When you express the words, "I love you" to your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other, what does that REALLY mean?
1) I want to spend as much time with you as humanly possible; I miss you terribly when we are apart from one another
2) Even if you lost your job, gained one hundred pounds, or stopped satisfying me in bed, I would still choose to be totally loyal and sexually monogamous to you, and only you, from now until the day I die
3) I would give my life in order to save yours without thinking twice about it
4) Even when you anger me, irritate me, and/or leave me frustrated, I still have a strong desire to share your company on a regular basis indefinitely
5) You are so good-looking and sexually appealing, that I cannot stop staring at you and I cannot stop touching you
6) I care deeply about you and your well-being, but that doesn't mean I will stop having sex with other people
7) I don't mind buying you gifts and performing financial favors for you without expecting anything tangible in return
8) I want you to feel 'special' and 'warm and fuzzy' inside, and I want your ego to be flattered, but once you stop spending money on me and/or you stop being an enjoyable, satisfying sex partner, I am totally done with you
9) All of the above, except for #6 and #8
10) None of those definitions accurately represent my idea of "true love"; when I tell my partner "I love you," what I am really saying to him/her in specific terms is that ___________________________ [insert your own definition in the comments section below, or write me a private Email]
According to Greek philosophers, there are generally three types of "love":
Agape or Spiritual love (this type of love is considered totally selfless; You show love to a person without expecting anything tangible or intangible in return; Examples would be the love of a parent for one or more of their children or the love Jesus Christ had for his Christian disciples)
Philos or Platonic love (this represents the type of love that two close friends would have, two teammates, two co-workers, teacher-student, two siblings, etc.; this type of bonding usually does not include any type of sexual activity whatsoever)
Eros or Erotic / Sexual love (this represents the type of romantic love and emotional bond that is experienced between two people who are engaging in regular, semi-regular, or occasional sexual relations)
When asked of my own definition of love (and more specifically, the 'Eros' type love), I usually respond with a simple "formula" of "Friendship + Lust = Love." I do not believe "true love" can exist indefinitely without both components. If you take away the physical attraction and sexual lust component, then all you have is really a good, strong platonic friendship. Conversely, if two people who are regularly having sex with one another have no sense of genuine friendship, then all you really have is a 'casual sex' relationship between two people who love to get together in order to exchange orgasms.
Just a few weeks ago, I received a lot of feedback from those who listen to my talk radio podcast program, because I highlighted a story where a woman who was cheating on her boyfriend was performing oral sex on me. In the middle of the act, she received a call on her mobile phone from her boyfriend. She lied to her boyfriend, and told him that she was "at the (shopping) mall with one of her girlfriends." As the conversation came to a close, she said, "I love you...." and then ended the call. Seconds later, she returned to performing fellatio on me.
During that particular episode of my show, I made the comment that, "See how many women lie? No way was that woman in love with her boyfriend if she was sucking my d***." First, I had a male listener challenge that opinion of mine. He said, "I disagree Alan. I do believe, in her mind, that she does believe she is in love with her boyfriend. She was having sex with you because you fulfill a need for her, and she wanted to fulfill a need for you, but she is not in love with you. She loves her boyfriend." At the time, I was like, "Whatever . . ."
To my surprise, a number of the women who wrote me echoed the sentiments of that male caller. One of them said, "I love my boyfriend ... very much ... but I will confess that I am not monogamous with him. I know for a fact that he has had sex with other women, and I have on occasion had sex with other men. Alan, you seem to be confusing feelings of love with the desire for a monogamous sexual relationship, and that is when a lot of problems arise. Those two concepts are not necessarily synonymous."
A week or two later, I had a female guest on my show by the name of "Celeste" who essentially said the same thing. During my interview, she mentioned that she was in a "long term, loving relationship...." I said, "So you prefer long-term monogamous relationships huh?" She replied, "That is you who put the 'monogamous' in there. Not me. You do not have to be monogamous with someone in order to be in love with them." Again, I was surprised because these are comments I expect men to make - not women.
