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Researcher believes in true love
May 26, 2006
8:31 am
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I'm reading an interesting book called "What We Believe But Cannot Prove: Today's Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty" (edited by John Brockman). In it, a whole bunch of various kinds of scientists answer the question of what they believe but cannot prove, ranging from theories about Neanderthals being furry, to whether language acquisition is a necessary precondition for consciousness.

Having a rather jaundiced view of "the whole love issue", I was happy to come across the contribution of David Buss (love that name!). He's a psychology prof at U of Texas at Austin, whose research interests include the evolutionary psychology of human mating strategies, conflict between the sexes, jealousy, homicide, and stalking. He is the author of "The Evolution of Desire" and "The Murderer Next Door: Why the Mind is Designed to Kill".

I want to share his piece and ask what experience or beliefs you guys have about "true love" either from your own lives or those of people you've known. I was thinking of doing this just before loving posted her query for her own book.

Here's what David Buss has to say:

"I believe in true love.

I've spent two decades of my professional life studying human mating. In that time, I've documented phenomena ranging from what men and women desire in a mate to the most diabolical forms of sexual treachery. I've discovered the astonishingly creative ways in which men and women deceive and manipulate each other. I've studied mate poachers, obsessed stalkers, sexual predators, and spouse murderers. But throughout this exploration of the dark dimensions of human mating, I've remained unwavering in my belief in true love.

While love is common, true love is rare, and I believe that few people are fortunate enough to experience it. The roads of ordinary love are well traveled and their markers are well understood -- the mesmerizing attraction, the ideational obsession, the sexual afterglow, the often profound self-sacrifice, the desire to combine DNA. But true love takes its own course, through uncharted territory. It knows no fences, has no barriers or boundaries. It's difficult to define, eludes modern measurement, seems scientifically wooly. But I know true love exists, I just can't prove it."

Kroika asks, do any of you know true love exists? I'd like to believe too.

May 26, 2006
9:01 am
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yes, i believe true love exists.

May 26, 2006
6:22 pm
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yes, i have a great uncle that still looks at his wife like she is his everything and she looks at him the same way. they are one of the few couples i know who have true love.

May 26, 2006
6:37 pm
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Thanks for replying, OMW and guppy.

OMW, have you experienced true love in your own life or seen it in someone close to you?

Guppy, how old were your great uncle and aunt when they married, and how long have they been together? What do you think makes their relationship different from those of "regular" couples?

My parents lived in the same house (slept in different rooms by the time I was in high school) and had no emotional connection at all, but stayed together out of duty, obligation and financial dependence, as far as I could see. That's the model I grew up with. My oldest sister married but lived far away. Since her death 5 years ago I have learned that her relationship wasn't all that ideal. My other sister has never had a relationship, and she's now 58.

I have not given up hope for my own life, but I'm getting on too (49). Would really appreciate hearing from others what you've experienced or observed of true love. Every response helps me paint a brighter picture of the world for myself.

Thanks, kroika.

May 26, 2006
6:38 pm
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Hmmm, maybe this does belong on the support side after all. I'll think about posting over there too. k

May 26, 2006
9:22 pm
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mamac
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whew, I dont even know if I beleive. My adoptive parents sure do, together 45 years and going stronge. My grandparents combined about 120 years. But what is there secret I will never know. They seem to think it is God. I do beleive that is part, or maybe all. Aww what do I know about love anyway.

May 26, 2006
11:07 pm
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kroika-my uncle willis was 19 and grace was seventeen when they married. they are both in their eighties now. Grace had a partial stroke over twenty years ago. they have had their trials in life. but if u watch them together. the things they say. they still hold hands. it is very sweet. yea, i can also add they met in church. and god is at the center of their lives. no doubt about it.

May 26, 2006
11:26 pm
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readyforachange
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yes...I see true love in a few couples I know. The things they do and say to one another. It gives me hope that it can happen, as I have never known it myself. But I know it is rare.

May 27, 2006
7:19 am
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Hi mamac and ready. Thanks for chiming in. And thanks, guppy, for elaborating.

Mamac, you probably know *something* about love, maybe more than you think you do. But I guess we all spend a lifetime learning more, and it helps if we have some living examples to learn from. Guppy, it's wonderful that you have that uncle and aunt.

