One aspect of the Pseudo level of love is infatuation. I ask, “Who among us has not been infatuated with another person at some point in our life?” I suspect at one time or another we have all experienced a kind of magnitizing effect that takes place with pseudo-love. This infatuation condition often has a magnification of another person that is intense, melodramatic, and possessive. In this intense possessiveness jealousy is often present. This jealousy is about spending time with and doing things with the desired person. Infatuation is often time-limited (usually months – less frequently years). For me, the initial attraction was often sexual and physical in nature. Over time, and with enough experiences, I have come to understand Frank Tallis saying, “most relationships based primarily on sexual attraction will not survive,” for “desire must be complemented by amity.” (2004) It appears that in our sexually oriented culture where sex is easier to get, paradoxically it is harder to find love. Infatuation can lead to marriage but according to Sidney Jourard, “people marry for many reasons, and few people marry for love, because few people are able to love persons they marry at the time they marry them. They marry an image, not a person.” (1968) I suspect that misdirected, misjudged, misguided, and misunderstood marriages won’t last. When the fantasy image wears off the initial attraction is gone. Glenn Wilson maintained that, “after a certain period of marriage most people’s libido, sex and fantasies, and ‘romantic love,’ are likely to be directed elsewhere.” (1981) I invite the readers to share any experiences of infatuation you have experienced in your life.
In a recent post, it was suggested that love can take the form of parental love, romantic love, and brotherly love. In the Theory of Balanceology, it is hypothesized that love can also be viewed, identified, and defined according to three Love-Levels —> pseudo-love, basic-love, and deeper-love. Love-Levels pertain to the degree and the depths of love. Pseudo-Love is presented in this post, and three future posts. According to Eric Fromm, love is a “rare phenomenon,” and what happens in its place is a kind of “pseudo-love.” (1956) Pseudo-love is a fantasy level love, a love for love’s sake, and loving the idea of love. It is synthetic, insecure, and seeks constant reassurance. It can easily morph into tainted-love. Pseudo-love is a frustrating attempt to fill our primal need for attachment, affiliation, connection, belonging, and intimacy. It is often a futile attempt to overcome our loneliness and separation. It is frequently love masked as sex, or sex masked as love. Pseudo-love is an example of where the heart appears to have a mind of its own. The Theory of Balanceology contends that pseudo-love has the following 3-conditions: infatuation, lovesickness, and falling-in-love (more to come).
In a previous post, I stated the Theory of Balancelogy suggests there are both forms and levels of love. This post focuses on the forms of love. Love-Forms are identified according to where love is directed: 1.) Parental love is probably the most pure, instinctual and selfless form of love. Pearson advanced the notion that, “nothing is greater than parental love.” ( 2010) What does it take for a house to become a home? The answer is love. Maternal and paternal love sets the stage for, “the child is the father of the man.” That is, the conditions of childhood will have a lot to do with the man or woman that child becomes. The more time spent with one’s child the better. Time is especially important during the vital 1st 1,000 days of life when so much mental and physical growth takes place. Good parents have the responsibility to provide, to guide, and to love. Good parents are able to be both kind-and-firm with the child they are raising. The family ideally builds a protective circle for love to flourish. Parental love is shown by providing a stable home that helps the child get situated for his/her life journey to come. A stable home is built on a sound emotional, psychological, and behavioral foundation, 2.) Dyadic love is a mutual love between two individuals that concerns attachment, affiliation, connection, and belonging. Deeper dyadic love is a romantic love where person-to-person and spirit-to-spirit bonding happens. Dyadic love can be difficult to categorize and define because love often depends on cultures and the cultures view of Nature and human nature. Dyadic love can be challenging to achieve, 3.) Brotherly love includes sound true friendships of attachment and affiliation. True friendships of the kind, “I have your back no matter what” can be a formidable task to find. In Western nations romantic love is the ideal, but in many Asian nations the development of friendships is stressed. Gradually brotherly love can extend beyond personal friendships and take the form of an overall concern and connection with humanity. This extension can evolve into a global concern for one’s fellow human beings. Over time, I assert that brotherly love can have a philanthropic component to it —> detailed in posts to come.
