By Jayaram V
From Nature's perspective, the purpose of love, infatuation,
attraction, or whatever name you may use to call it, is to create
conditions for procreation of the species. This is the simple and
straightforward truth. We may attribute a thousand reasons to it,
dramatize it and romanticize it, but the plain truth about love
is it is meant to facilitate sexual relationship and thereby the
continuation of the species. Nature has no intention of prolonging
that relationship beyond its purpose, and it seems that marriage
for life between two people is either not in the design of Nature
or not its purpose.
The institution of marriage is a social expediency invented by
human beings. They did it to lay claim upon the female species and
declare them as their territory. It served twin purposes: to protect
their conjugal rights and keep the rivals away. Therefore, in the
ancient world, women were not allowed to move freely or live freely.
They were expected to depend upon men (father, brother, husband,
son, or a cousin) for their survival. To further fortify their rights
and reduce violations, men evolved many laws, customs and traditions.
Even today in some communities women are considered men's property
and not allowed much freedom.
Humans went ahead with the idea of marriage, despite its drawbacks
because it had other advantages too. For example, marriage improves
survival and security and prevents chaos and confusion. Imagine
a society without the institution of marriage. Who will look after
the children? Who will take care of the older people when they cannot
be on their own? Marriage provides a very secure sanctuary to people
to live together and establish a very intimate relationship. At
the macroscopic level, it brings order and regularity to society
and ensures the moral order, and family traditions, besides fulfilling
our need for food, sex, intimacy, belongingness and love. Any relationship
between two people that is centered purely around love has fewer
chances of surviving for long, because eventually, Nature plays
its dutiful role and creates necessary biological, emotional, and
physiological changes to dissipate whatever passion and love it
originally created between them for reproduction.
Therefore, in a marriage the couple should not rely just upon
love and expect it to last forever. Their love has to mature into
a positive relationship based upon mutual respect, understanding,
adjustment, compassion, cooperation, compromise, and consideration,
in which they rely upon each other's strengths and compensate for
their weaknesses. They have to bring in other emotions too to cement
the relationship and take it beyond the bed into their hearts and
minds. They have to even think beyond their own relationship to
fulfill the purpose of marriage and love, which is to produce children
and help them grow up. At some stage in each marriage, reason has
to take precedence over passion and guide that relationship. If
reason fails and passions weaken, that marriage will surely crumble.
Nature has designed many emotions in us to enhance our chances
of survival. Negative emotions are meant to keep us away from threats
and positive emotions are meant to let us explore our abilities
and skills and forge relationships with others so that we can feel
secure in the company of a family, group, tribe or nation and pursue
our goals with their cooperation.
Nature has instilled these emotions even among animals to increase
their chances of survival and propagation. Most animals tend to
live in groups and some are paired for life. Dogs use love, trust,
and loyalty in their survival. They make themselves so dependent
upon you and keep you within their gaze that you cannot just ignore
them. If you are the owner of a pet and if the pet is nearby you
can feel its loving presence, even if you are not interacting with
it. That emotion is difficult to shake off because Nature has intended
that love for a different purpose, which is survival.
Jayaram V is the Founder President of Hinduwebsite.com and
author of 12 books, including Think Success: Essays on Self-help.