violet’s love advice

When I was younger, I was obsessed with love. I wanted to find ‘the one’ and spend the rest of my life in utter bliss with this perfect match.

Now I’m a bit older and have been round the block a bit, I feel a bit sad that our adolescent chemicals are so easily harnessed by silly books and films with impossible endings. Why does no-one write a best-selling book and film about a teenager discovering that the hormones that make them crave this magical bonding are only there because we’re animals who have to breed to survive? Why do sex education classes not go over in detail how our brains and erogenous zones are fooled into thinking ‘this is the most special thing ever!’ solely so that we’ll be tricked into making babies? And even if our sexuality means we can’t be led down the breeding path, that those pleasure centres only exist because of the need our animal bodies feel to breed.

The importance of placing all our strongest urges in their biological context cannot be ignored, especially living in a society that plays on these objectively mundane physical facts of life, by driving a lucrative market around their ability to drive us into a frenzy.

Bearing all this in mind, there is another aspect of modern love matching that is completely irrational – tick boxes. So many people have a list of things they need fulfilled in order to even consider romantic involvement with another person. Silly things like looks, money, education, car, shoes, hair, curtains or musical taste.

Now, it’s one thing to not be mentally prepared for the onslaught of your chemicals when someone sparks them off, but it’s another to try and fit ‘love’ into a box. It is chemicals. You can’t dictate to your body when to be in love with someone because of the car they drive or because of the job they do.

So, Violet’s lesson in love goes like this:

– don’t be tricked by the gooey, squidgy feeling you might get from films or books about love, into thinking love is a ‘magic’ match with one special person

– once you’ve past your early 20s your potential market is significantly diminished, if you want a relationship you’ll probably have to put some serious effort into finding someone – the ‘magic’ match from the movies is unlikely to fall from the sky

– read about your love chemicals and understand how they will wax and wane throughout any relationship, and how to make the most out of them without taking them too seriously

– don’t be tricked by your own unimaginative expectations into thinking you should attempt relationships because someone looks good on paper – if they don’t smell of sex now, they’re not a viable romantic partner

– don’t give up on a relationship because the lust chemicals seem to die down for a period of time, bear in mind that separating from someone with whom you’ve created an attachment can feel like being ripped in half

– don’t expect not to be continually attracted to a range of people throughout any relationship – enjoy the feeling and don’t take it seriously, attempting to suppress it will only cause problems

– never chose a partner based on what curtains you’ll have

– if you want a romantic partner and can’t find one, get a dog – they more than fulfill the basic need/love attachment, making you a more attractive prospect for others in the interim

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