Thursday 27 March 2008

A World Without Pair Bonds

I suspect this will seem quite stark to many people.

It certainly will be, I think. I'm going to suggest that something that so many of you strive for as an ideal, something that is a much cherished ideal for many, CAN be removed completely from human existence.

I've hinted several times this is the way that my mind works, but now I'm going to seriously define how Free Love can become the way we'd ALL prefer to live. It will happen, when the nuclear family disappears.

I suppose part of it, comes from an understanding of why it is that most people strive to pair off for life, yet clearly, it's a concept that doesn't- and can't really- work for people like me.

There are sound reasons why, which I will come to.

We are called womanisers, love rats, rakes, cads. We make people fall in love with us and cast them off.
We are seen as deceitful. We must have been using them, playing on their emotions. We don't.

We aren't any different to the rest of mankind in our PROGRAMMING. It is the CONDITIONING that is different.

There are sound reasons why we seek affection, connection- and yes, sex- but continually transfer the objects of our desires. We aren't constant.

I think most people cannot quite grasp how our minds work and why.

I am now finally, I think, able to admit frankly and honestly that I am in no sense capable of any kind of emotional or sexual fidelity.
To people used to seeing things through the prism of monogamy and sexual fidelity, that means I either fall in and out of love very quickly, or that my emotions are completely fake.

This isn't the case. Removing Joanna from her pedestal involved an admission to myself of why she was on the pedestal. She was not only the first person I felt such strong intensity for, she was the only one I lost before the intensity had burnt out.

The relationships I've had which lasted beyond three to six months, turned into, from my point of view, friends who also have sex. And they were kind of a drag, because they stood in the way of me finding fresh intenisities. They needn't have done. Social expectation, the pair bond conditioning of the other, was the problem, from my point of view.

Basically, I don't pair bond.
And let's be honest, I never will.

Let's look at this, let's understand the dynamics of falling in love, and how it then moves into mating for life- up till now, a norm for the human species, and a cultural ideal, ingrained so strongly in us, that it is hard for people like me to admit that it isn't in them. And even more difficult, even for people like me, to actually promote changing that dynamic, and feel they have a clear conscience in doing so.

Falling in Love I think we all do, many times over. With many people, it stops when they pair bond- because they stop trying to fall in love elsewhere.

That initial stage- falling in love, lasts a few months. We're ALL programmed to do that. That intensity, that obsession with another person.

It has a purpose. We are designed to feel an overwhelming intensity for a specific human being that our genes have selected as good breeding material, for long enough for us to court them and mate with them enough times to make fertilisation likely.

Which is why that intense period of overwhelming euphoria lasts about three to six months.

We all want to fall in love, it's our desire to procreate.

What happens next, in most cases, is NOT chemical. It's conditioned.

Desmond Morris calls it the pair bonding process. It results from the way our society is structured.

The majority of people spend their first years emotionally bonded to another human being; their mother. Psychologically, most human beings spend their lives looking for a bond to replace that. Most people want to find someone who will become their whole lives. The intensity of the falling in love process, initiates a desire to form a true bond with the person they fall in love with.

And of course, this has been socially useful. It creates a family unit to raise the children that result from the falling in love process.

Morris points out, that in human society, children who grow up being fairly distant from their parents have a hard battle growing up. Most end up emotionally scarred. They have to learn early to build their own defences, or go the wall.

One of two things happen. They fail, they are bullied at school and grow up broken.

Or they grow up successful at building up large social networks. They grow up having conditioned THEMSELVES, never to become over reliant on a single human being.

And of course, they drift from intense fling to intense fling. They keep falling in love, but never pair bond. And what's more they genuinely can- and do- fall in love with more than one person at the same time. They aren't so bothered about monopolising the objects of their love, because they don't want a pair bond. They want the affection, the connection, the sex- but not the pair bond.

I recognise that as being me. I realised when I read 'The Naked Ape' for the first time, that on the occasions when I had been sexually jealous, it was really only my dignity I cared about. In fact, I realised that at a deeper level, the idea of sharing partners was something I actually found quite erotic.

It means, I suppose, that what we want out of relationships is very different. We always want to hold someone tight at night, and I guess we'd like it to be someone we felt genuine affection for. But we don't really want them to be ours, and only ours. Nor does the fact that we feel affection for them in any sense stop us falling in love with new people.

