Ain't Love Nothing But Sex Misspelled?

What is the relationship between romantic love and sexual desire? Is it true that "love ain't nothing but sex misspelled," as Harlan Ellison claimed, or are they two separate emotions? A plausible answer is that the two are not identical but have significant links. What are these links and are they subject to gender differences?
The Role of Admiration in Affairs With the Rich and Famous

The Role of Admiration in Affairs With the Rich and Famous

Romantic admiration is perceived to be central in love, as it facilitates pleasurable togetherness. However, when we admire someone, it can place us in an inferior position and this might be painful and harmful. I will begin my analysis of admiration in romantic love by examining Mimi Alford's admiration for President Kennedy, which resulted in a romantic affair.
The Eyes of Love

The Eyes of Love

Romantic love is often characterized as being guided by idealizations, sometimes even by blindness. However, romantic relationships should be based upon reality, as this reality is where both of them will live their lives. Do lovers’ eyes deceive them?
Love: The More You Use, The More You Save?

Love: The More You Use, The More You Save?

In many popular songs, lovers ask their beloveds to save their love for them. However, there are many cases in which the more you use, the more you have. Is love one such experience?
When I Stopped Loving Him, I Was Ready to Marry Him

When I Stopped Loving Him, I Was Ready to Marry Him

People usually get married after they have fallen in love; however, there are cases in which people get married after their love has faded. Natalie has been divorced twice. She had a similar reason for marrying both of her husbands: she had stopped loving them.
Do Women Make More Romantic Compromises Than Men Do?

Do Women Make More Romantic Compromises Than Men Do?

Gender differences are hard to detect, as they depend on many factors. Nevertheless, I will propose here that in general, women are more likely to make romantic compromises at young age, whereas men tend to do so more at an older age.

I Respect My Husband, But I Don’t Love Him

Respect seems to be different and even contrary to romantic love. Whereas respect implies distance, romantic love involves an intimate closeness and even the sense of identity with the beloved. Nevertheless, many people consider respect to be one of the most important components of love. Do love and respect go together like a horse and carriage?

Love After Death: The Widow's Romantic Predicaments

All of us have romantic predicaments; widows seem to have even more.
Lover Come Back to Me

Lover Come Back to Me

Why is the phenomenon of yearning for ex-lovers so frequent and powerful? Is such yearning due to desperation or passion? Is it related to the quality of our ex or to a deficiency in our current romantic life? It would seem that various factors are involved.
The Impatient Heart: Is It Indeed Now or Never?

The Impatient Heart: Is It Indeed Now or Never?

The romantic heart is typically described as impatient—“It’s now or never. Tomorrow will be too late.” It is assumed that it is not natural to postpone satisfaction in matters concerning love. Contrary to this popular assumption, there are many circumstances in which the romantic heart can be very patient.

Torn Between Two Lovers

Exclusivity is at the heart of romantic love. Like other emotions, love is discriminatory and partial—one cannot love everyone. How is it then that many people claim that they have loved two people at the same time? And how do they deal with this situation?
The Many Complicated Reasons We Have Sex

The Many Complicated Reasons We Have Sex

Pity sex happens when people have sex with other people because they feel sorry for them. Is it worth the effort? And what is the difference between pity sex and charity sex?

Why Did Psammenitus Not Pity His Son?

What types of emotions are characteristic of close relationships and what types are not typical of such relationships? Why do fathers typically not envy or pity their sons, while people typically do feel jealous of their partners? The relevance to one’s self-image is crucial here.

Loving You Is Breaking My Heart

Love, is "a many splendored thing"; but love also involves a lot of suffering—especially in the case of unrequited love. Love can feel like being in paradise as well as being in hell. In both cases, the best suggestion is to keep on going. Why is it that love is so ambivalent, and why do we keep on loving even when it leads to heartbreak?

My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own

Emotional reasoning, which prevails in matters of the heart, is different from intellectual reasoning. Are these two types of reasoning condemned to fight each other, or can they be integrated? Should we follow our heart entirely in romantic matters, and are we able to resist it even if we want to?

All I Have to Do Is Dream

Andy Gibb and Victoria Principal sung the song that implies that lovers need merely to dream in order to sustain their love. Are dreams of any value in a romantic relationship? Apparently dreams were not sufficient to save Andy and Victoria’s love and Andy’s life. External circumstances were greater than their feelings for each other.

Mommy, Do You Love Me as Much as You Love Your Mommy?

When a child asks his mother whether she loves him as much as she loves her mother, the answer is not obvious. Although claiming that love has different forms which cannot be compared is the more profound answer, the claim that the mother loves her daughter more than her mother seems to better reflect reality in many cases.

Little Things Mean a Lot

Love is often described in terms of grand deeds, such as moving mountains. Love can indeed induce such deeds, but usually it is the little things that mean a lot more in love.

Why Did Descartes Love Cross-Eyed Women? The Lure of Imperfection

Why did the French philosopher Descartes love a girl whose pupils migrated toward her nose? Various reasons are proposed and the most powerful one may be the attraction of imperfection—given that a certain degree of (almost) perfection is present as well.

The Look of Love

What is the look of love? How can simple facial expressions express one of the most complex human emotions? People are often not even sure about the presence of emotion when they are asked about it. What is the secret of this meaningful look?

Why Do Runaway Brides Run Away?

A runway bride is a woman who cancels her wedding very close to the time of the ceremony or who even runs away from the ceremony itself. How can this phenomenon be explained? Why don't these women simply say “No” when the marriage is proposed?

Does Steve Jobs' Logic Apply to Love?

In his motivational “Don’t Settle” speech, Steve Jobs puts forward an ideal that we should aspire to fulfill. Can we follow his advice and not settle on issues of love and work? The answer is not apparent.

Lovers with Benefits

In my last post, I discussed the relationship of friendship with (sexual) benefits. Now I will turn to discuss the associated relationship of lovers with (emotional) benefits; the benefits here include caring and friendship that continues between the lovers’ occasional meetings.
Friends with Benefits

Friends with Benefits

The relationship of friendship with (sexual) benefits has become increasingly popular. What underlies this attraction and is it a relationship that is beneficial? The answer to this is far from clear.

Coupling in Captivity

The feeling of being in captivity is common to many (some argue, most) people who are in a committed romantic framework. How can people cope with this feeling? Is such captivity so horrible? The answers to these questions are complex.

Does Equality Encourage Sexual Activity?

The role of equality and inequality in sexual activity involves certain ambiguities. I will briefly indicate some connections between equality and sexual activity while indicating that good sex is not always associated with equality.

Is Romantic Reconciliation Worth the Effort?

The breakup of a romantic relationship has a devastating emotional impact on at least one and often both partners. Nevertheless, there are many instances in which couples break up and then renew their relationship with the same partner. Are we masochists of some kind, or do we just prefer the devil we know over the unknown?

What’s Wrong With Our Desires?

We are all familiar with the common situation of getting what we desire and then being dissatisfied with it. Was there something inherently wrong with our desires? Is there any way for us to be more satisfied?

What Do You Do When Your Partner Is Not Perfect?

The notion of "the perfect partner" is central to our perception of romantic love. What do you do when your partner is not perfect? I examine this issue by referring to three major types of romantic compromises and illustrate their presence in the actual, true story of Anna.