Friday, October 07, 2005

November Meeting: fidelity...monogamy

Ok. This topic could be a lot of fun.
Why do some people think that monogamy is the only way to go?
Why do two people get married and then have sleep overs with other couples?

Or do y'all want to focus on the question of whether or not monogamy is realistic?
I would certainly like to talk about fairy-tales that have happy endings with "true love." How many of y'all believe in "true love." Is that too idealistic? Does that mindset pose potential problems in the "real world." If it's not perfect, then what's the point? It certainly seems depressing for Yeats:

So, Alysia, please try to find the article that you talked about at the last meeting.


Blogger CSC said...

I don't know if we can say much about whether it is realistic. We can ask, however, if it is desirable. Would we be better people if we never felt jealously or is jealously essential for love? Some data about what is real might help, but it cannot determine what we ought to do.

Oh, and I've got a "poem" of my own. I feel quite ambivalent about the message of the song, which is probably a good way to start off this discussion. Ben Lee's Apple Candy


5:27 PM  
Blogger LD said...

That song is creepy. It's thought provoking though.

I have not heard the song before, so I do not know whether this guy is screaming the lyrics or if he's singing in a low voice. I imagine the latter.

So is the singer jealous? Just looking at the lyrics, I take it that he isn't jealous and that he just wants attention from this woman. Perhaps he is wanting a relationship that is similar to the relationship between the woman and the other man. I also think that he does not want a "serious" relationship with the woman, even though he says, "...I wanna hear your secrets." This guy just wants skin. That's what I take from it.

I think this song is about physical intimacy, and I do not relate intercourse with love, or love in the ideal sense at least.

Or perhaps this guy is just taking the artist's position and commenting on something "beautiful" or desirable in this life.

Does anyone want to offer their own definition of love? I will certainly give it some thought.

4:45 PM  
Blogger CSC said...

I don't think it is just skin. That’s what so provocative about it. Skin is uncomplicated (in principle) but he’s much more emotionally involved than that. The most attractive line, to me, is "the edge in your affection broke my skin." He seems to be suggesting that, well, the risk of this relationship attracts him. He is clearly the other guy, the one she is cheating with, since she MADE a promise to the other guy but he wants to FEEL the same. But he doesn't seem to by trying to steal her away. He wants her to call him by the other guy's name. He wants her and he wants him-- or, more accurately, he wants him through her. That is a bit creepy (misogynistic?), but, really, isn't that likely what it is like to be in a non-monogamous, committed relationship? If that's creepy, isn't polyamory likely to be creepy? If it is "edgily attractive," that's more complicated.

And then there is the line about youth-- feeling younger than my years-- suggesting that monogamy is what we should mature into, and non-monogamy is appropriate for youth. Few people say this, but I'd guess this is a pretty common view, especially among college students. (Of course, I’ve been wrong before.)

I think the song raises the issues without resolving any of them. As for a definition of love, I’d love to talk about it, but I fear this is the wrong way to go. The problem with life is that love doesn’t come neatly packaged, separated from everything else. It evolves. Its based on something, but it can morph into something else. Perhaps most distressingly, its beyond our control.

I’d want to see a definition that captures love as something like an emotion or a mood. Its got to feel. It cannot be all intellectual. Its got to be partially involuntary, but at the same time deeply implicated in what we think. It organizes our thoughts and desires, rather than being a thought or desire itself. But, really, that describes a lot of feelings. I haven’t got at what makes love unique.

Maybe we should ask a different question: can a life without erotic love (and I mean love, not just sex) be happy? Our answers might help us get a handle on what love is.

What have you got Lacey?

5:28 PM  
Blogger LD said...

Ok. A definition of love isn't necessary. Dr. Ciocchetti's description is nice enough.

What do you mean by non-monogamy is appropriate for youth? If you mean that it's not good to settle down early, then I agree. The idea of getting married at 18, especially if kids are involved, doesn't seem like the best thing to do.

I do think that a life without erotic love can be happy, even happier than a life with erotic love. In the ideal sense, a life of spiritual (non-religious) transcendence seems more beautiful and more fulfilling than erotic love ever could. I think the hard task of understanding your own wants and desires becomes more complicated in relationships. Things get blurry and it's easy for a person to take on the wants and desires of their partner's.

Are we having two get-togethers in November? I was under the assumption that we would mash the PDG with the movie showing. I could go either way.

3:26 PM  

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