Saturday, February 18, 2012

Love and Lust

Because Valentine's Day was this week, I'd like to talk about something that has been bothering me for a while. That is this: Lust is not a good foundation for a relationship. Period. If I may be so bold, I'd go so far as to say this.

Lust is never a good foundation for a relationship.

Let me explain. In movies and books and other media, romance is often portrayed with characters who hate each other, and then for some reason suddenly tear their clothes off and devour each other's faces. Please, for all that is good in this world, don't make your characters do this. It's not romantic. It's disgusting and makes me think they are stupid for hurting themselves in such a powerful way.

For that matter, don't do this in your personal lives, either. When two people fall in lust first, their relationship hinges on being a good lover instead of focusing on mutual trust and respect.

Instead, if you want to have a satisfying relationship, go first for someone who shares your interests, in books or bowling or video games or whatever else you can. Find someone who makes you laugh. Find someone who makes you happy, and not just in bed. Please, for your own good, be friends first, and lovers second.

Now. There's nothing wrong with lust. Sex can be a beautiful thing if it's shared by people who love each other, treat each other kindly, and know they're going to spend the rest of their lives together. I'd personally add that they should be married, as marriage shows commitment, and in religious cases, that they're bound to each other under the sight of God. (Now, this is not possible for my characters, since their religions never included a bond between men and women, and therefore marriage has never existed--but the other things I've said still hold true.)

It can be a beautiful thing to bring a child into the world with daddy's curly hair and mommy's eyes.


Bringing a child into the world when you don't even really know the father is devastating. It makes sense why so many people want an abortion--the child being the consequence of a poor decision to sleep with someone they either didn't know or didn't actually like. (I recognize that there are other reasons, but this is the one I see a lot in television shows, and the least reasonable excuse aside from being stupid about contraception...)

I so often heard stories before I married Jaron, from people talking about their own marriages, that amounted to "I didn't know what I was getting into," and "He's got these annoying habits," and "You'll be sick of him after the first year."

None of these things happened when I got married, because I knew exactly what I was getting into. I already knew all of Jaron's habits. And because our relationship was as best friends first, falling out of infatuation either didn't happen or didn't matter. We share interests in most categories, and even if there is some disagreement, we respect each other enough to simply disagree and not force an argument. (Jaron wants Skyrim. I do not. Is it really worth fighting over? Of course not.)

I think because romance is portrayed as this sex-fest in our media, we assume that's what being married is supposed to be like. And when it isn't like that, and it's about buying groceries and paying bills and sharing the car, the people who based their relationship on that sex-fest are understandably unhappy. So don't spread it. If you're a writer, and your main character has a love interest, please write it as it should be. Friends first, lovers second. Not the other way around. You'll make me sick.


PS. This is my opinion. You are welcome to disagree. If you do, and you want to voice it, please do so in a coherent way. Okay. Getting off my soapbox now.


  1. Scientists have found that there's actually some basis for lust borne from yelling and arguing with another person. It turns out the areas of the brain that fire away during an argument are nearly identical to the parts of the brain that get amped up during feelings of lust and bliss.

    Oh, and PLEASE turn off that annoying captcha word verification. It's barely legible!

    1. Interesting... and I can see that being the case. That still doesn't make it a good foundation for a relationship, though.

      And thanks for reminding me about the captcha. I meant to take it off a while ago... anyway, should be fixed now.

  2. New follower here from Ink Pageant! :)

    Great post! I think much of the YA genre nowadays centers on lust and nothing more. That chemical firing that goes on in the brain and propels to the stomach makes for some awesome writing. Unfortunately, it doesn't last. And once the chemical high lust provides wears off--scientifically speaking, a year-and-a-half--nothing is left of the relationship.

    However, as you pointed out, if the relationship is build on common interests such as books, bowling & video games, etc., much of what relationship will survive because true, genuine love would have been built between the couple to carry them through the tough times.

    Again, great post! :D

  3. Thanks, Jack. I find it frustrating when I see a 'happy ending' where this happens... because I know that in a year, they'll hate each other again. You worded that very well. :)

  4. Thanks :) It was an amaaaaaazing post!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I can tell you that I know of some examples of this--but the point of attraction and the foundation for a long-lasting relationship are two different things. I really shouldn't speak in ultimatums, though. There's always exceptions to any given rule.