The Myth of Love in the 21st Century

This is an article I wrote in 2002 and I’m republishing it here now that we’re getting closer to Valentine’s Day where all women go cookoo and men fall over their feet to please them…

As we approach Valentine’s Day its imperative we re-look the meaning of love in modern society. Is love in the 21st century really the same thing as it always was throughout history? The love talked about in the great mythical tales of Romeo & Juliet and Anthony & Cleopatra. Lets look at the definition of love and proceed from there.

The common meaning of love is a deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness; a feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair; the emotion of sex and romance. However many people equate it with Sexual passion, Sexual intercourse or a Love affair; an intense emotional attachment, as for a pet or treasured object; a person who is the object of deep or intense affection or attraction; beloved. Often used as a term of endearment or an expression of one’s affection: “Send him my love.” It could also be a strong predilection or enthusiasm: “a love of language” and even the object of such an enthusiasm: “The outdoors is her greatest love.” In mythology it refers to Eros or Cupid, often Love in Christianity means Charity and in tennis, zero!

The premise of the movie “The Mirror Has Two Faces” resolves around the question, if marriage is the be all and end all of love? The answer follows that, in the 12 century there was a notion of courtly love, where 2 people come together for love and could not consummate it. This would normally take place between a knight and a lady of the court, which is already married. They would proceed to express their love in many different ways like writing poems to each other. The other strong point the movie makes is the effect that advertising (brainwashing) has on our modern perception of love and beauty. In the days before television and plush women’s magazines we are allowed to think for ourselves. After all beauty is no longer in the eye of the beholder, lets just face the facts.

In another movie “Don Juan DeMarco”, our hero lives life the way we all wish we could, in love, totally in-love. The kind of love that makes you feel like you exist only because the person that you love. The moral of this story is that we deny ourselves the love that is all consuming. We don’t realise what a wonderful experience it could be and to what madness it can drive us when taken away from us. In modern society we’re afraid of our “feelings being hurt” and “what other people may think”. So what do we do about it? We should take the risks because the rewards will be worth more then all the treasure of King Solomon’s mines. As the classic saying goes, it’s better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all.

Talking to most people they will tell you love is when that special person does small things to make you happy. Others will tell you its that burning desire to hop out of your clothes and get it on, as Marvin Gaye would say. Well honestly, everyone out there experiences on different levels and in different ways love. That is what makes human beings so unique. As we all know with animals instinct takes over and in the heat (sic) of the moment all composure is lost and they end up doing it doggy style.

So do you believe love is a myth or it is something real that can be experienced by everyone, like you and me? Do you believe love is when you kiss your girlfriend or boyfriend and you hear music like in the movies? Does it really matter that to fall in-love and be in-love you need to consummate it? There are so many questions to be asked about love and in real life there is no easy answers. So we look forward to your questions and comments about love, especially after this Valentine’s Day.

Some useful links

 

Author: RJ Thomas

RJ Thomas is an International Relationship Builder. He was born in South Africa, and moved to China in 2013.