The I. Q. of Love.

Love is stupid.

Love is dumb.

It has an IQ comparable to a packet of stale crackers.

Don't get me wrong, love is without doubt one of the most important forces in anybody's life; it is wonderful, it is the closest many of us come to living with magic.

It's just not very clever. What's more, love is not capable of having your best interests at heart - that's because it is the heart, silly.

Love, at its core, is fundamentally an unintelligent and unthinking beast. It may inspire you to great deeds; poetry, song, running through the fields and dancing in the streets, it might even drive you to great triumphs of academic endeavour. But that doesn't change the fact that the emotional force we call love has no ability to analyse your relationship, or your compatibility, or your chance of success with someone. There is certainly a degree of pre-love assessment, and after you are skewered upon Cupid's arrow, there is an awful lot of post-hoc thinking about how wonderful the newly beloved is.

Don't be fooled though, these are just trimmings and dressings that our delighted and confused conscious mind applies over the top of the basic emotive force. Gravity is a potent, powerful force; capable of moving immense mass. It is, however, dumb as the proverbial rock. Love is like this.

Keep this in mind on your path, as you ask yourself question after question - why?

There is no why, because why is about reasoning. And love the emotion had the analytical power of fence post before it found the subject of your affections. Do not expect it to acquire motivation, discernment or the wisdom of the mountain gurus after the fact.

Love is like gravity. It just is.
TheTardyDodo TheTardyDodo
31-35, M
48 Responses Dec 10, 2007

The way you wrote the third paragraph reminded me of a poetry book I have by Ovid :P Very nice description of what cannot possibly be described. :)

That pretty much sums it up for me.

Love is a universal nuisance as an after effect! It kills two people in its bondage and drives away the peace that was there in the mind. But the heart is giggling with joy and satisfaction after the reciprocation and accomplishment of it!

Love isn't love ,
till you mean what you say :)

Dear Tardy,<br />
You are so very much missed here at EP. You once made this a place of dignity and thoughtful debate. Things have changed so dramatically. I know you saw it coming, that's why you are not with us anymore. I hope you are sharing your thoughts and joy in some other forum. You are a true gentleman and opened my eyes many years ago to the beauty of social networking. I'm still hanging around here and will continue to use your example as a kind and empathetic EP user.<br />
<br />
I hope all is well in your life and hopefully enjoying the love you deserve.<br />
Halloween is coming...oh, how I wish you would bite me.<br />

love is just giving somebody else the power to hurt you.


I hate love... some people never seem to fall on its good side.

Have you ever been in love Tardy?

whoa that last line was really powerful. have a cookie!

An enlightening perspective, and one I think I agree with. Now to simply decide if that's a good thing or a bad one.

You're welcome T3, glad to know my rambling reflections are useful! :)

Personally, I think it is was you make of it. Or more specifically, the labels that one applies to different phases of a dynamic between two people often carry a lot of specific meaning, meaning which may or may not be at all relevant, and thus people accidentally make it into things that might not be reality based.<br />
<br />
I'm talking about the term "love" and phrases like "fall in love" and "just a crush", because people load these things up with a lot of implicit meaning and have very complicated mental and emotional constructs around them.<br />
<br />
I think one of the keys to emotional maturity is to be able to distinguish between the following:<br />
*Gut instinct - that constant, stable and undeniable 'feel it deep in my gut' assessment of a situation<br />
*Transient Emotions - those feelings that rise and fall throughout the day, or occur in response to a specific stimulus (eg he sent me flowers and it makes me feel.... but removing the "therefore I <b>must</b> _____ or therefore "he <b>must</b> ______")<br />
*Emotional States - persisting sets of emotions due to a particular set of circumstances<br />
<br />
You might wonder what that has to do with the topic, but really, it has everything to do with it, in my mind.<br />
<br />
I think without that sort of ability to sort through one's emotions, it becomes hard to trust the elements that one should trust. The "feelings" that someone has for someone else is very different to the feeling for their character and the likelihood of relationship success, I think.<br />
<br />
Of course, the intensity of initial phases of connections make it very hard to have accurate perceptions, and if that turns out to be the case, then it would seem better to just go with the flow - but be careful not to <b>label</b> things in a way that misleads. ie "this feels like love" and inferring from that "therefore it must be love and all the concomitant things I associate with that overall concept". <br />
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I think to do that though, one needs to know oneself and one's emotions fairly well too.<br />
<br />
Which is an interesting reflection on love. I believe that one person can freely love another without it being reciprocated and that can be something grounded in reality, so long as the love is directed at some aspect of that person which is real and actual, and a substantial part of their character. It certainly helps if that aspect of the person is something which they strongly identify with themselves as well, or something they would *like* to strongly identify with themselves - eg seeing the strength of character in someone when they can not see it but would like to believe it.

