Romance probably is dead then

Being a night owl, it’s not uncommon for me to decide to go to bed early and yet end up actually going to sleep at the usual early hours of the morning. I tend to get carried away on this endless chain of tab hopping – I’ll see something interesting on Twitter, Google it, and find that I’m taken on a wild journey of obscure ‘research’. For example, if one were to peek at what I’ve got open this moment, they may end up perusing over ‘Anger, rage and the spiritual path’, ‘Trial of Michael Jackson’, ‘Jack the Ripper Suspects’, ‘How to master the Marcel wave in 5 easy steps’, and ‘Is social media destroying your human relationships?’ (A great animation by the way.) Not to mention a dozen video hosting websites that amounted to nothing when I was trying to watch Ja’mie: Private School Girl. I got it in the end. (It led me to extensively stalk Chris Lilley on every platform I could think of – you get the picture.)

But something in particular caught my eye last night, and once I’m faced with a philosophical hypothesis I can’t help but let it consume my mind in a Catch-22-type scenario. I came across an article on Buzzfeed entitled ’16 Scientific Reasons Love Is Bad For You’ – I have 24 hours to find a date for Valentine’s Day but with the odds against me I found this information both appropriate and a small respite for my aching heart.


Now don’t get me started on conspiracies. The idea that we can only speculate like headless chickens is almost too much to bear – I’m nosy, I seek hard facts. But a manipulation of ourselves by ourselves? The idea that we have been raised like pigs for slaughter as sex slaves of the higher power? Does this make sex the be all and end all of human existence? What a chilling thought.

So I glanced over Helen E. Fisher et al.’s essay ‘Romantic love: a mammalian brain system for mate choice‘. Do take a gander if you’ve got the patience – it does make for very interesting reading – but to be honest it’s a hell of a lot of black and white and not enough pictures. However, what I gleaned from it disturbed me. Apparently horniness is just a way to keep the family name fresh, with a ‘range’ of different partners. This surely suggests that a) Jesus had the right idea b) China overdid it and are now paying for it c) polygamy is the natural way of life and d) we’d do well to just stop giving head now, it’s pointless. The fact that sex’s use-value is in fact practicality rather than leisure is enough to put porn, and pop if you will, stars on the streets. (On that note – Ron Jeremy’s rendition of Wrecking Ball? I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry but… genius.)

Fisher also says that the attachment, love’s finest feature, spurs couples to stick together long enough for him to get her up the duff. In other words your relationship is a ticking time bomb where the only outcome is parenthood. I imagine sleeping around on a regular basis has the same affect – why have several chances with one man when you can have several chances with several men, I ask myself. I wonder if Helen Fisher is a swinger.

And next time you’re being stalked by a psychotic admirer, just remember that it’s all part and parcel of ‘courtship attraction’ (‘increased energy, focused attention, obsessive following, affiliative gestures, possessive mate guarding and motivation to win a preferred mating partner’ (Fisher 2004)) and completely normal. ‘She wants the D’ suddenly takes on a new meaning – the poor girl is simply a victim of human instinct and actually wants your babies. Nothing to worry about at all.

Sometimes I get scared about the fact that I’m trapped inside my own mind and can’t escape, especially when I’m lying in bed after a night out, fighting the urge to be sick and earthing myself with a toe so that the room stops spinning, and I can’t stop thinking about gooey chocolate cake. But even scarier is the notion that my mind isn’t mine. It’s not my friend. It’s conspiring against me, trying to get me pregnant. I’m not ready. I have so much life to live. So I don’t see any alternative except double-crossing myself by becoming a Buddhist monk or a lesbian. As I gaze upon Dan Osbourne’s impossible physique, I will feel nothing. Watch this space.

Anyway – I address you, happy couples across the nation, urging that as you celebrate Valentine’s you look into each other’s eyes above your overpriced dinner searching for the answer to ‘Will this ever lead to reproduction?’ Because if not, loved ones, you might consider getting the bill ’cause it’s all over for you. And to my fellow lonely hearts, lost souls, free spirits – when asked ‘Hey, you know what’s sexy?’ remember School Spirit Skit 1. ‘No, I don’t know what it is, but I bet I can add up all the change in your purse very fast.’

P.S. I only got to page 3 of the ‘Romantic love’ article and then got hungry so if you guys finish it and want to add anything, please feel free to do so below.