An Unromantic Notion on Love
By Sanya Kashyap(05/10/2020 00:30IST)
"If a god created this world then I wouldn't want to be the god, it's distress and misery would break my heart." — Arthur Schopenhauer
From the moment we are born, we are expected to be happy and find joy in whatever we do. However, this desire is rather shattered at each step in life. We have the belief that this world was designed for us to have a happy existence, still most elderly people have a profound disappointment for the life they've led.
Schopenhauer says in love too we shouldn't expect happiness as an ultimate outcome. He provides reasons that might feel distressing but may as well feel liberating when we are heartbroken and led down by a lover: We are unconsciously driven by will-to-life, that is, the motive to procreate when looking for love. The hunt for a potential lover is influenced by the drive to find someone with whom you can have a healthy baby with. You might wonder, why do we fall in love with the people we do? Well, the answer lies in what is called the Theory of Neutralisation. For example, if you are short-tempered then you might feel attraction towards someone who is rather calm. This is because having extreme traits prove to be harmful for the existence of humankind. (So the next time your partner asks you "why do you love me?", you don't have to think twice.)
It's no doubt that our life revolves around love, because it's ultimate aim is far bigger than our individual needs and focuses on creating the next generation for the survival of the species. But why is this deception required? Schopenhauer says that we would not assent to reproduce in this distressing world unless we have lost our minds.
This approach may cause anguish to a lot of us but it shouldn't, rather it should free us from the sorrow that may arise from unfulfilled expectations. Alas, It's better to carry ourselves as the knower of the reality of the world, rather than the sufferer.