Our love really is freer, because we haven't been conditioned by the pair bond. It is an alien conception to us.
In fact, this was so difficult for me to realise, in fact, I think I only really properly came to terms with it recently, realising just how much the desire to mate for life is ingrained in so many people, and it is an ingrained piece of conditioning that I can never possibly grasp the power of.

Because my programming, lacking the pair bond, simply wants to mate with as many as possible, to give my genes as many possible chances as it can. I'm programmed to love them and leave them. Of course, that's the way our society forces it to be. It doesn't allow us to keep the old, while finding the new.

We are villified, because we fall in love, make people fall in love back, and then, at pair bonding time, we can't deliver.

Now. Here's the bit I have always had difficulty being upfront about. Because so many people seem to find such joy in their pair bonds. To conceive of how their lives would be without them, would be hard.
After all, it's people like me who are out of kilter. Perhaps we should be pitied.

But no, I disagree. I think actually, we're the lucky ones in some ways. Our lives ARE hard, because it is a minority system of thought. But pair bonds and family units have a lot of negative points.

One of the benefits of communal living, would be that children would see their parents more as siblings. They would grow up with a mutiplicity of people rearing them. They would never become emotionally dependant on specific individuals. All children would grow up, desiring to create as wide a social circle as they possibly could. They'd grow up better communicators, but lacking the pair bond conditioning.

In such a world, Free Love would be practical, would serve human desires, and would in fact be more positive. Genetic diversity would be better served. People could be discouraged from having more than one child with the same person.

And we'd more fulfilled, I think. We could fall in love with many different people without our lives, share affection with people, connect with people in a much freer way without the shackling bonds of monogamy and sexual fidelity.

We would grow up, not wanting these things. Love would divide into many different functions.

There would be the intellectual type, a beautiful bond that could be formed with any mind that made your pulse race, that sent your thoughts racing.

There would be the affectionate type, the person- or people- you wanted to hold close as you slept.

And then, the short, brief, flings of desire, the desire to couple with another person, born of the desires of the flesh, and freed from any other obligation.

To love many different people, in many different ways, that's what breaking the pair bond offers us.

I have no desire to pair bond, to live this way really would fulfill me. I try to do as far as I can, but it's hard in a world held back by this historical fact of human development.

What you have to realise, is you'd all think like me, if you didn't have this conditioning, born from the dependancy you had on your parents.

Yes, it would be a brave new world, but yes, I think it would be a better one, not a cold meaningless world, but one with MORE love going round, because we all loved MORE people, in MORE ways.

I actually think us philandering love rats are in some ways, more loving. We're more open to it, because we can separate our bodily desires from our platonic urges with greater ease.

Being obsessed with an individual, wanting to tie them to your life, surely has to be an ultimately destructive and unwholesome urge. Getting upset because someone you love, also loves others, doesn't make them bad, it makes you bad.

I think I'm comfortable now with facing up to the fact that I just want fall in love with as many as people as I can in life, and never own any of them, or have any of them own me. And I probably would like someone special to keep me warm at night, someone who was both a friend and a lover, but I hope she'd think the same way. That's my ideal of love, and I look forward to the day the rest of humanity can join in sharing this ideal with me.

And I like to think that if you really cared about someone, you could love her lovers too.

I believe in Free Love and Communal living, because I believe that the mankind that lives this way, will be a more fulfilled mankind.

Let's all share, not just our homes with eachother, but let's ACTUALLY SHARE EACHOTHER.


Anonymous said...

I can appreciate that view.

Anonymous said...

The welfare state has already creates "communities" where free love rules and the nuclear family has been destroyed. In those "communities" all other law and order and sense of right and wrong has also disappeared. Would you want to live in one of these "communities" if you had the choice? Be careful what you wish for.

Anonymous said...

Oestrebunny- It's not so bad, is it? You can still form lasting, loving relationships within this paradigm, but without the nastiness.

Ed- It doesn't have to be that way, though.
It's about creating community values, which is something we don't do.

I think this change is coming, and it's pointles resisting it, human society is moving in the free love direction.

It serves modern needs better.

Comment deleted- Sorry I missed your comment, though knowing who you are (admin privelege), I can guess your views...