A recent discussion with a friend about relationships revealed he was a shameless cad until he met his current wife. Prior to meeting her, he had made plots to sleep with every girl in his department – and he had made good efforts to do so.
Why the change from shameless playboy to monogamous husband?
LOVE. He fell in love. She tamed him, he was willing to settle down. She was enough for him.
Such a discussion illuminates an interesting psychology that complicates the game of love. Of course, novels and stories such as the Twilight Saga, gain traction from the vampire motif to embody this tension.
It seems exciting and energising to a woman to be the maddening object of desire to an otherwise animalian appetite. Despite protestations of being lusted after, cat called or stared at, women love to be desired. The more powerful the pursuer, the more energising the feeling of being desired.
However, what peaks the romantic tension for her is that his LOVE for her transcends his lust for her flesh but forever, their liaison is one of slight danger in which her “being enough” is the means to hold the full brute force of his animal self at bay. Of course erotica spin offs such as 50 Shades take the danger, violence and sexualisation of Twilight in more explicit direction. But nevertheless the motifs remain.
This is alarming because of course the upshot of discussions around violence against women can tend to slide to female fault. She no longer was enough for him and so he strayed. OR she placed herself in danger of an otherwise untameable force. Protective voices warn women and girls, without addressing the perpetrators, who are after all seemingly acting out of their nature
The prevalence of partner and sexually related violence shows the dark side of these fantasies. The transformative power of attraction and desire can soon wear thin, leaving an unfettered animal instinct and two hungry souls to tear at each others flesh and emotions.
Danger occurs when anyone believes they deserve negligence, violence or exploitation in ANY context.
Love narratives are powerful at showing how redemption can channel and transform unfettered forces into life giving dedication, self giving and sacrifice. However, the converse is not true. The belief that anyone be motivated to maintain the welfare of the other purely by the value or allure of that person holds, is sorely misguided.
Indeed to be a fully actualised human, male or female, is to realise the power we have over others. This coupled with a full understanding of the intrinsic value of all others despite our perception of this value should inform our default inter-relationships.
The true supernatural power of being human, is to build and sustain life giving relationships with a range of people despite their utility. Whether we be vampire or not, the role others is not to transform or redeem our baser desires. This transformation must occur first and from which all relationships can flow.
That transformation comes from a greater love story.