Love Companionship Sexual Attraction and Valentines Day
Valentines Day is just around the corner and what better time to start a discussion about love. There are many factors, which attribute to the feelings of love. Yet, we know that not all people marry because they fall in love.
It is very common for the elderly to marry for companionship. They may have had a spouse in the past or they have remained single. However, at this stage in their lives they feel it is nice to have a companion who can help them live out the rest of their lives together with another individual. Apart from that, seniors have several issues to worry about such as declining health, and dwindling resources. Sometimes two pensions are simply better than one. These issues are important when deciding upon marriage.
Marrying for companionship does not necessarily mean entering into a loveless marriage though it may be a marriage of convenience many elderly people do love each other. Love is not reserved for the young!
Many people mistake love for the mushy gushy romance that is displayed on Valentines Day. Or, when a couple of any age first gets together. Love is the mature mundane every day sharing of your life with the person who has captured your heart. The hot and sizzling can’t stay out of bed type, or the display of affection by having flowers delivered to the office every day kind of love is the romance aspect of love. Romance does not take away from the real love. What it does is add spice to your love life and when you can maintain it in your marriage it is wonderful.
However, there are many elderly couples and couples of all ages who prefer the solid feeling of being loved and protected. The flowers and chocolates or spicy sex doesn’t replace a good back rub or a hot cup of tea delivered to you when you are sick and lying in bed. Nor does it replace sitting down have a heart to heart conversation on finances or any marital issue that comes up.
Of course marrying for convenience is not limited to the elderly whether they love each other or have entered into the marriage for different reasons. Some people marry for material gain, some marry for social status, some marry to have children and others marry to fulfill other family obligations, none of which have anything to do with sexual attraction or the hype the media portrays around Valentines Day.
Valentines Day is it the day we traditionally show our love but at the same time it is a “cash cow” for retail stores. For many people, they will give up the box of chocolates on Valentines Day for the a little more attention the rest of the year from their spouse or significant other. Others would prefer that Valentines Day occur everyday in their household. Consequently for this to happen there has to be a romance of some sort. The trouble is many people want the romance they just do not know how to give it or even how to receive it.
Now other people who do not want to enter a marriage of convenience or maybe they do not want to be married at all still want to be in love. From my previous article on the high school crushes and the first true love, the biggest problem is we do we do not have one solid definition for love.
Some people define love in terms of sexual attraction. Our biological nature is programmed to reproduce so that our species will survive. The part of the brain responsible for sexual attraction is the hypothalamus and causes elevated heart rate and other physiological responses. Pheromones, which are the sexual hormones run rampant, these endorphins are pretty powerful agents, they are also the cause of the giddy feeling we get or the butterflies in the stomach when that hot guy or gal goes by. They are designed to draw two people together in a sexual frenzy.
These are the same pheromones that make “our heart rule over our head,” as the elders would say. Many people make very poor marriage and partner choices based on sexual attraction. Women are generally attracted to men with clear skin, full lips, nice eyes and so on. However, cross cultural studies show us that men of all cultures look for the same things in women: wide hips (for childbearing purposes) they look for youth and health factors, some of which is completely unconscious on their part but has been hardwired into the brain.
Of course the other sexual attraction features come into to play, blond hair versus brown hair, full breast, height, weight, style of dress or way in which a person walks and so on.
These external features are normally associated with the attributes of youth. Young people look for the best looking guy or gal in the group. These same external features are less important to a 60 year old who wants to meet a partner for life.
The trouble with basing the choice of a partner purely on good looks and sexual attributes is those qualifications fall short of a true solid relationship. There must be more to a relationship and a marriage than what goes on in the bedroom. You have to be able to communicate just as well outside the bedroom and in all life situations.
Beyond the biological, and beyond the physical are the head, the intellect, and the personality that each partner brings into the relationship. These are the attributes that will keep love alive long after the initial sexual attraction is over and long after Valentines Day has passed.