August 31, 2016
As I mentioned before, the ancient Greeks were very sophisticated in their understanding of the many different expressions of love. The first type that we’re going to talk about is eros. Eros was the Greek god of fertility and, in terms of love, constitutes a passionate, intense, and erotic or lustful desire for someone. In addition to its strong sexual and emotional components, eros is also marked by compassion, kindness, and consideration, as well as the desire to be emotionally and physically close to your romantic partner. It is this powerful sexual magnetism that draws two people together in the beginning stages of a new relationship sometimes described as the honeymoon phase.
While this may sound great and all, the Greeks didn’t always think of eros so positively. It was viewed as a dangerous, fiery, and an irrational form of love that takes hold of and possesses you. Though the experience can be invigorating and exciting, this loss of self-control frightened the Greeks. However, in modern society today – we revere it. We crave it. We relish in the thought of losing ourselves, falling madly in love, and living happily ever after. Personally, I find it all fucking revolting and blame the vomit in my mouth right now on a bad cocktail of Disney movies, romantic comedies, and poor parenting, but that’s another post for another day.
Don’t get me wrong – great passionate sex is great. Strong sexual desire and consistent sexual fulfillment are both absolutely important elements in any romantic relationship that’s physically intimate. Additionally, I’m not against the idea of falling in love. It is an overwhelmingly tantalizing experience, no doubt. However, eros is also exceedingly misleading. It can have us so blinded with lust, that we ignore blatant and blaring red-flags about our partner’s character or lack thereof that otherwise would be deal-breakers. And, if we’re really being honest, it’s not even about our partners. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the idea or process of falling in love that we don’t even recognize the person that we are allowing ourselves to become and the consequences of the choices we’re making.
At some point, the satisfaction in the emotional high that lust provides will begin to wear off. No matter how wild and hypnotizing the sex is, the passion that initially attracts two people together will dissipate to some degree. Over time, the reality of who we really are will pierce the veil of how we’d like to be perceived. All of our odd behaviors, character traits, differing values & opinions, our worldviews, and intricate proclivities will conflict with the portrayals of ourselves that we want our partners to continue to idolize and hold onto.
When this happens, I believe we really only have three choices. The easiest and cheapest thing to do would be to call it quits at the first sign of trouble and end the relationship, but that’s no fun. Alternatively, you can continue the charade and see how far into the realm of dysfunction you both walk into aimlessly without any real sense of direction or maturity. Lastly, assuming that this is a relationship that matters to you both, you can decide to assess the situation soberly and really get to know each other better based on something substantive. This will take time, as well as patience, vulnerability, and a genuine effort to communicate honestly about your goals and expectations. Hopefully though, doing this will add a deeper layer to your connection, relationship, situationship, or what have you.
Next Week: Ludus