THE NATURE OF LOVE, marriages, and DIVORCES
by Frank Yang and Jeff Li
What is Love?
It’s been defined as “profoundly tender, passionate affection toward another person”, or “affectionate concern for the well being of others”. Love is also described as “a sexual passion or desire for another person”, but many would dismiss this definition as the definition for infatuation or lust, not love. The word “love” is even used to describe a liking or “affection” toward certain activities or foods. Heck, if you’re a tennis player, “love” can even mean a score of zero.
Some definitions take things a little further. Love has also been described as “the eternal truth in the history of mankind”, and Christians almost universally agree that “God is Love”.
Love is called “unending”, “kind”, “without envy”, and supposedly “rejoices over evil”. But why all the mysticism? Why is love considered to be some infinite, metaphysical, transcendental quality?
There’s no need for any of that horse crap. Love is biological, psychological, and social, but it is definitely NOT supernatural.
You see, we are products of the manifold forces that act and operate on our planet. Love is limited to that, and can’t be explained by reference to a metaphysical domain beyond our earthly condition.
But more on that later. For now, let’s talk about one of love’s many facets: Marriage.
Marriage and the Modern Concept of Love.
You get married because you’re in love, right? Wrong.
Half of all marriages in America end in divorce. In some other countries, the divorce rate exceeds 60%.
In other words, if you get married, you have around a 50% chance of staying with your spouse. Divorce is no easy alternative, yet many people would rather buy their divorce lawyers new Ferraris and endure long, stressful battles over property than stay with their spouses.
Even if you were in the 50% that stayed together, just how happy would your marriage be? Maybe you think that you and your spouse are somehow special, and that your love is so pure that it is untouchable. Maybe you think you’re not as weak-willed or petty as the other 50%, but is that really the case? Sure, you might actually end up staying together, but are you really so different from the others who have failed at marriage?
Many of those who have failed at marriage try again. Even after all the pain and suffering of divorce, the remarry, against overwhelming odds. Second marriages fail between 60 and 67 percent of the time while third marriages fail at a mean of 73.5 percent.
So what makes people want to get married over and over again? And what makes people unhappy with their marriages in the first place? The misunderstanding that marriage is about love… and a misunderstanding about the nature of love.
Beauty and the Beast ends with Belle getting married to Beast-prince. The Sleeping Beauty, Aurora, also gets married. The Fantastic 4 ends with Mr. Fantastic proposing to Invisible Woman. Ariel, from The Little Mermaid, marries her man, and they all live happily ever after. Whoopdee-fucking-doo, how splendid.
Clearly, the modern concept of love is terribly sugar-coated. It is idealized, romanticized, and quixotic.
Modern cinema, media, and mass communication encourage this preposterous view of love; there are a plethora of sappy chick flicks and romantic comedies, and every song on the radio is about love. Our media-oriented society constantly feeds us this ridiculous garbage to a point where some folks have begun to think that love is a modern invention – a fabrication- that was born from Hollywood movies, MTV, and pop music.
But love isn’t a modern invention. Something as primal and instinctual as love cannot merely be the result of culture, ideologies, and social construct. The “idea” of what love is may change from time to time- just as it has into the stupid, cutesy sentimental horse piss that is today- but the basic emotion of romantic and erotic love (mainly sexual attraction) is the by product of natural selection.
Love’s root cause is probably pathogens. Sexual reproduction creates varieties of genomes that keep harmful pathogens guessing by shuffling our genes every generation to create organisms with different combination of immune genes/systems/facilities. This is why there is a distinct difference between mitosis and meiosis; if we were all clones of each other or if we reproduced asexually, all of our genes would be alike, and if a pathogen was to spread throughout a given population, all of its members would be infected. Love, therefore, is a by product of evolution; it is an inherent drive within human beings to stay alive, reproduce, and propagate the species. Organisms that are programmed with the will to love and to have sex serve as perfect vessels through which genes can pass themselves onto latter generations.
Marriage and the concept of Merging
One of the most prevalent -and moronic- assumptions about love that goes hand in hand with the idiotic modern view of love is the concept of merging. Have you heard the sayings, “you complete me”, “two hearts beat as one”, or “you make me whole”? I bet you have. All of these are even titles of hit songs! Give me a break.
Even the Bible describes marriage as a fusion or merging between man and woman:
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
– Genesis 2:24
It’s foolish to assume that the fusion of two human beings is a characteristic of love. In order to “be one”, partners in a marriage distort themselves, and end up falsifying ingredients in the reality of their marriage. Indeed, all successful marriages that I have ever witnessed are founded upon the recognition- by both persons- that they are indefeasibly not the same. And it goes beyond differences in personality. Man and woman are entirely different animals- that’s why, in most relationships, much hard work is needed for couples to get along; Their biologies constantly fight each other.
