Love, Sex, and Romance

February 14th, 2011 / 78 Comments

If the lyrics of rock-n-roll songs are a guide, love is about sexual attraction.  Harlan Ellison put it this way, “Love ain’t nothin’ but sex misspelled.” The view that love and sex are identical may seem crass.  But the two words are often swapped in common use.

Few would deny the intense sexual attraction that accompanies the experience of “falling in love.” Because we recall these passions, we might think some basis exists for the widespread intuition that love and sex are related.

We who have once fallen in love also know that the initial burst of attraction often does not last.  The flames of romance almost inevitably dissipate.  Often only glowing embers – sometimes even dust and ashes – remain. 

When the fire dims, we wonder if love keeps relationships together.  Perhaps it is friendship instead. Perhaps the glue is really habit or social customs.

ANCIENT LOVE MYTH

The ancients proposed a myth for why two lovers seek one another.  As Aristophanes tells the legend, humans were originally joined in pairs.  Humans once had four legs, four arms, two heads, and displayed the characteristics of both males and females.  People were self-sufficient, and they possessed great insight and strength.

The legend says humans were so strong they began attacking the gods.  In response, Zeus struck upon a plan to cut humans in two to weaken them.  Since this time of great separation, humans have been condemned to roam the earth seeking our other (“better?”) halves. 

The moving force in our seeking is love itself. We find satisfaction and strength when we locate and embrace our soul mate.

This ancient myth suggests that sex and romance are powerful expressions of a deeper urge: the urge to reunite with one from whom we have been separated.  The myth of love, accordingly, is the story of reattachment.

EVOLUTIONARY SEX

Today, ancient myths have largely been replaced by science.  People seeking serious answers to the questions of love, romance, and sexuality look to anthropology, biology, and psychology. Science point to evolutionary history when talking about the relationship between sex and love.

Studies of our primate relatives – including lemurs, chimpanzees, monkeys, and apes – lead to theories about human sexuality.  If human mating habits evolved over time, study of nonhuman primates should give clues about the sexuality of human primates. 

Research of various types suggests that all primates are social.  Social behavior is vital for caring for the offspring that sexual activity sometimes produces. Research also suggests that the urge for sex has a genetic basis.

Many human sexual practices differ from the practices of nonhumans, however.  Humans are more likely to commit themselves to one sexual partner. Humans in general have more self-control than other primates when responding to sexual urges.

Humans are also unique in that they marry. In fact, marriage is a phenomenon of almost all human cultures. Nonhuman primates do not have the ritual of marriage, although they may dedicate themselves to one partner for life.

BIOLOGY EXPLAINS SEXUAL FAITHFULNESS?

Explaining why humans are more sexually faithful than nonhuman primates is a research project for some scientists.  Some speculate that the secrecy of human female ovulation is the evolutionary explanation for human monogamy.  Unlike females of many other species, human females show little or no sign of their fertility. Nonhuman females often show obvious signs of ovulation.

According to this explanation, males restrict their sexual activity to one female, because they cannot be sure when the female is ovulating. The risk that another male would fertilize his female is too great to leave her unprotected. Because creatures want to extend their genetic heritage, the need to protect one’s sexual partner led humans to commit to exclusive pair bonds.

A second theory for human marriage and sexual monogamy relates to the first.  According to this theory, human sexual monogamy serves the genetic interests of both males and females by providing a better environment to protect and nurture children.  A solitary female is more vulnerable to forces that may prematurely end the lives of a couple’s children.

The reasons females choose a mate differ from males. According to these scientific theories, females want to reproduce with males who have status, power, and wealth. Such males are more likely to protect the female’s offspring. 

Females also choose males who will likely help with child rearing.  Because females select males with such traits, so the theory goes, an evolutionary tendency toward monogamy emerges through female selection practices.

PSYCHOLOGY WEIGHS IN

Many think evolution does not fully explain human sexual and marital behavior.  To say it another way, the evolutionary drive for reproductive success cannot fully explain romance, sex, and marriage.

