What is important for a great love life

Romantic love: why romantic love rarely works

Almost everyone dreams of great love and hopes one day to find a partner for life. Dr. Ingelore Ebberfeld, cultural scientist at the University of Bremen, writes in her new book “On the Impossibility of Love”. In it, she put forward a few notable theses - among other things, that sexual desire is more decisive for the choice of a partner than romantic ideas. In an interview, she explains why, despite everything, she continues to believe in something like love.

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Miss Dr. Ebberfeld, why is love so impossible?

Because love as we like to imagine it doesn't exist. In love, yes, that can even be proven, the attachment to a person who is important to us. But the so-called great love, the one partner for life, does not exist. In my book I have analyzed and examined what is behind it when two people find each other and say that they love each other.

They say men and women are much more genetically determined than we'd like them to be.

Oddly enough, most people struggle when it is said that men and women are different when it comes to love. These differences are important because otherwise the courtship and being in love would not even exist. We should acknowledge these differences and rather take a closer look at why the predispositions are so. 99 percent of our love life is determined by genes. We can manipulate these systems very well and convince ourselves that it is culturally shaped. And that's a good thing, because it makes it easier for us to deal with it. By ritualizing it, we regulate our love life and think that we have some influence on it.

Are you saying that in the end we are all driven by instincts?

I wouldn't put it that drastically. Let's put it this way: Man is a being that wants to reproduce. And of course I am never independent of my investments. So much is actually driven by instinct. But cultural influences also play a major role: In Europe, for example, it is normal for men and women to be able to find each other. In Asia, an astrologer may be consulted to determine a partner. And suddenly feelings develop here too. However, the bottom line is that what counts first and foremost is what nature gave us in the cradle. There is something in all of us that is making everything out of control. Then we move in our infatuation in border areas, but in which we like to lie to ourselves that we have everything under control.

And what value does sexuality have for love?

There is no better way to describe love than sex. This is how my book begins. What we get sexually created is our base. Everything comes from this. It starts with motherly love, when the child is taught to be empathetic. It's not a flat picture of sex, it's a complex process. We emerged from a sexual process and it has been with us all our lives.

Why are we so obsessed with romantic love?

That, of course, inspires us. Love and the ability to make sacrifices touch us so much because we always ask ourselves whether we could do that too. Take Romeo and Juliet, for example: the story makes us wonder whether we would have killed ourselves too. And from this arise these great ideas of love that have nothing to do with reality. But that is not reprehensible, because without imagination people would not have been able to fly to the moon either. Nobody knows what really happens when two people fall in love. But of course they envision the future brightly. You don't think about the fact that love could break or that the loved one has sweaty feet or a habit that annoys us animal at some point.

Do you still believe in love yourself?

I am by no means disaffected. When I know what is possible, I see a lot more calmly. And if you stick to reality and come to terms with the fact that happiness cannot be perpetual and perfect, you will become happier in the long run. We like to be fooled by the illusion. But if we're realistic, we don't have such high demands that ultimately stand in the way of our happiness. Of course, illusions are also important, because otherwise nobody would get involved in love anymore. But only when we include reality will love endure.

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