Evolutionary Biology and Physiological Differences between Males and Females
Males and females evolved differently. In the struggle for survival, they developed different strategies for survival and propagation of genes. These differences appear in the anatomy and physiology of males and females. Any casual observer can recognize that men are generally up to 50% larger than females. This is not a coincidence, it is a necessary byproduct of evolution given that men had to physically fight each other for approval from females. In their hunter-gatherer society, men also hunted physically stronger animals while women were responsible for gathering herbs and vegetables while taking care of the young. Females have better interpersonal connections because of their evolutionary adaptation for the responsibility of childbirth and upbringing. As a result, they are more emotional and tend to rely on intuition and feeling rather than pure logic (unlike men).
In the modern world, these differences are observable in the workplace and family. Men are public talkers; the purpose of their speech is dominance, that is, they want to overpower their colleagues and appear more superior. Females, on the other hand, are private talkers and speak much less in the public sphere and professional environment. They voice their own opinions less often and would rather contribute to the collective benefit of a group than stand out. The private family life, however, is different. The men who spend all day speaking out and trying to dominate other men are tired, and simply want to kick back and watch football (to stay masculine, of course), no speech involved. Women, on the other hand, are subject to oppression from a largely patriarchal society in the workplace and so they want to voice their opinions when they get home. And so, women get home and want to talk about their day or their skanky coworker (god she’s such a BITCH) but are met with an unreceptive male who just wants to watch manly things on TV.
There are even more obvious examples of anatomical and physiological differences between males and females. Men have penises, women have vaginas. Men secrete more testosterone, women, more estrogen. Men make sperm, women make eggs. But even the anatomy and physiology of the brain is different between the sexes; for example, women have more white matter and men have more gray matter associated with intelligence. Men have more inter neurons but women have more synapses between brain hemispheres. Although the male and female brain both share the same capacity for intelligence, it is clear that evolution resulted in two different kinds of brains for the respective sexes.
Some people argue that gender is a construct of society, and that differences between men and women are mainly a result of society and culture. But given the physiological differences described above, can that really be true? A series of psychology experiments that were conducted recently prove otherwise. In one experiment, baby girls and boys were given different toys to play with. The children were so young (12-16 months) that they had not yet acquired language and had minimal influence from society, so they had limited knowledge of what objects were considered masculine or feminine. The boys chose hard objects like wind up cars and toy projectile guns, both objects fast, weapon-like, and normally considered masculine. The little girls chose Barbie dolls, toy apparel, and soft stuffed animals. When the same experiment was conducted on our close relative, the chimpanzee, very similar results were observed. Without societal influences, what inborn tendencies could account for these toy selections? Naturally, the young males chose items that possess potential for speed, which is understandable given that early hominid males had to hunt, and therefore focused much of their consciousness on visual spatial cognition. It could also be hypothesized that men enjoy ball sports such as football, baseball, basketball, soccer, etc. for this very reason. The young females were more interested in objects they could hold onto, spend time with, or “nurture”.
Yet another difference: Men general prefer the color blue while females generally prefer pink and red. Why could this be? Perhaps men, who are geared towards hunting, pay more attention to blue because a blue sky indicates a good day with nice weather, perfect for bringing down prey. Blue is also apparent in good, clean water, an indication of fertile land, an ideal place for settlement… in the nomadic lifestyle of hunter-gatherers, it was the males job to find and lead the group or family toward fertile land. In the fertile land, women were attracted to the vibrant colors such as pink or darker red, because pink and red flowers flourished near nutritious fruit on healthy soil.
Different Views With Respect to Sex
While all the above differences can lead to difficulties within a relationship, especially marriage, the most crucial difference is the difference between the male and female reproductive strategies; i.e. how males and females view and treat sex differently. Males are generally more polygamous, i.e. more likely to fuck women other than their partners, or at least have the urge to do so. Females tend to be more monogamous, selective, and choosy about who they fuck. One experiment involved attractive college students of both sexes asking random students of the opposite sex whether or not they would like to go to a hotel and “get it on”. What do you think were the results? Predictably, none of the random girls asked by the males consented to having a one night stand, while 90% of the random males asked by females consented. This could be explained by the socio-biological tendencies of the males and females.
Females have to be more choosy and selective with whom they mate because their eggs are expensive; a female can spare only one egg per month, and if fertilized, it forces the female to invest about 9 months to the nourishment and protection of the child and an additional 3 to 4 years of the mother’s time, energy, and calories after the birth to raise the baby, which is completely dependent on the mother. A woman might produce 400 eggs in a lifetime, but only have a maximal progeny of about 20 children in a lifetime. Males, on the other hand, produce copious amounts of sperm. A male can ejaculate a dozen times in an hour, and although it would be uncomfortable to do so, he would never run out of sperm. A healthy human male could, if he made best use of every sperm, father some 12 million children every hour. Males can propagate their genes much more easily and quickly than women, and therefore their brains are hardwired to wet their dicks with as much pussy as possible (fertilize as many eggs as possible) during their lifetime. This biological tendency ultimately leads to the destruction of the nucleus family.
