Man’s love is of man’s life a thing apart,
’Tis woman’s whole existence.
—George Noel Gordon, Lord Byron, Don Juan
Byron’s aphorism is widely quoted, usually by men who find themselves unable or unwilling to express the emotional intensity expected by their girlfriends or wives. It is important to remember, however, that Byron was writing
in the nineteenth century, not the twenty-first, and that the men and women of his time were different in many ways from the men and women of today.
Even so, there are some people who place love and love relationships above all else in their lives. To them, it’s the most important thing in life. Some of the people who do this are women, but some men also feel this way. Philosophers are never quite sure what to do with such people. People for whom love is the raison d’etre of their lives may be either very wise or very foolish, but they are very different from ordinary people. Their emotional lives have more depth,
which increases their potential for both greater pleasure and greater pain.
For most men and most women, love relationships are important, but they are not necessarily the most important thing in life. These people value love and eroticism, but they are also concerned with more pragmatic issues: developing a career, being creative, carving a place for themselves in public life, earning a living, or having and caring for children.
Okay, so you don’t think that a love affair is the be-all and end-all of existence. Even so, you are still likely to feel that you want to have a good love affair . . . that you would enjoy it, that you’re entitled to it, that you will be
sad if you never get to experience it.
And you will wonder: What is it that I would want in a lover? How will I know him?
The answers to these questions will be explored in future blogs.
- Lord Byron Quote (bipolarmuse.com)