I think you can always decide what to *do* about it though...

Dont forget about physical attraction reaction. You can`t out-think that kind of thing...

I don't think the idea of universal love is necessarily contradictory to what I am talking about here. I am talking specifically about the inherent nature of love's behaviour, and about the lack of conscious thought at love's <i>core</i>. Certainly we surround the fundamental emotion with a lot of cognition, but that is secondary.

Ok my head hurts TY. I was in a wonderful relationship for years until he passed away. Even if i knew ahead of time how it would end ..I would do it all over again! While one should not accept a bad relationship you will know in your heart when it is right. You wil connect on every level and you will not always agree ...We are human.Gravity * throws breast over shoulder* ! I love you BIRD!

I guess that's the other thing about it... it's not clever enough to realise that head-butting a brick wall is the thing that's causing the headache.<br />
<br />
On the issue of love being a decision, it makes me wonder whether or not it is one of those decisions that are fundamentally emotional in nature, rather than cognitive.<br />
<br />
When one day, you sit down and ask yourself - well what the options here? And then, when you look deep enough, you realise that the answer is there, and very clear.<br />
<br />
The sort of thing where you start of thinking you have options, but in the end there is nothing left to do but consciously commit to the choice that's already been made by your deeper processes?

Whilst I am probably the least qualified person to be offering suggestions on this topic, there does seem to be a dearth of other people doing so. I guess I have thoughts, more than anything.<br />
<br />
I know that some people thrive on constant attention and ex<x>pressions of affection. I know that for others anything remotely resembling either is very off-putting. There is obviously a spectrum of affection <i>styles</i>, and to some extent, affection style compatibility is fairly important, but I think many people do not think about this, because they file it under ideas like "romance is" or "love is", rather than "I am most comfortable with X amount of ex<x>pressions of affection."<br />
<br />
In that vein, if you are attracted to strong minded, independent women who are secure in themselves, then it seems to me that there is a particular personality type that is unlikely to want TOO much over ex<x>pression of affection.<br />
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But the problem is, what do you say, without wanting to seem ungrateful? No, less poetry please? ;) Never goes down well, and people with good hearts are always very reluctant to do something like that.<br />
<br />
Perhaps, perhaps not.<br />
<br />
There is another clue to a possible issue in what you said. And that is, if you feel the need to doggedly track down the root of a problem, and are not reading the "you're smothering me" signals, then perhaps the remedy doesn't begin with your actions, but rather the need to get better at reading the emotional threads of what's going on.<br />
<br />
It maybe even deeper than that, mind you. There is a fairly deep subconscious message that frequent ex<x>pressions of affection and smothering send, and that is one of deep-seated insecurity. <br />
<br />
When you combine that thought, with the idea that often in life, to get what we want, we have to be willing to go without. And I know that romantic love is quite crucial in your world view. I also know that you try to have a balanced approach to the subject, but I think that deep down, may not yet be happy with just being yourself, by yourself.<br />
<br />
Big call. And surely not everyone who is in a relationship is completely happy with themselves? No, of course not, but then again, they probably masked the insecurity much better.<br />
<br />
So, perhaps.<br />
<br />
One final thought... sometimes the problem with generosity, of whatever type is that it becomes a burden when the other person does not feel that they can reciprocate. And then they just start to feel bad about every new act of generosity, and before you know it, something that used to make them happy just makes them awkward and eventually, it makes them feel unhappy. And people flee unhappiness without ever really digging to get to the cause of it. <br />
<br />
However, don't take my thoughts as any sort of gospel. You've still had a better track record on the relationship front than I :P

