Sex is for love!
– Vince Vaughn’s character lecturing his slutty daughter in The Watch
The modern elevation of unconstrained romantic love to something pure, transcendental, wise, and moral is something future cultures will look back upon with great curiosity. Wiser cultures understood that romantic love is an incredibly powerful force which unless carefully constrained tends to wreak great havoc, as Wikipedia explains:
In the classical world, erotic love was generally referred to as a kind of madness or theia mania (“madness from the gods”). This love passion was described through an elaborate metaphoric and mythological schema involving “love’s arrows” or “love darts”, the source of which was often the personified figure of Eros (or his Latin counterpart, Cupid), or another deity (such as Rumor). At times the source of the arrows was said to be the image of the beautiful love object itself. If these arrows were to arrive at the lover’s eyes, they would then travel to and ‘pierce’ or ‘wound’ his or her heart and overwhelm him/her with desire and longing (love sickness). The image of the “arrow’s wound” was sometimes used to create oxymorons and rhetorical antithesis concerning its pleasure and pain.
…passionate love often had disastrous results according to the classical authors.
Similarly, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet serves as a warning against the dangerously childish nature of feral romantic love, although today audiences are very unlikely to be able to comprehend this message.
Our modern view of romantic love is so profoundly foolish because it fails to grasp the fact that the unconstrained search for romantic love leads to a never ending stream of new love, ultimately followed by disappointment/disinterest for one and heartbreak for the other. This constant quest for a new high or fix followed by the inevitable crash is at the core of choice addiction. For women pursuing choice addiction the reality of the larger pattern is nearly universally ignored, and the momentary feeling of “I will love him forever” is frozen in time with the trail of wreckage conveniently forgotten. Former manosphere commenter Paige described this frame of mind perfectly:
Relating Pump-n-Dumping to Serial Monogamy assumes more self-awareness in the woman than she actually has. At the beginning the woman is convinced she will be in-love forever…if the romantic feelings decline she believes the relationship is no longer worthwhile for either partner. But she doesn’t just assume at the beginning that this will happen.
When men act this way we call them players or cads, but when women act this way we tend to say:
She was following her heart!
Indeed, the quest for “true love” is at the core of women’s sacred path to marriage. In the event that she finds herself not wanting to keep her commitment this is nearly universally offered as proof that it must not have been “true love” after all, and there is great suspicion that the man must have somehow deceived her. Even Christians have fallen for this toxically foolish concept, and as a result when Christians approach the epidemic of wife initiated divorce the focus is not on the scriptural framing of marriage but on demanding that husbands make their wives love them instead of the new man she has fallen in love with. This is after all the core message of the movie Fireproof (along with the concept of wifely headship and husbandly submission). That hundreds of millions of Christians watched this movie and delighted in its presumed Christian message on marriage is immensely troubling.
While women tend to either ignore the cyclical pattern of feral love altogether or frame each new emotional train wreck as an essential stone on the ultimate path to the one, men are at least generally more aware of the absurd nature of uncommitted romantic love. The music video below portrays this with an interesting blend of old and new:
Our foolish elevation of romantic love to a moral force and the ultimate good is even more disastrous because large numbers of women now also feel that they have the right to marry a man they aren’t able to fall in love with. Our current madness stands in stark contrast to the elegant wisdom of the Bible on the topic, which explains that lifelong marriage is the only moral safe harbor for sex, but that it is only wise to marry if you burn with passion for your future spouse (1 Cor 7).