Maybe it's like we all have a love-transmitter and a love-receiver, and when two people without damage to either of those components get together, it's True Love. The rest of us may need to make various repairs before we can hope for anything like that.... hence AAC 🙂

I'm certainly going to be paying more attention and looking for role models.

May 27, 2006
8:35 am
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I dont see how this makes it different from any other person saying they believe in true love. He didnt give any evidence for it. He couldnt even define it (says its difficult to do so).. eh.

May 27, 2006
10:15 am
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there are different types of love...not always a feeling and i beleive that when 2 people find that, they KNOW it. feelings are great, but knowing it is what makes it last when the feelings iffy.

i 'truly' love my sons...unconditionally. i 'truly' love my family. and yes i also think one can love someone and not like them. i love, care about the well-being of my ex-husband, but i don't really like him.

and i think love is an outward expression of what is on the inside.

so if you are talking about romantic love...which seems to be a contradiction to me, as it is based entirely on feelings...then yes i have been there as well...but it didn't last...as we obviously did not truly love each other.

this is actually a complex subject, this thread of yours! :0)

May 27, 2006
10:27 am
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Conditional love-- "I love you when . . ." or "I will love you if . . ." and ties affection to performance, this is horrible love...have been here as well.

omw

May 27, 2006
12:43 pm
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I honestly believe I have true love in my marriage.

We just celebrated our 16th anniversary, and it seems that each day gets better and better and each year we grow closer.

My husband sent me flowers for our anniversary - and signed the card "thank you for 16 perfect years" - I don't know about perfect, but they have been good.

Z.

May 27, 2006
1:08 pm
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wow thats so nice, amazing.

May 27, 2006
1:49 pm
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Zinnie,
you are truly blessed! 🙂

May 27, 2006
4:33 pm
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4me
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I may not be able to describe 'true love' but I FEEL I truly found it...
and then I had to let her go...

May 27, 2006
5:13 pm
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loving
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4me,

me2 - am just having to do that with a guy now - really hard.

May 27, 2006
6:54 pm
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loving--

Sometimes I'm OK thinking...whatever is meant to be is already 'written in the stars'...don't panic.

But sometimes (most times)...panic does set in...how can two people that love each other so much, have to be apart because of 'other' circumstances...at times the pain seems unbearable...

May 27, 2006
9:11 pm
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Hi all

I can just stop in for a minute. Good to see your replies. I'm getting the impression that one big mistake I've made, or wrong idea I've had, is that "true love" must necessarily be "permanent love". All our social myths about "happily ever after" don't prepare us for those heartbreaking situations where reality dictates that, as 4me says, two people that love each other so much, have to be apart because of 'other' circumstances.

Thanks for sharing your experiences. Back later... kroika

May 29, 2006
7:17 pm
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Juanita
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I don't know about true love...

I've always been the romantic. Would like to believe in true love & soul mates, etc. Have been married 17 yrs to my HS sweetheart. Been thru heartbreak too & am still here.

A lady friend of mine suggested maybe I grow up on some on my romantic love ideals & move on to the true grit of love. Perhaps that is what true love is all about ~ a love that lasts & changes over time as we grow & mature.

Would be nice to know that true love exists & that there are those fortunate enough to enjoy it & recognize it.

I think it exists. If I have it, I am not definite about it at this point having been thru some rough times in recent yrs.

I'd like to believe.
I do believe.

God bless those who have it.

May 29, 2006
7:20 pm
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PS:

Dear God,

Please send it to those don't.

May we all be truly loved by the ones we truly love.

May 30, 2006
4:16 am
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Juanita, what a very sweet thought. Thanks for posting, you cheered me up 🙂

May 30, 2006
8:22 am
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🙂 glad to cheer you up....

hope your day gets better.

We all deserve love.

May 30, 2006
8:57 pm
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I spent the last few days reading "Dark Nights of the Soul" by Thomas Moore.

He writes that one of the primary sources of a 'dark night' is love...and love is fundamentally mysterious...your love for another, especially when it is difficult or impossible, works on you and prepares you for a different way of loving...

He writes interestingly about true love, impossible love, etc.

Good reading when love is the source of our 'pain'...

May 30, 2006
9:56 pm
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4me, thanks for the book recommendation. I will check it out. I've heard of Thomas Moore, but haven't read any of his books yet. I will look forward to seeing what he has to say.

kroika the bibliophile

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