I came to this thread late but have found it very interesting.<br />
I hold the veiw that love ultimately is a decision. Of course there is the emotional, fireworks, irregular hart beat of the physical attraction. But in the day in day out living with another person it is a decision.<br />
I have been married for 18 years but I think I would be in the above mentioned experience group if I didn't view love as a decision. My feelings towards my husband don't always lead me to feel love. The are days when he annoys me and angers me and just basically makes me want to scream. Just as there are days that I leave him feeling the same.<br />
What has made our love and therefore our marriage work is that we still love each other even when we don't feel like it...because we decided to. Both people in the relationship have to view it as a decision. There have been many times in 18 years that there was no passion, but the love was still there.<br />
That is my thoughts on the matter. If they make someelse think about it a bit differantly than I didn't waste this time:)

lol very good response Tardy, It's been very fun as always joining a discussion with you my friend.<br />
I have to get my tail to work. Have a great day.<br />
I will check when I return for any more words of wisdom you guys may have offered sense my departure. : )

it is, if nothing else, a very good reminder that the conscious mind is not the boss most of the time.

lol Thanks achilles. I think you are right.<br />
<br />
I don't recall writing any thing that would help in finding the answers. I have been told I was smothering in one relationship but I think I have learned to give space. Though I do love to show affection and constantly do things to show my feelings. Maybe I am to smothering, That's really the only thing that comes to mind. I try to hard to understand and if it is a problem that I feel is causing serious emotional problems then I won't let finding understanding and resolution rest. Maybe that is to smothering. I know it can't be the sex. lol That was always great and probably what held it together as long as it did last. lol

I spent many years of my life analyzing my preconsived notions of what I thought love was. I tried to put love into some sort of context. Love is defined by our individual experinces. Love and the feeling it generates is as individual as snowflakes.<br />
Love can't be pigeon holed. <br />
The love that exists in the being of a relationship is the 'easy' love. The love that endures through thick and thin is 'hard' love.<br />
Love takes effort to grow and maintain.<br />
The harder you look for love, the harder love is to find.

I think what often happens when looking for answers, but not finding them, is not being able to step back far enough to actually gain good perspective on it. I find I get very stuck in my own fr<x>amework sometimes, especially on things that I have fairly strong ideas about. Sometimes, pretending to be someone else, while a fairly juvenile sounding exercise can make a little breakthrough.<br />
<br />
Perhaps when the mood is right, and you find yourself mulling over the same old questions again and again, pick three people who are rather different from you, but whom you think have some insight into the world, and ask yourself... what would X think if they were in my situation? And what would they do?<br />
<br />
Doesn't have to be correct of course, but it's a good substitute for garnering perspectives.<br />
<br />
Say, do you have a story where you have talked about the details of what goes wrong?

I think the deep problems that we all struggle with do tend to express themselves in different facets of life. <br />
<br />
I don't think that acknowledging the existence of the problem necessarily is the complete problem in itself.<br />
<br />
Often the problems buried that deep are related to significant life-trauma, or issues that have become wedded to that individuals identity. A good parallel is when people refuse to seek treatment for health concerns, I think.

I admit there is a problem and I wish to find a solution to it but The problem is that I'm not sure what the problem is. I have tried to communicate this with past relationships but have never gotten an explanation of what it is that I do wrong. They always try to come back after it is to late so maybe it isn't that big of a problem I have after all but if I could only understand what it is maybe I can make the next relationship work. Of course I have a trust issue now that I'm sure will only add to the problems I already have.<br />
Maybe I have just picked the wrong women in the past I don't know but the same ending with each points toward a personal problem within myself. So I search in vain for an answer

I think that's a very valid point, that people are certainly not static, so not only does the mix between two people change and evolve, but so must one's understanding of the other person, to avoid problems.<br />
<br />
My initial thought was to agree with you that there aren't preventative measures, but one second thought, I don't think that's true.<br />
<br />
People who are <i>chronically</i> unlucky in love are usually doing something wrong. One swan a season does not make, but if you've got a flock of five thousand turning up, intent on poo-bombing your car, then you've got problems. <br />
<br />
Which makes it worth trying to get to the bottom of, I think. Especially if someone finds themselves in the same *sort* of unrequited love situation over and over. And to that end, I think that a particular understanding of the nature of love is a good starting point, hence the story above.

I think it only qualifies as over-analysing if:<br />
a) It interferes with appropriate action, or just perpetuates poor approaches<br />
b) It contributes nothing new to your understanding of a situation<br />
<br />
I guess there are only three ways to solve a problem... thinking about it, doing something about it, and just plain dumb luck. Takes all three, really. :)

excellent comment Harmoneyezd Your right. However over-analyzing does sometime reveal something useful.<br />
I am personally finished commenting here but I was very interested in the views of others on this subject, Yours as well. I do tend to over-analyze sometimes on things I really would like to find resolutions to. I think you have made the best comment/advice so far. TY. You guys have a great day.