As a female friend of mine recently put it during a phone conversation, "Alan, if a woman has seven children, do you think it is impossible for her to show all of her children a heavy dose of love?" I said, "Well of course not. But you are referring to a different type of love." My friend replied, "Maybe, but I feel like this: a woman can feel like she is in love with three different men, and be having sex concurrently with three different men. On the other hand, you could have another woman who is having sex with only one man, but not feel like she is in love with him at all." I rubbed my chin on that thought.
If you are a woman reading this, have you ever felt like you were "in love" with two or more men at the same time?
If you are a man reading this, have you ever felt like you were "in love" with two or more women at the same time?
Just about all polygamists and those who favor polyamorous relationships believe that you can love more than one sex partner at a time. That actually is a major staple of their professed lifestyle.
Do you think the idea of monogamy causes more problems than it prevents? Or vice versa?
Do you think men and women who have multiple sex partners are incapable of experiencing "true love" with anyone?
I have known way too many women who confuse enjoyable, satisfying sex with "love." Those two are apples and oranges. I think the hormone oxytocin plays a big part in why that happens so often with women (oxytocin is the hormone that is released when a woman gives birth to a child, that causes her to immediately 'bond' with her son or daughter; Researches found that oxytocin is also released in women when they experience a very powerful, satisfying orgasm, which provokes them to want to 'bond' with the man who is causing those great orgasms).
I can think of times when I have had sex with a woman one hundred plus times, and never once felt like I was "in love" with that woman. On the flip side, I can think of a handful of women who made me feel like I was "falling in love" with them, and that woman and I had not had sex even one time. For most men, a woman can be an absolute outstanding sex partner, but if she possesses personality quirks and characteristics that lower our motivation to want to spend time with her non-sexually, than we will never feel like we are 'in love' with that woman.
My final question would be, if the idea of loving someone generally means accepting that person for who they really are ... and that partner accepting you for who you really are ... why the need to be dishonest?
Author Esther Perel once said in an interview on my talk radio show that a man or woman should only confess a "long-lasting, on-going affair" to their spouses or romantic companions, but if they engage in a one-night stand or weekend fling, they should generally keep those erotic trysts to themselves. Doesn't that contradict the whole notion of "true love?"
In Ms. Perel's partial defense, I have had some friends and acquaintances who feel the same way. One male friend told me, "If my wife has cheated on me, and it was a one-night thing or one-weekend thing, I do not wish to know about it. I would rather she keep that to herself." Really? Wow. What if the wife has had thirty "one-night stands" and/or "weekend flings?" Does that change anything?
All I know is, if a woman professes to "love me" ... but she feels the need to lie to me, and give me the impression she is in a shopping mall with her girlfriend, but in reality, she is performing fellatio on some guy who she finds sexually appealing, I cannot say I would welcome that type of "love" with open arms and a boat load of enthusiasm.
But - to be fair - everyone has their own definition of what "true love" is.
Again, my definition is: A strong, genuine friendship with a woman + a strong desire to want to be sexually intimate with her on a regular basis = Romantic Love. And for me ... that friendship includes brutal, blunt honesty about everything.
What is yours?
Alan Roger Currie is the author of a number of books, including Mode One: Let the Women Know What You're REALLY Thinking and Oooooh . . . Say it Again: Mastering the Fine Art of Verbal Seduction and Aural Sex. Currie's latest eBook, The Possibility of Sex: How Naive and Lustful Men are Manipulated by Women Regularly is also available exclusively on Amazon.com in their Kindle format. You can also download a copy of Currie's eBook on your iPhone, Android Smartphone, or other Smartphone.
Upfront & Straightforward with Alan Roger Currie, the most-listened to talk radio podcast program in the category of "Romance" and "Self-Help for Relationships" on the BlogTalkRadio Internet Radio Network, can be heard LIVE every Thursday evening at 10:00pm EST / 7:00pm PST. Visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/modeone and http://modeone.net for more details