Different partners, or rather monogamy: what does true love look like?

The summer holidays of 2022 were warm and sunny. Finally, the Dutch were able to celebrate and dance en masse. Experts previously predicted a “summer of love,” but what does love actually mean? Anne Grefkins, editor of the universe, investigated it: “The more you try to understand love, the more you don’t understand.”

Photo: Fimk Kobe

I definitely watched an episode of De Wereld Draait Door over two years ago. Writer and philosopher Connie Balmain sat at the table to talk about the 25th anniversary of the death of her great love, Esha Major. Hearing the words “Universal Love” immediately pricked my ears. Because no subject fascinates me more than romantic love.

Probably because I philosophize about it endlessly and fail miserably at that. I often ask myself if love only comes when you least expect it. Or one person can give you everything you want and need. And whether duplication exists. But every time I get to his evasiveness: the more I try to understand love, the more I don’t understand.

Hoping to discover the proof of love, she used up the entirety of Palmen’s work within a year. Because one thing I knew for sure: What Connie and Isha had was true love. Inadvertently, an innocent interview began my search for its meaning. Research that has gone in and out of the literature and is now reflected in this article.

In one of her books, Balmain wrote, “What are you still looking for to justify your choice of writing?” Her main character replied, “What I don’t know yet,” “Love.”

monogamous drama

When you think of true love, you quickly think of the promises of marriage and eternal fidelity. But many young people today are experiencing polygamous relationships. Is love perhaps better in combination?

There is no known saying like “Love is the only thing that multiplies when you share it”. Like being hugged by polygamy. She considers herself able to love several people at once, romantically and sincerely. Writer and philosopher Simone van Sarlos argues in her essay monogamous drama Monogamous relationships have a stifling effect. This is in contrast to polygamous ties, which – she says – are unlikely to lead to a drama in which nothing unexpected happens: “They merge into a cocoon, while maintaining relationships with several lovers always produces friction that makes the interaction playful and lively.”

Van Saarloos hits the nail of fear in the head of many here, because who wants a boring relationship? I also feel this fear regularly. Why would I totally commit myself to someone when potential danger lurks out of the canyons? My environment calls it fear of commitment. I call it selectively gaining experiences with different people.

“Why would I commit myself so completely to someone when the potential danger of estrus is lurking?”

For example, with one I learned to point out my limits. Another taught me what self-respect means and another taught me a new kind of music. With complete conviction, I dare say, I would not have gained all this knowledge from one person. And yes, that sounds like a homage to the polygamous pedigree.

Yet I kept running against the walls of monogamy. Especially when I met Mr. Right, he clicked, but he was a lady. Right turned out to be. All possible intimate conversations, fun moments, and musical evenings vanished like snow in the sun. Respect for a monogamous relationship with another person has always won the polygamous dream world.

“Wouldn’t the world be so much better if we weren’t shackled by monogamous drama?” I asked a friend after I bumped my nose again. “Then everyone can experience endless beautiful moments with new people all the time.” “You don’t believe you really want it, do you?” to reply. “I’ve read it all by Connie Balmain, You Believe in One Great Love.”

The legend of the lost half

He was right. Despite the fact that Van Sarlos’ theory makes sense, I still think it’s possible to meet someone where the relationship – also in the long run – remains playful and lively. My parents are a good example of that. My mother spoke to my father in the pub. The phrase “Do you come here often?” He made the first contact and now, 44 years later, they are still happy with each other.

Photo: Fimk Kobe

However, I think a relationship like that of my parents is more unique than what a monogamous society would like us to have. In my opinion, there is also some comfort in monogamy. There are a lot of people who remain loyal to each other after that is cola. There are also a lot of people who “would rather not be alone” and thus miss their chance for true passion. Finally, there are still a lot of people for whom much love is not kept. So you also have to be very lucky to meet your great love in time. But life would be boring if we didn’t fight for it, right?

This issue has been discussed for centuries. So is the Greek philosopher Plato (about 427 BC – 347 BC). In the interview he wrote A seminar, Plato gives the word to many imaginary speakers. A group of Athenian men discuss love during a food and drink festival. One of them is Aristophanes, who has a very special story. share his fans The The legend of the lost half. This myth explains why we feel incomplete sometimes and perfect at other times. According to this legend, people looked different: like a ball. We know a man with a head, two arms, and two legs, but these early ‘universal people’ had eight limbs and two heads.

It is said that these people were extremely powerful. So the supreme god Zeus intervened and decided to divide the inhabitants of the globe into two parts. This is how man got his present body. As a result of this split, a man feels lonely and lost because he misses his other half. Finding the other half – great love – makes a person feel happy and whole.

All crushing love

While the myth of Aristophanes (or rather Plato) is very charming, I do not believe in its message. In my opinion, it’s not love that you need your significant other. Man is fully capable of defying the world with one head, two arms and two legs. Moreover, a person who does not have a significant other can be happy and feel complete. He doesn’t need anyone else for that. Not even someone lump from the same “ball”. The chance of finding someone who fits you perfectly one hundred percent is virtually nil.

On the other hand, it shows – I think – we will From love when one person is not without another person Wants to live. Even when that person isn’t perfect or a perfect fit for you. I think it’s so loving for someone to hold on to another person Wants Interdependence and all the risks of that interconnection are taken for granted Wants Take, including deficiency. And that the terrible divorce, illness, death or in-laws does not stand in the way of this choice. This is in contrast to Van Saarloos’ understanding of polygamous love where expectations are more flexible and less conditional.

But how do you recognize such great love when it stands before you? If I believe Balmain, I should only listen to my body. According to her, the body betrays what the head cannot yet comprehend. In a famous scene from the book IM (a poem to her great love Ischa Meijer), Connie and Isha were getting dressed at the same time. Simply because they loved each other so much.

On the other hand, if I had to believe my mother, I would often have to ask someone “if they come here often”. With both views I still don’t know what exactly love means. And while I think it’s a dirty and fairy idea, I don’t think anyone would miss it for me. That’s why I think I’d choose the last option: “Ah, crazy question, do you come here often?”

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