I'm not sure if you're referring to the story, or the comment discussion still, Harmoneyezd? But in any case, I certainly don't disagree with you, when things are going well on all levels, it's no doubt well worth the ride. But because of the nature of this group - "I loved someone who didn't love me" - my focus has been towards those for whom it didn't work out.<br />
<br />
And you only ever know that <i>after</i> things have gone sour, and everyone's sitting about mulling over what went wrong...

I know someone that i communicate with often. Usually things are fine, but when any emotions get involved communication goes out the window. For some reason it comes to be that not only are we on different planets, now we've discovered we don't even speak the same language anymore. And no translator`s about.

I have known people who fight almost constantly and they seem to thrive on this conflict. I will never understand that type of relationship. Raising your voice to someone almost always destroys any possibility of a resolution regardless if its simplicity.

A thought on communication styles...<br />
<br />
I think sometimes that when it is a case of opposite attracting (so to speak), that what can be forgotten is that opposite personality types often come with very different communication styles.<br />
<br />
Or the way that someone communicates with you is not the way <i>they want you to communicate with them</i>.<br />
<br />
One thing is for certain. As a general rule, if one approach to communication is not working, more of the same will not actually increase the chances of the message getting through, if anything it is likely to make the other person utterly unreceptive. The fact that you can not understand my native Martian tongue does not mean that you will understand it any better if I speak more loudly, faster and at greater length.<br />
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Ultimately, successful communication is about learning how someone else conceives of, transmits and wants to receive certain *ideas*, and not necessarily the content.<br />
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What's worse is that people may have individualised communication requirements, because of who they think you are, and who they want you to be.<br />
<br />
Perhaps too many people in your past wanted a taciturn, man of action and not words cowboy, and could not accept the style of communication that goes with a poet in a cowboy hat, for example.<br />
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This is different from not being able to accept who someone is, how can there be acceptance before understanding? And how can there be understanding before communication?<br />
<br />
Tricky stuff.

Who's confused??<br />
*confusion*<br />
<br />
And yes, denying the evidence of it not working is utterly irrational and pointless. I call it dumb romanticism, not in the sense of being derogatory, but simple it asks rational thought to step out of the door. Why do people elect for dumb romanticism? Many complex reasons, I think, but at the end of the day, I am sure most subscribers to dumb romanticism would be better off in a viable relationship than in the pursuit of exception. On the other hand, perhaps it's just part of life's way of preparing people, that one is stuck on dumb romanticism until sufficient emotional understanding is acquired to enable a viable relationship?<br />
<br />
GeorgianBlues, sometimes those thoughts before rationality set in offer us the most insight, I think. Like fever dreams, they ***** away parts of that protective mental packaging we do when we're more awake.<br />
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As for the pair of people who fight like cat and dog and then fall for each other, I'm struggling to think of a real life example from couples that I know. But I see no reason why it shouldn't happen. Often we fight against what we hate about ourselves and see in other people. The natural follow through is then that this can at times switch to seeing how similar one is, and thus how much intuitive understanding one has of the other person. Seems about right to me.<br />
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Plus, some people can only expel intense emotion through conflict. Now there's a recipe for romance through conflict...

Cinderelly you are absolutely right. My ability to comprehend that there is no solution to any kind of problems is broken.<br />
I am one to never give up. I hold on to hope till the very end and then am slammed with reality. Maybe i have learned from the 4 relationships I have lived through but I am afraid that I will always believe that solutions are obtainable if you find the right words. Communication I think is something that could save so many relationships but communication seems to be the hardest thing to get sometimes. I am a 4 time loser and each time there was major communication breakdowns. I even resorted to writing 100s of letters/poems Ect. trying to find the right words to resolve the issues. maybe I have just never met the right one. Maybe I just try to hard. Maybe I communicate too much. I just don't know.

But denying the evidence that it wont work out is just an illusion then, much like love, but why choose that kind of pain? I got over someone who didn't want me once. It was hard, and really wasn`t fun, but it was possible, and necessary.

Relationships that end in one sidedness is what my degree is in Tardy and I may have spoken before thinking about one not accepting flaws. I think one sidedness will tent to use ones flaws as a tool to distance themselves from you. In that case the statement I made would be completely untrue. <br />
Maybe I should just sit with cinderelly while I gather my thoughts a little better before commenting. : )<br />
It's not daylight yet so it's a wonder I can even comprehend anything of a rational thought process. lol<br />
I associate love and relationships with pain more than anything. But I still dream.

