I cannot believe I actually had the nerve to pass this write-up to my Psychiatric Nursing clinical instructor back in 4th year college almost 3 years ago. I cannot even remember what was the actual instruction of the assignment or what the essay was supposed to be about although I do recall having to write about something connected with the various theories of Psychology, whether if about the works of Freud or Erikson or even Maslow. Either way, it seems like I was feeling hostile towards formal writing the day so this was what came out.
Intimacy vs. Isolation (Erik Erikson)
A friend of mine asked me, quite randomly, what, for me, the reason for loving is. Why do we love? Why do you love him? Why do you love her? What are the things that he/she does to make you do so? What do we really get from loving when, most of the time, we receive much less than what we actually give?
I know quite a lot of people who can’t wait to love. Can’t wait to fall in love. Let’s face it, most people think of the word love is directly associated with the ever-so-popular boy/girl relationship (can now be boy/boy or girl/girl, whichever you prefer), me included. So let’s delve on that.
Putting aside the lackluster best-friends-forever-relationships and the often tear-stained familial attachments, let’s nose-dive into the more chaotic details of love. The “I-would-die-for-you” love. The “can’t-wait-to-see/hug/kiss/coitus-you-mwah-mwah” kind of affection. It’s messy, it’s crazy and most people end up more hurt and depressed than they ever felt after the brief mischievous glimpse of happiness. Then why do we do it? More so, why do we want it? Why do we so desperately need it?
If you’re Sigmund Freud, you would probably say that it’s all because of sex and pleasure. A whole lot of pleasure. It’s all about the genitalia, baby, and it needs all the attention that it can get. If you’re Erik Erickson, however, you would say that having a fulfilling intimate relationship with another human being other than your forever loyal family and your ever so trustworthy friends is your developmental task at that point in time. Accomplish your tasks or else you’ll end up emotionally scarred and fixated for all eternity. *shakes head*
If you’re like some, let’s say, liberated people I know, you plunge into relationships because you want experience. You want to know what it’s like when Tom Cruise whispered “You complete me.” to Renee Zallwegger, how it feels like to be kissed in the rain and make hot love in an abandoned cabin with the fogged up windows and the rising music like Noah Calhoun and that perpetually confused girl in The Notebook. Or perhaps, you just want to have somebody to display to your friends and to the world. Being “taken” is a social status after all.
If you’re like me… well, things are much simpler.
Because even though love sometimes can hurt more than it can make you happy, it can drain all of your remaining energy and rationality, it could leave you miserable and suicidal and in desperate need for anti-depressants (worst comes to worst anti-psychotics and a trip to your nearest mental institution), you cannot deny that at least a moment in time, you felt that indescribable feeling of pure floating-in-the-air kind of bliss, that out-of-this-world sensation of being with the one you love. It may only last for a few hours or mere seconds but that doesn't diminish its value. And the memory will be forever embedded in us for the rest of our lives.
All in all, as my favorite fictional professor put it:
“Why do people want to fall in love when it can have such a short run and be so painful? I think it's because, as some of you may already know ... While it does last, it feels fucking great.”