When Do We Learn to Love?


A beautiful picture that summed up what I was writing by webneel photography http://webneel.com/baby-photography

I did a little snooping around in books, and inevitably on line to find out what age we learn to love.  In short, it all seems a bit confusing.  There is a general agreement children show signs of love from birth.  Some differences on how that is shown are there, but they seem more gentle variations.

What is interesting for me is; at what age do we select our “language of love”?  If we examine them they each seem to link to a very different time in childhood development.  I have multiple conjectures about what this might mean; and the main two are almost diametrically opposed.  They are:

  1. Our language of love becomes settled when our brain development recognises “love”; so Touch would be very early and Words would be very late.
  2. Our language of love becomes settled when we have we have stopped developing our ability to learn/sense new forms of love; Touch being early and Words be late and effectively more emotionally expansive.

They seem mindbogglingly oversimplified and I’m sure neither reflects the truth.  There’s no doubt that the environment you grow up in would have some influence; even your genes may be at play here.  What is certain is that we all have a language and our own tone/accent.  Where and when we learn it is another matter.

There is a path somewhere between our childhood and our adult relationships that should be explored.  Maybe it’s out there and I’ve missed it; I’d love to hear from someone if it is.  If not I am sure there are subtle gains to be made in relationships and happiness.  There’s a challenge for you “real shrinks”.


Love – When You are Lost for Words

Walking awayThere are times (too many for me) when a person you love is not right there and all you have are words.  For someone that blogs you’d think that was fine, but my language of love is touch.  When I need to communicate how I much I love someone I want to hug them; I want to fold them in my arms and let them feel my love flow from the contact; I want to absorb all their pain and sorrow and wrap them in the well of my love.

I have a close friend whose mother’s funeral is today.  I didn’t know their mother and I don’t live nearby, so I am not going to the funeral.  Like many people their life has been filled with other tribulations, but there was a special bond between them and their mother.  I have spoken what seem like sage words when I can, but that does not remove the genuinely gut wrenching feeling I have for not being able to hug them to protect them from “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”.

I had hoped that writing these words might be a balm to the feeling of frustration I have at not being there to say, “I care” in the way I speak.  Instead I find myself crying and wondering if the presence of my spirit will be enough.

I had hoped to find a million words but my true language is not that.  You can only hope that your feelings survive the “Google translate” function; especially when you know their language of love is not words.  And these words seem doubly hollow because they don’t even know I write this blog.  Now I’m rambling to fill up the page when all I feel is the desperate urge to give them a hug.


Postscript: It’s a few hours after I wrote this post and I can still feel the emotional drain it has taken to put into words what I hope I could communicate in seconds with a hug, or a touch to the face and the look in my eyes.  Perhaps at so many other times in our lives we don’t appreciate how much it takes the person to try and talk in an awkward ‘unnatural’ language.  But they are prepared to do it because they think you are worth it.

Alpha Porn – It’s NOT Romance

fighter_pilotMost women will tell you they have no interest in porn, rather they’ll tell you they’re interest in romance novels.  50 Shades of Grey, like a few others before it, is rather a fly in that ointment, but they’ll say its about the developing love story behind it all, how she saves him and he becomes better person.

Ladies, let’s be clear here; you are in denial.  None of this is about her saving him, it’s about her being coveted by the big scary alpha male.  Look at Twilight and so many other “bad boy” romances.  They have nothing to do with romance, care, protection or the females interests other than being linked to the alpha male of the story.

Wuthering Heights, Gone with the Wind, and so many more, the male protagonist is an outright [censored].  However, that’s all forgiven because (eventually) he’ll be good to the heroine women you fantasize about being.  All that matters is that this powerful male is there to protect the woman of (your) his dreams, no matter how he treats the world.  And he is so powerful that he can overcome every obstacle life throws at him in the future, so it will be ‘happily ever after’.

So, gents, if you lady is consuming ‘romance novels’, saturating herself in tv shows like Vampire Diaries (there are many more, so that is not a specific dig) then you are in trouble.  Your lady sees you as second rate and will trade you in the instant an alpha shows interest.  They’ll tell you its all about love.

That last paragraph sounds harsh, it’s meant to be.  Women expect those alpha males to maintain fidelity and other social norms if she is with him, rather than chase his opportunity to sow his genes in as many places as possible.  That adherence to ‘biology’ is unacceptable, but if a woman feels to pull to “trade-up” then it is all about love.

And arriving at some advice via a very tortured route.  Sure, there is biology at play here, men and women don’t stop being attracted to other men and women when they commit to a relationship.  What is important, especially for women, is to realise that our “need for love” stands above that and if we follow the pull of biology then we can be throwing away happiness at a higher level because you are letting “animal” in you over value the here and now, without placing value on what is to come.


If you want some background on what is mixed up in this post try:

Sexual Market Value

Alpha Male Traits  (although I’d watch out for some that and might read this instead)

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (think of reproduction and sex, as well as protection, when a woman wants an alpha)

Can it JUST be sex?

I could include a sensationalist picture with this post, but I want to try and be a little serious.  For many people it is any incredibly life change situation.  So maybe we need to look at how different people might see the whole thing.

Stepping off at one extreme are swingers and those in the cuckold lifestyles.  For them sex with someone other than their partner can be an expression of trust and love.  Most people that read this won’t believe that, or consider it warped and twisted.  It may not appeal to you, but is it wrong if they are genuinely happy doing it?

So, how can it just be sex for other people?  Surely and affair is everything else.  I believe the root is in confusing the things we enjoy with expressions of love.  In many areas of life that might be tolerable, but we have a very different perspective on sex.  We believe it is very special and should be held to current lover.  Yet, it is strange how we don’t feel that when we are outside a ‘secure’ relationship.

The real test is when it boils down to an affair.  In some case I believe it is truly about the sex, and just the sex.  It may mean nothing more than liking beer or going to a concert.  The complication probably comes because in most cases they like the other person.  Then that leads to confusing liking and loving.

And that is where the whole thing can get messy.  Maybe it starts as “just sex” and then evolves into a form of love.  It’s where the affair can differ from swingers.  The swingers are in relationship that may not involve either of them placing great emphasis on touch as key part of their love communication, which allows them to not prioritise the physical intimacy above their own sense of love.  For people setting off on the affair often love is missing and although the affair might start by filling a sexual void because they like sex and the main relationship no longer has it.  But if you like the person you’re having sex with then the danger is the whole story expands to include speaking your language of love.

Having walked in a circle, the short answer to the question is yes.  However, life isn’t that easy and sometimes it is something more.  An issue I’ll come back to in another post.