I think some of the confusion arises from the fact that I didn't see your second comment!<br />
<br />
I think BlueGee might be able to comment on his meaning when he talks about chasing exceptions.<br />
<br />
When I talk about it, I am talking about blindly denying the evidence that things are not going to work out, in the hope that the sheer force of love can somehow force an exception to the general rule.<br />
<br />
Like persisting in the pursuit of love despite the fact that the other person demonstrates no respect for you, for example. Or having no overlap with sense of humour or values and direction in life. That sort of thing.<br />
<br />
This is a bit like, but not the same as, that common syndrome of wanting to "fix someone" with your love, despite all the evidence being that the problem lies within that person's fundamental personality rather than a lack of love.

I'm sorry Dodo, I think I got confused about we we are discussing exactly. I`ll just sit over here quietly and listen... <br />
<br />

On the subject of the instinctive force you describe Mademoiselle Cinderelly, I think much the same things apply.<br />
<br />
Certainly there are <i>reasons</i> why people fall for certain people, and they are often drawn from very deep and crucial parts of who we are as a person. <br />
<br />
But that doesn't mean they chose people who are compatible, or that they chose people who are necessarily good for us. Hence, the idea of love being rather low in IQ. It certainly gets it right, but it also gets it wrong, and in the end, there are too many other factors that come into play in long term relationships to isolate love under those situations.<br />
<br />
And CowboyBlue, I suspect you've much more experience than the author of the story, so comment away! I am not too certain what to say about falling for people who are unwilling to accept flaws... I think that it is often the case that there are certain flaws that different people will find tolerable, and others won't. Maybe that's part of the root of good compatibility. The sort of flaws that most people won't accept though, are the flaws that they see in themselves, and then find in you.

What do you mean by the pursuit of exceptions?

I must say, I find the pursuit of exceptions to be the most dangerous thing in the world. Certainly, I have wasted at least 40% of my adult life on the pursuit of exceptions. And because love is stupid, and never ever clever, unless I take responsibility for my own life, I suspect I will continue to make the same mistake, over and over and over and ...<br />
<br />
As for your hypothetical flaw-discovering couple, you know, I think that a lot of things really do depend on the individuals involved.<br />
<br />
For example, some people fight and dislike each other from the outset.<br />
<br />
And other people fall in love with flaws, not perceived perfections, even if it was the perfections that caused attraction (not love) in the first place. <br />
<br />
And some people never see the flaws, it's like a permanent blind-spot.<br />
<br />
I think it really depends on who you are <i>at the time</i>. Because people change who we are, and the deeper the interaction, the greater the change they catalyse.

I agree, however being the romantic that I am, and the compassion in my heart that I can't shake, makes me one to always accept the flaws or the brokenness of the one I have fallen for. The problem has "for me" always been that the one I have fallen for could never do the same. There in which lies the problem of one (myself) holding on to the love/hope/dream while the other slowly lets go of the same.<br />
<br />
In the end I have always been the broken one.<br />
<br />
sense I have always been in only, one sided relationships for the most part my opinions on the matter of discussion may not be worth hearing but I'll always have a comment or a thought. : )

Love may be dumb, but are your instincts? When you feel immense attraction for a person do you feel it in your gut, your chest? A physical reaction to an emotional extreme, right there. Those kinds of feeling are undeniable, when felt. Then sometimes love sneaks up like a bastard and stabs you in the back with the arrow of love, and what? What choice did you have? Its hard to un-love someone that won`t love you back. But its not impossible. And if it`s not reciprocated, than how is it to be?<br />
(random thoughts here, none may apply to you)

Love is blind to all the bad.<br />
And you are correct in your thoughts/opinions I am afraid.<br />
A romantic like myself will always believe that there are exceptions to the rules somewhere out there.

I am indeed suck a romantic, BlueJeans! That will become clear if I ever write my story about how love is just a function of basic psychology, brain chemistry and circumstances. No, really! <br />
<br />
And I think that we cognitively believe what ever we need to believe for us to love someone. If that means an ideal on a pedestal, so it is; if that means a realistic appraisal of their character then that ends up being the case. But either way, I think that once the ball is rolling, it's all over red rover, and there's never enough time to undo any faulty initial appraisal of the positives or negatives of someone.

Very good comment SaturnGirl. Very thought provoking indeed.

Tardy you are suck a romantic. I could just hug you. : )