How do you impress a woman? Flatter her, comfort her, make her laugh, be
supportive, show her respect. How do you impress a man? Show up naked with a
The so-called "battle of the sexes" has waged on since the dawn of PMS, and even today we continue to stereotype each other in all the traditional ways. And you hear of guys who are actually "women trapped in a man's body" and vice-versa, and you think 'okay, whatever'. Aren't we all trapped in somebody's body? (actually, I think I might be a lesbian trapped in a man's body). I just can't believe we are two separate species. Aside from the obvious physical differences I think we're identical in every way. I guess it depends on if you believe whether or not there is a male and female soul (assuming you believe in souls). I think it's simply the subtle genetic differences in our physiology and the consequent bio-chemical variations that affect our emotional framework. All the rest is the result of generations of social programming. And how extreme indeed is the extent of this programming. Men have been taught by example to desire control of his surroundings regardless of the cost. Men have been almost entirely responsible for every war that has ravaged the nations of the world since history began, and have systematically raped the Earth to fulfill these desires for control (think about it, women don't commit rape). This is a prehistoric perversion of men's original role as provider, and the male ego still takes this obligation quite seriously. We learn early in life what our traditional roles are supposed to be, and many of those roles arose from the awesome responsibility of motherhood. Our duties and limitations have been contingent on whatever it takes to most efficiently raise a family, because without children there would be no human race. How different that human race would be if we were hermaphrodites like some plants and organisms, where both sexes could bear offspring (although as a man I thank God we're not). In any event, regardless of how subtle or how exaggerated our differences are, it would appear that men and women are actually just one lifeform, but riding around in different vehicles. While the evolutionary construction remains consistent for the species as a whole, it does seem as though the female version is a little more stable and adjusts easier to the relentless process of this construction.
So what is love? If you define it as the ability to care about someone else more than you care about yourself then the standard boy-girl parameters become inadequate. Total devotion can exist in parent-child, brother-sister, or same-sex relationships. Where this devotion, attraction and capacity for compassion come from is a phenomenon that has rarely occurred through the billions of life forms that have graced the Earth. This seems to occur primarily in mammals, and since all mammals have the same bodies-just different package styles, one could conclude that this is merely a by-product of the biochemical emotional process of the mammalian brain. But this does not explain why a cat will starve itself or fight to the death to protect her young, and then kill a poor little mouse with no remorse whatsoever. Nor does it explain why these emotional attributes are so deeply integrated into our psyche. Keep in mind that memory cannot even recall emotions. It can only recall sounds and images that at best trigger new but similar emotions. So why is it so important to feel some connection with each other? Maybe because it can only be felt in the MOMENT (there's that word again) and we know that when it's gone it's gone. Or maybe if it's true that we're all just fragments of a single entity, that subconsciously we sense a primordial "longing" that this entity has to be whole again. Or who knows maybe we just fear living alone. One thing for sure, most all of us fear dying alone, but I'm afraid in the end it's an experience that cannot be shared. We all hope that love is eternal though, and that when we pass on to whatever lies beyond all our loved ones will be there waiting. If love is purely emotional however, then it's reasonable to assume that this chemical process ends when the body dies. This is too depressing for me though, so I'm forced to believe that whatever 'entity' we are pieces of has the ability and motivation to remember us the way we were and will allow us to exist after death as individuals at least long enough to see the big picture and re-live our personal memories before re-joining the "Great Link" (oh my God I'm making DS9 references now. Let's move on before I hurt myself).
Another depressing possibility is that love evolved as something that could give us a purpose for being here. In the past, survival and procreation were the only purpose life on this earth needed. We take this for granted now, and without any love for one another we would live as zombies or selfishly take from one another until there was nothing left. In fact, as I say this it occurs to me that through recorded history we have behaved in just this way on many occasions, even now. As I said, it's depressing to minimalize it like this, I would rather think of love as a higher brain function that we are just beginning to tap into and the next step in our evolution towards Godliness, but it may very well be just a fail-safe in this step and the only thing saving us from self-extermination.
However, there's a selfish aspect to this in that life only seems to matter to us when we're happy, and of all the things that make us happy, caring for someone is the one thing that lasts. The love of a spouse, child, friend, even a pet can outlast any other pleasures we might have throughout our lives.
So, like BTO said, "any lovin's good lovin", and I suppose it doesn't really matter why we need to feel that connection so long as we do it without resolve or reservation and hopefully not to fill a void of loneliness in our lives, but to create a working partnership with a soulmate who like yourself, is merely separated temporarily by life.