According to Barbara Graham, while most people keep looking for a sizzling romantic love with “the one,”Freud and his followers believe that to be “the futile wish of not fully developed selves.” If that true love is found, our culture insists on its being legalized by marriage, something that did not arise prior to the 20th century when love and lust were only a very negligible part of it. Marriage existed for economic and social needs of several institutions.
Our biochemistry is not conducive to long-term sexual relationships. Graham refers to Dr. Helen Fisher’s belief that human pair bonds are intended to last four years, “long enough to raise a single dependent child through toddlerhood.”More and more Fisher and other researchers view love as a biochemical reaction controlled by enzymes and hormones, which result in three types of love; namely, lust, infatuation and, finally, a quieter and more nurturing love. However, even knowing what we know and living in a society that does not discriminate against various family styles, people are “still trying to get love right,” (ibid.) because of a deep need to connect.
Graham, B. The future of love, kiss romance goodbye, it’s time for the real thing. Article in Utne Reader.