Sigmund Freud, for instance, believed that our desire for our opposite-sex parent drives us to find union with someone similar to that parent.  Others say an unknown magnetic force brings together very different people: males and females.  The maxim that opposites attract may indicate that aesthetic forces unite couples.  Marxists and social constructionists claim that economic concerns and the possibility for increased power unite lovers.

Most, if not all, of these explanations surely sometimes possess a measure of truth.  But surveys of the motivations behind human sexual activity and marriage reveal a wide variety of alternative explanations.

If we ask people what motivates them romantically and sexually, the most common response is personal attraction. These attractions can be physical, e.g., another’s body features, mannerisms, gait, or voice quality. They can be nonphysical, e.g., perception of status, intimacy, friendship, or wealth.

Psychologist David Buss notes that all major psychological studies reveal that the first and most important factors humans consider when choosing the ideal mate are factors related to caring, kindness, generosity, and other such personality traits. 

In one study, Buss interviewed more than 10,000 people. He asked these people to rate 18 possible qualities of a mate.  Both men and women rated the same qualities among their top five most important.  These qualities included dependability, emotional stability, a pleasing disposition, etc.

EROS AND LOVE

Although many factors affect our sexual and matrimonial choices, one element unites them all: attraction.  This attraction is the driving force behind our choices to be romantic, sexually active, and marry.  Attraction may be to something physical about the other. We may be attracted to what the other has to offer in terms of power, wealth, security, or status. Or we may be attracted to the other’s character or personality.

The word “eros” perhaps best accounts for this attraction for the other.  Unfortunately, however, contemporary people almost exclusively use eros and its derivative “erotic” to refer to sexual matters.  The classical use of eros is much more expansive.

Plato’s ideas about eros have shaped the way many understand attraction.  Plato used eros to describe desire for or attraction to the beautiful, valuable, or good. One could express eros for the gods, society, the good life, one’s country, and a host of other nonsexual things.

THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE

Today, those who want to speak clearly and consistently about love must make a choice about language. They must decide to equate eros with love or to think of love as greater than eros. 

I recommend considering love as a category greater than but including eros. After all, we often use the word “love” to talk about acting toward those to whom we are not attracted or do not find highly valuable. Sometimes we love in spite of the fact that we do not feel attracted to the other.

The Christian tradition tells us that love may not primarily involve attraction to what is beautiful, valuable, or good.  Christians, for instance, are instructed to love their enemies.

DEFINING LOVE AND EROS

The easy equation of sex/romance and love drives me to be as clear as possible about what love means. It drives me to define love as best I can.

My definition of love is the following: to love is to act intentionally, in sympathetic response to God and others, to promote overall well-being.  This definition suggests that love’s goal is overall flourishing, genuine happiness, blessedness, the kingdom of God, and the common good.

With this general definition of love in mind, I identify eros as a form of love that intends to promote well-being.  Eros as a love form involves intentional response to promote well-being when attracted to what is beautiful, valuable, or good.  Eros love seeks the good or beautiful in others and seeks to enhance or enjoy it.

Given my definitions of love and eros, we can see that sex and romance may or may not express love.  When sex and romance promote well-being, they are acts of love.  When sex and romance promote ill-being, they are not.

I am trying to change my habits of language on this issue. I try to use the word “love” in relation to sexual attraction, romantic feelings, or sexual activity only when I think overall well-being is promoted. I try to use words like “fondness,” “affection,” “passion,” “attraction,” “romance,” “sex,” or “intercourse,” when I am not sure overall well-being is intentionally being promoted.

Old habits die hard, of course. But I suspect that we would all gain greater appreciation for the word “love” if we were more careful how we use it.

CONCLUSION

To sum up: Love is not sex misspelled.  Sex and romance may be expressions of love. But they may not. Love promotes well-being – whether sex and romance are involved or not.

Love seeks well-being when the fires of romance rage.  But love also promotes well-being when passions die down to embers or ashes.

