Couple

Love: looking for a user manual

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Love, we believe in it more than ever. But we are wary of it. Because we know too much about his pitfalls? Or not enough about his instructions? Not easy to connect together, and durably, the pieces of the kit "love, couple, sex".

Jean-Louis Servan-Schreiber

Catherine Breillat, the director of Romance , one of the most direct films on female desire, seems to know each other in love. For thirty years she has been the central subject of her books and films. She has even published an anthology of contemporary erotic texts, The Book of Pleasure , which renews the genre. She takes a cold and analytical look at the emotional behavior of her actors or characters. "And yet, she laughs, my love life is a disaster, I love falling in love and I crash regularly. I do not understand what I could have found for him. " She embodies this symbolic generation which, at the age of 20 in 1968, happily embarked on the great liberation of ideas and bodies: no more dogmas, no more taboos. But right now, the children of these pioneers are wondering if, by lightening guilt, we have not accentuated precariousness.

Generation story?

The little story of love, for three generations, attests to it. Our grandparents did not consider it essential to love each other to get married. But their descendants, who we are, believe in the marriage of love, for better or for worse. The worst is not rare: we often divorce. Especially since at the same time we discovered, thanks to the pill, that sexuality was not necessarily linked to love, and that a simple and good desire allowed us to dive together under the sheets.

The youngest people today feel that the "love, couple, sex" kit is in front of them, on the table, but that they have not been given a user manual to permanently connect the pieces. together. How could it be otherwise? But is it so new? More than fifty years ago, the German-American psychoanalyst Erich Fromm wrote already, in his Art of loving : "There is hardly any activity, enterprise, in which one s engages with hopes and expectations as excessive, and yet fails as regularly as love.

Around love ...

As very few of us will conclude that it is worth better to give it up and to learn instead of cooking or Russian, let's try at least to understand some current snippets of this tenacious impulse. "Do you love me?" What exactly does the yes that comes in response mean? That the other is the most important person in our life? That one simply feels a pleasure to think of her?In both cases, this yes is sincere, but does not weigh the same weight. Love is the very type of the word-bag, where each one stuffs what suits him. When one speaks of commitment, the other, with the same word, responds to attraction. Hence an inexhaustible cascade of misunderstandings.

In rising love, I am in love. Suddenly, according to Michel Onfray's distanced formula, I can not, without pain, "economize on the presence of the other". No wonder we are talking about a "delicious torment" to describe this tension that destabilizes us at least as much as it galvanizes us.

The love of a couple, who succeeds the amorous state, if the latter has passed the first test of time, is more serene, deeper, in short more livable, but also often - as we shall see - more worried about to stability.

Unconditional love, I have more chances to feel it with respect to my children (the reciprocal is not guaranteed). He transcends, energizes and can even push for sacrifice, ordinary individuals. It is constructive and rewarding, but it is likely to taste.

Attachment is also love, even to simple friends. Or our animals. It often comes in couples whose flame is dormant. A feeling that would be wrong to decry, because it puts the softness in our daily relations. This is how we like "an uncle, a colleague, those with whom we live" well ".

Finally, let's not forget the passion, the most media of love, of which we make so many good and bad movies or novels. But do not we abuse the word to evoke simple love, or just a robust and persistent desire?

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