Wisdom Workout: Love is a Verb


By Susan McNeal Velasquez

By Susan McNeal Velasquez

The chance that I would go to see a movie about a guy who is addicted to pornography is slim to none. However, the issue of porn in our society and how often women reference it as a serious wedge in their intimate relationships made me decide to see “Don Jon.”

The review I read highlighted Jon’s (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) addiction to pornography and Barbara’s (Scarlett Johansson) obsession with Hollywood’s version of romantic love. Cinderella is looking for her Prince while the prince is preoccupied with perfect fantasies of his own.

I’m glad I made the decision to see it, since the world I grew up in was substantially different than the one I am seeing around me today.  Any opportunity that provides an updated mirror into the now is appreciated.

The lead character loves his porn. It is part of his daily ritual and his friends make the statement that every guy looks at porn everyday. That is probably an exaggeration, but easy access is an undisputed fact of our computer driven world.

How did Jon get that way? And how did the world we currently live in get this way? My mind goes to questions about the state of human relationships in this modern era.

When women’s self-image is dependent on reaching unattainable beauty standards in order to find a decent match, love is reduced to a commercial transaction that entitles “the perfect 10” to command and demand higher performance standards from the lucky guy who lands a hot one. This is just as much a part of the pornography promise that you can get all the benefits that you are lusting after without any of the exorbitant prices that a living, breathing real woman might extract.

So is pornography less about sex and more about gender? Are men afraid to enter into intimate relationships for fear that they will be trapped into trying to meet the unrelenting demands of a princess looking for a kingdom of her own to reign over?

The bigger questions seem to be confusion between lust and love, fantasy and reality, dependence and independence, immediate gratification and long-term sustainability. Is there an unattainable expectation, fueled by the anonymity of our computer personas, that we can have intimacy without personal vulnerability?

Does high-tech leave us so starved for touch that we use love and lust interchangeably?

Lust is a noun. The initial definition is simple. 1. Sexual desire. 2. Eagerness. Its synonyms are: envy, covetousness, longing, yearning, hankering, hunger, thirst, itch. As we delve further, envy uncovers jealousy, greed, bitterness, resentment, spite and grasping. Covetousness is defined as greediness, materialism, and acquisitiveness, longing, hunger, thirst and itch.

Love as a noun is defined as: 1. Passionate attraction and desire.  2. Very strong affection. 3. Romantic affair. 4. Somebody much loved.  5. Strong liking. 6. Something eliciting enthusiasm. 7. Beloved.  8. God’s love for humanity.  9. Worship of God.

Love is also defined as a verb. 1. Showing kindness to somebody. 2. Feeling tender affection for somebody. 3. Liking something or someone very much. 4. Feeling desire for somebody. 5. Having sex with somebody.

Maybe it is high time for us to recalibrate our desires to include the baby steps of allowing our desire for authentic connections and interactions with at least one other person to take precedence.

Who can we debrief with so that our humanness can be mirrored back to us through the kindness and concern of someone that our heart chooses as an object of our affection instead of our runaway fantasies? How can we let go of our self-absorption with how things look and turn instead to the job of waking up by becoming self-aware and growing up by becoming emotionally mature? What actions do we need to take to take our place as a loving, caring, committed and involved participant in creating a life that we are proud to claim as our own?

Susan is the author of the emotional intelligence resource book: Beyond Intellect: Journey Into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind.  Reach her at: susanvelasquez.com or 494-7773.





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