about each that the choice is hard.  The one and only one that I will focus on here is love that lasts a long time.  This can be the attachment of lovers, or more likely, the bond between mother and child.  In many ways they are the same, and the tools I will provide you help explain how they work, why they work, and how you can make them work for you.

How will these tools help you with love?  To start, they give you a way to understand love; a subject in which everyone is an expert, and yet one that nobody knows anything about, and most people continue to pursue.  Second, these tools allow you to better understand yourself, so that the more you use them, the better person you become.  Third, these tools allow you to better understand the ‘other,’ the person that is your partner.  In its greatest sense, love means a lifelong adventure learning about another person.  When it’s done right, you will have learned about your partner, and also learned about yourself.

Who am I to make such bold claims about what you will learn?  This implies I already know these things.  I am a humble person, probably like you, who has lived and desired love.  I’m fortunate in that I have been deeply loved by parents, and even more fortunate that I have found a partner and a child with whom I’ve lived and loved more completely than anything I could have imagined.

How does this make me any more qualified to write such a thing?  After all, there have also been millions of other lucky souls who have wonderful life partners.  What gives me the guts to take on the ultimate subject?  Not only have I been lucky, but I’ve been closely studying what makes people tick.  I’ve been quite the geek, a sponge of information and a follower in the ways of logic and science.  Last, I’ve been cheeky, because I don’t buy into the usual easy explanations or nonsense most gurus want us to believe.  As a result, I’ve put together a set of tools that work for anyone, anywhere, at no cost to you.  All you have to do is use them.

Who should read this, and who are these tools meant for?  Truly, anyone who is in pursuit of love will find something of interest.  Whether you wish to understand it in a new way, or whether you’re looking for yourself, or enhancing what you have. More specifically, these tools were designed for young adults.  Those who have new hormones screaming for action, and are just exercising the morals that ask them to wait and choose wisely.  Even more precisely, it’s for young adults living in an instantaneous world where machines do most of the work and almost all of the thinking.  It’s for young adults who expect to be entertained.  Finally, and tellingly, these young people must belong to a society that isn’t afraid to change.  This is important, because even though we may find love and become a couple, we still have to contend with the forces of our culture, many of which are pulling us apart.