Why and who needs romantic love?

So much has already been said, sung, filmed and written about love, that this theme seems to be worn down to holes, like the very concept of love. It was divided into components, dissected, like a frog, on a subject table. It would seem that she must die in agony … But no, she is alive and even thriving. 

In films, books, songs and poems they glorify this great all-consuming feeling – romantic love. And lovers wanted to spit on the arguments of ethologists, psychophysiologists and other clever people about the nature of this miracle – they love.  

And since romantic love lives in the mass consciousness, it means it is needed, it means it performs some function. Let us leave aside the ethologists with their arguments about the too long childhood of human cubs – not everything is so simple. And try to figure out why such love is for modern man. 

To begin with, we will take a short excursion into related sciences: psychophysiology and developmental psychology. So, according to Vygotsky (you can’t get anywhere from his cultural-historical theory), in his development a person goes through three ripening points – sexual, organic and social. In anthropoid apes, all three points coincide. In primitive peoples, the points of puberty and social maturation coincide, and this moment marks the rite of initiation. Organic ripening comes later.  

The development of society has led to the fact that all three ripening points have diverged in time, and the gap between them continues to widen. That is, a person reaches puberty first, then organic, and only then social. The lower the level of development of society or the harsher the conditions for the existence of the people, the shorter the period between these points. And then and there , marriages are practiced by the will of the parents – we are not talking about any kind of love.   

All this led to the formation of a concept – adolescence. Everyone who was a teenager (and who wasn’t?), And in particular a boy, knows what this means: sexual desire is already there and requires its own, and his satisfaction is pushed somewhere in the distant future. On the one hand, we have a need, on the other hand , a bunch of prohibitions that limit the satisfaction of this need.  

The psychophysiology of needs states that need, before moving on to motivation, must reach a threshold value.

The threshold value has been reached … but motivation stumbles on social restrictions. What’s next? And then the tension rises, which leads to … a decrease in the requirements for the object of satisfaction of needs. What, unclear? Now let’s make it clear.

Take thirst, for example.

 – Are you thirsty? Not? A mineralochki cold, highly carbonated or even without gas, to choose from? – Well. You can … a glass. – In a few hours the ordinary one will go out from under the tap, and in three days you will drink from any puddle. And once having satisfied his need in this way, the next time less stress is required. Each time, drinking from a puddle will be easier.

Sex drive is, of course, not thirst, no one has yet died from abstinence, and even on the contrary , they say they live longer (or maybe they just feel like living too long). But need is need, and a decline in consumer qualities also occurs.  

But to prevent this from happening, we need that same romantic love. And this program is transmitted from generation to generation through fairy tales, books, films, poems and songs. And now our children languish in anticipation of HER – the great, omnipotent, the one for which all prohibitions and restrictions can be neglected. Meanwhile, reaching social maturity. 

And adults? Why do we need it? On the one hand, an emotional outburst, a state of euphoria, a sense of self-completeness entail a person to experience this state again and again. On the other hand , sex drive and social prohibitions again contradict each other, as then, in adolescence, only the reasons for the prohibitions are different. And people rush into the maelstrom of feelings, emotions, desires, rush the usual way of life. 

But to achieve social maturity, a person must understand one thing: sex drive is not love. The romantic feeling that boldly the dam of prohibitions has fulfilled its function, and now love flows its course, no longer needing external incentives. 

That is, mature people for whom the feeling of falling in love has become valuable in themselves are not so mature.

event_note November 17, 2019

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