Another reason why men and women struggle to stay together is the fact that as humans, we tend to be dissatisfied with what we already have and find whatever we cannot have desirable. The grass is always greener on the other side. As humans, we want and ask for freedom. But at the same time, we want to be attached to others and be loved by them. Being in a relationship takes away a person’s inherit freedom to do whatever he or she pleases because he/she basically “gives in” to the other person and becomes another person’s property and object of desire. So there is always an inner conflict within each of us between being with somebody or being free. Even a good husband who stays with his wife without committing adultery has to restrain himself (or at least his thoughts) from spreading the millions of unused sperms wiggling impatiently inside his already-taken scrotum. A good, successful relationship might come down to fighting and overcoming this inner conflict between freedom and restrain. The way I look at it, both love and non-love (being single) are irrational and conflictual to our basic needs and desires, and since you can’t have the best of both worlds, people who try to have freedom while clinging on to somebody else usually end up in divorces and breakups.
Polygamy vs. Monogamy
Given the physiological and reproductive differences between males and females, would humans be best described as polygamous or monogamous? Some argue that it is more beneficial to the survival of the species if men are to be polygamous and have multiple sexual partners. But this strategy isn’t optimal for the development of the human brain. It’s too simple. What distinguishes humans from other animals is obviously intelligence (depending on how you define it) and creativity, aka a huge fucking brain.
There are sacrifices that must be made to nourish and maintain this brain. In comparison to other animals, our brains or proportionally too large to the rest of our bodies, and there is not enough time in the womb for the brains to fully mature. The brain, therefore, completes its maturation after birth, well into adolescence. Our big brains makes birth very painful and difficult- women literally have to squeeze that huge brain out of their tiny vaginas. If you think about it, this is a highly unnatural act and in the modern world, requires a comfortable bed, a skilled gynecologist, and a team of horny nurses. But in the animal kingdom, many species can give birth very easily even when they are walking and defecating at the same time. The animal offspring are also equipped with the tools necessary for survival right from the get go. They can walk, swim, find food, and even know how to hunt for prey to sustain themselves. Human infants are weak, useless, and entirely dependent on their mothers; they are given no real tools for survival other than the ability to cry (which, interestingly, can stimulate the lactation of their mother’s breasts). Some humans are even dependent on their mothers well into their thirties!
Because of the need to nourish and nurture such an expensive and large brain, babies and mothers need all the help they can get. Therefore, sticking together as a family in which the fathers don’t run away is also a viable strategy for the continuation of the species. This is also why females look for the qualities of kindness and trust when selecting their partners.
So, on one hand, natural selection seems to favor promiscuity; human beings are not monogamous animals by nature, causing nice girls and guys to finish last in the struggle to survive and reproduce. But on the other hand, monogamy ensures the development of the offspring into an effective vessel for the further propagation of genes. So which strategy is more effective? They both seem to work. So humans, by nature, are both polygamous AND monogamous.
This might explain why, in many marriages, the divorces do not occur until 13 to 20 years after the marriage when the offspring is strong enough and brains mature enough to survive independently, when resources are no longer needed from either party (father and mother). Human fathers are unique with respect to most other animals because human fathers partake in the child-rearing process more so than other animals. In most species in the animal kingdom, after the fathers spray their sperm, they move on and leave the female alone to nurture the offspring, probably because the brains of other animals requires less nourishment. Interestingly, even if they don’t stick around, human fathers often still continue to provide resources for their families.
So, how does all of this relate to marriage or the rate of divorce in America and the rest of the world?
Early men and women, and even those prior to the industrial boom had to complement each other and have a clear division of labor that is beneficial to the nourishment of offspring. In this modern world, with modern technology and societal practices, women are more involved in the workforce and therefore have money and can afford to separate or divorce their husbands to raise their offspring on their own. Females are less dependent on males, and with machines, the tasks that we do are no longer divided by sex, and the sexes do not need to complement each other to complete the job of raising a child. This causes the roles/identities of males and females to be blurred, and is destructive to the nucleus family.
Prior to these recent societal changes, women did not have the capacity to raise children singlehandedly. Men, as per their biology, tended to be polygamous. This caused problems for early societies, so strategies were designed to keep men from leaving their mates.
Hence, marriage was created as the contract that best held families glued together. It was created out of practicality, not some sappy, fairytale, Disney version of love…
Sadly, most people these days get married for that exact reason.