How to Pick a Lover

Posts tagged ‘motivation’

Muddled Motivations in Contemporary Relationships

"The boys next door" MAHS 2010 one-a...

"The boy next door" (Photo credit: Nic's events)

A woman is more influenced by what she suspects than by what she is told.
-Robert C. Edwards

In talking about exotic lovers, it’s important from the outset to insert a word of warning. Exotic relationships are by definition “unconventional.” They involve relationships which outsiders regard as unsuitable because they violate some major or minor community taboo.

When a girl falls in love with the boy next door, no one asks, “Why him?” Her motivation is taken as being as obvious as the rising of sap in the spring and as the hormonal explosion that sends young blood singing in young veins. If the boy next door loves her back, we are charmed by their innocence and exuberance whether they are shy sweethearts of eight or passionate steadies of eighteen.

However, if that same girl were to fall in love with a somewhat older man from India, Saudi Arabia, or Central America, we would instantly demand an explanation of “Why him?” Just being “in love” does not seem to be an adequate explanation. “Is he rich enough to be worth it?” asks your aunt. “Do you think she has a father complex?” asks your cousin who is a sophomore majoring in psychology.

A little psychology goes a long way.

“He just has the usual obsession about white women,” declares your bigoted uncle. “Lots of foreigners are desperate to become citizens,” reflects your other uncle who is a lawyer.

All of these questionings and pondering take their toll even if you defend yourself stoutly against such allegations. The toll is that you are forced to examine your own motivations more than most people do and, in the process, you also have to reflect upon the motives of the man in question. An older  woman friend of mine who was happily financing her young lover through his last year of medical school overheard one of his catty friends remark, “Well, it is one alternative if you can’t get a scholarship.” She knew he loved her for herself alone and not for her tuition fees. Didn’t he?

Examining motives raises the specter of doubt. Every time there is an unconventional liaison, the motives of the man and woman involved will be suspect to everyone, including each of the two people in the relationship. This is a fact of life that you must accept if you seek out what others would deem “unsuitable” men. It is the price you pay for being a nonconformist. If you can accept it, then you need only follow two rules. First, pay attention only to your own suspicions, not to those of others. Second, having examined your lover’s responses and your own and found them reasonably reassuring, do your best to disregard them.

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