 

– This text draws from material in my book, The Science of Love: The Wisdom of Well-Being (Templeton Press). My newest book engaging these subjects is Defining Love: A Philosophical, Scientific, and Theological Engagement (Brazos Press).

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Comments

Elisabeth Pena

I appreciate this entry, because it does not separate love and sex. Often you hear Christians suggest that sex is this awful sin that is filled with nothing but lust. However, it is important to remember that sex can be an act of love. How can we teach teenagers that sex is an awful act to be avoided at all costs and then expect them to have healthy sexual relationships with their spouse? Explaining sex in the correct way to a teenager is difficult, especially when one is promoting abstinence. But just as the idea of abstinence is important, it is just as important to promote the idea that sex CAN be a loving act.


Sara Butkus

I loved reading about the myth of man and woman once being one. It is a beautiful metaphor for what marriage should be. I believe that the perfect “soul mate” for me is someone who makes me want to be a better person. 1+1>2 comes to mind when I think of this. Two people who are married and together should be a greater force in the world than two people who are by themselves. This desire to find someone who completes us in that way could be where that myth came from.


Preston Ake

I really enjoyed this blog post, it was very thought provoking. Specifically in two areas, the idea that love and marriage were derived from animals, and that the word love should be reserved for overall well being. First I am a bit skeptical that we can understand complex human emotions by studying the activities of primates and other animals. I believe that it is possible we evolved (with Gods help) from monkeys, but I do not believe that we are similar enough to monkeys to define human traits from this weaker species. Humans and apes, although similar, cannot be compared to one another in this manner. It is like comparing apples and grapes, yes they are similar, but at the same time they are very different. So I reject that marriage and love was derived from our evolutionary process.
The second component that was interesting to me was that we should only use love if we are promoting the well being of others. I agree, there is a large difference between love and attraction. I just think back to when I was a teenager, I did not know the difference between these two, but I do now. Love promotes mutual well being, it is not one sided or greedy.


Tim Stieglitz

I believe that humans are not monogamous, but that our cultural and social development has set up a structure where we see the advantages and benefits of monogamy. I think monogamy has developed from the same place as our morals. I believe that we are creatures of this designed earth but our intelligence has set us apart from other animals. We see the conflicts that occur from polygamy and how it hinders our relations between one another so we therefore have established this idea of morals to nail down this phenomenon of social development.

Another aspect of this discussion is the confusion of sex and romantic love. I wonder if this is simply the awkwardness of the English language. Love is an emotion and an action. We know what it is ‘to love’ but our language doesn’t allow us ‘to sex’. This limitation put on us by language, I think, is one of the reasons our culture is so confused about this issue. We have adapted the word “F___k” to be substituted as a synonym for sex because there is no verb to describe this action. The problem is that society views this term as a crude word, (which it often is) but it is far more accurate than to “have sex”.
I’d be curious to know if this confusion is present in other languages that may, or may not have better language for talking about sex.


Natalie Evans

I believe the word Love to be more than just intimacy and romance. I believe it to be the glue of the relationship but the not the core. The core relies on something completely different. It is something more than just the initial attraction. It is finding your better half. I look at my parents for an example. These people are totally different but have grown to be the same. They contribute to the well being of each other and their thinking is no longer selfish but selfless. I know that neither would be the same without the other and they have become a literal part of the others life. Love can not be defined in one or two terms or even given a complete definition. It is more a mosaic of experiences, sacrifices, characteristics, and simply put immeasurable.


mike jaquess

i really agree that human nature is a unique relationship because we are being of reason. most creatures are territorial and have a group of females that they herd over. but there is the good point of female ovulation and how humans dont show signs like other creatures. in overall human nature, sex can be love. most males tell women they love them after they have had sex. because of that attraction there is a confusion to what love really is. love is pursuing well-being for the other. sex and romance can enhance and bring some of that but the person behind the acts and intentions make the difference of pure love.