When it comes to us having the ability to love one another, I so value Rainer Maria Rilke saying, “for one human to love another human being; that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation.” (Trans. 1977) When it comes to human love, I so appreciate Erich Fromm saying, “this desire for interpersonal fusion is the most powerful striving in man. It is the most fundamental passion, it is the force which keeps the human race together, the clan, the family, society. The failure to achieve it means insanity or destruction – self-destruction or destruction of others. Without love humanity could not exist for a day.” (1956)
In the Theory of Balanceology, I attempt to make a case that love can be categorized into various forms and levels. In The Four Loves (1960), C. S. Lewis categorized love into 4 forms: agape (altruism), affection (attachment), philias (friendly), and eros (romantic). In 2004, Canadian sociologist John Lee referred to 6 forms (styles) of love he labeled: eros (romantic), pragma (logical-practical), storge (friendship), agape (selfless), ludus (play), and mania-manic (obsesssive-preoccupied). In several posts to come, I will review and detail the manner in which I categorize the Theory of Balanceology’s different love-forms and love-levels. Feel free to comment about love, as it relates to forms and levels.
In the feedback I am receiving, related to the recent posts I made about the human need for love, I am starting to realize the many, many different ways people view and define love. I suspect a person’s perception and conception of love is based on their experiences with love. In the Theory of Balanceology, the concept of love is being written according to research related to love, what various writers and poets have said about love, and my own experiences with love. I invite readers to consider what is being documented here about human love. I have asked, “How is love and affection related?” Affection can set the stage for attachment, affiliation, connection, and belonging with another person. It appears that we seek succorance —> affectionate care. Affection can include caresses, hugs, cuddling, kissing, and skin contact. Edward Ford suggests that affection, “can be an important sign of love, where we hold, kiss, touch or embrace a person, we are demonstrating through those behaviors how we perceived another and that we want him or her part of our world.” (1983)During some forms of affection oxytocin (the cuddle hormone) can be released. Over time mutual affection may evolve into some level of love. I agree with Jane Austen that, “anything is to be preferred or endured than marrying without affection.” (1900’s) However, affection by itself is not love. Love is more than affection, a feeling, or a mood. Love is more than an emotion. The emotions of happiness, anxiety, jealousy, sadness and even anger can co-occur in some form in relationship to love. But emotions by themselves are not love. Certain poets inform us that love involves affection, moods, emotions, and feelings but also transcends them. Love includes biochemistry, thoughts, a sense of worth, morality, spirituality, and for romantic love sexuality. I attest that love must involve deeper attachment and affiliation with another human being. I declare that love surely must involve making deeper connections with and belonging with (not to) another human being. I welcome any feedback to this post.
In a previous post, I stated that all of us from time to time ask the question, “What is Love?” Do you think sometimes that the use of the word love is overused, or even wrongly used? We often talk about loving our dogs, our country, our cars, our houses, certain foods, certain clothes, etc. Sometimes, doesn’t it seem we love just about every- thing? That is fine; I guess. People have a right to love what and whom they want to. However, in this narrative I will only use the word love in the sense of having love for another human being –> human love need. According to Edward Ford, “our need for love can only be fulfilled through and with another human being. Love is never a solo act.” (1983) We love people, but maybe we should like things? People are loveable, but maybe things are likeable? We need people, but maybe we should only want things? And, at least for me, when it comes to time and energy it is really only possible to abundantly love a few people —> to generously love another person consumes a lot of time and energy. The main questions related to love for me have become: “Who has loved me?,” “Who have I loved?,” “Who loves me?, and “Who do I love?” The answers to these key questions lets me know a lot about myself and where my love journey has been, the present state of my love story, and the direction where my experiences in-and-for love is heading. So, I ask the questions again, “What is love?”