This is going to be short and sweet. Heading on a few days of vacation made me want to have something less inflammatory at the top of the page for the next week. I hope this qualifies.
A healthy sexuality and desire to mate and procreate are normal things. However, to make major life decisions solely on the strength of one’s sexual desire is a recipe for disaster. Couple it with a woman’s natural desire to be desired*, and you have a recipe for all kinds of mischief. In other words, a healthy sex drive is normal and good, but it’s dangerous when you don’t know what to do -or not do- with it.
A young woman I know and love thinks she might love a guy who is pretty clearly dishonest about any number of things. He is handsome, and he is the first man this young woman has seen real interest from. At 23, she’s long overdue for some attention, so I get how this confusion can gain a foothold. Under normal circumstances, most people would readily and unequivocally state that certain traits in an individual automatically render them impossible to inspire any love other than Christian kindness. Somehow, however, women (and a great many men) overlook these red flags when in proximity to someone who cranks their proverbial engine.
It is common to conflate strong attraction with love. People do it all the time, but if they’d stop and think for just a moment, it becomes very clear that despite all cultural memes to the contrary, sexual chemistry and love are not one and the same. I recently used this example when speaking with my daughter.
There’s an actor who is well known, but far from universally famous. Several years ago I saw an interview he did on a national television show and it was the only other time -besides when I met my husband- that I can recall sensing an almost palpable level of testosterone in the way a man comported himself. When I told my daughter the name of the actor (she recognized him from a couple of recent Marvel films), she saw my point. He isn’t classically handsome she said but gives off a very masculine vibe and she knows how I feel about that. I explained:
“It is impossible for me to love Benicio Del Toro. I don’t know him, and I’ve never met him. He could be an ax murderer, thief, and liar all rolled into one. You can’t love someone you don’t know, and you can’t love someone who won’t allow you to know them. Love, without the ability to know and judge with as much information as you can ascertain, is not real love. Feeling that someone is attractive, even extremely so, doesn’t mean you love them. Close proximity makes it easy for hormones and desire to cloud this truth. This is why it’s important to have appropriate boundaries so you can see people clearly and not get things confused.”
In other words, it is generally a bad idea to be led around by your gonads.
I saw this funny video recently on a cartoon. It is tangentially related to the subject here, but mostly I just liked it because it was funny and a pretty good encapsulation of what passes for “love”:
Have a great weekend.
*The HuffPo piece goes places I generally didn’t want to go after the first two or three paragraphs. The rabbi gets a few things wrong there, but the crux of his argument is sound, which is why I linked to it.