Derek

I tend to at least choose in partially believing in the fantasy surrounding the mythology of love because after all, it’s sort of fun to consider. However, I know there are many facets of human interaction, attraction, and relationships. Of course there are scientific evidence that suggests our attraction and love are nothing more than genetic urges, (the male selects his mate based on how closely her smell subconsciously reminds him of his mother and the female selecting her mate based on physical attributes of the male that make him look like a good protector). There are also factors of love and attraction that cannot be empirically measured, such as passion and that “feeling” you have in the pit of your stomach. These are things we cannot define all too well, rather it’s just something we feel and know and the only way someone else can even begin to maybe understand is if they’ve felt something similar with another. I enjoyed this entry because it didn’t entirely separate love and sex, but it didn’t conjoin them either. Certainly love can be an expression of love. God created marriage and sex as a means to foster intimacy and unite a man and a woman together (aside from humans, dolphins are the only other creature documented to have sex for pleasure). This is why some studies have indicated some couples who have sex outside of marriage describe a feeling of being un-clean or dirty afterwards. This relates back to the definition of love, to promote overall well being. When love, intimacy, and overall well being are the focus of sexual interaction between a husband and wife – it’s true love. When sex at the center for sex’s own sake – obviously overall well being isn’t be promoted here. I believe opposites do attract because, it’s a means of balancing out too opposing forces. For someone such as myself who is – incidentally – a equal mixture of concrete sequential, abstract sequential, concrete random, and abstract random personalities; I tend to seek out people who are a bit more abstract and have a “bubbly” personality to offset my more mellow tendencies. I keep others grounded when necessary and they provide me with the freedom to float freely through life.

Make no mistake, attraction plays a significant role when it comes to loving that one person for the rest of your life. However, we all know the phrase beauty is skin deep and it’s true. We can alter almost any part of our physical characteristics, but personalities rarely change. I believe we seek to find someone who is obviously physically attractive to our personal preferences, but ultimately we truly looking to see if this is a person we can be friends with. When you love someone’s personality, EVERYTHING about them is beautiful – I would much rather marry my best friend who I’ve built a relationship with over years and knows me inside and out rather than someone I meet speed dating on eHarmony.


Emily Curty

I found the thought of loving our enemies through the lenses of the classical definition of eros very appealing. Finding value and beauty in our ‘enemies’ would be a great step in reconciliation and forgiveness. It gives a further understanding of where these other people are coming from, and how we can continue to attach their own humanity to their person. I think we sometimes has difficulty in seeing our enemies as completely human because of our hatred, hurt, and pride. The challenge to look for the worth in everyone would certainly promote overall well-being, AKA love.


Alla Prokhor

If love was just based on sexual attraction and romance then every relationship that is romantic and/or sexual would be defined as a relationship where the two people love one another. I hear it so many times from people, mainly girls, that they are so in love and they think this because they are having sex. It bothers me to know that love has been so twisted, that any sort of affection that is shown is defined as love. This all makes me wonder, since when did love become defined as a physical thing? To me love means more then just a physical thing, it means that you care about the other person and what/how they feel and how they will continue to feel. Love should never be defined as just sex or just affection or just anything. There is so much more to it then just one feeling or one action. Sex should never be a definition of love. Yes people who love one another do have sex but it should not be the definition of weather two people love each other, it should just be a way for two people that are committed to one another, through marriage in my opinion, to show their affection to each other. Not their love, but their affection.


Nicholas Carpenter

One thing that came to my mind when reading about eros was that it’s definition was “attraction”, but I kept thinking of the word “passion”. I recognize that these terms mean different things, but I also feel that part of eros could be seen as having a connection with something/someone that is sparked or kindled by passion. Attraction is definitely in there, but I also feel that amidst all the talk of love, sex, and romance, passion plays a large part pertaining to all of these issues I feel.


Erin Rickart

I found this article to be very interesting. I agree with all of Oord’s point in this blog. There needs to be very defined lines between love and sex for in some cases they work together, for the most part are two completely different acts. The first thing that came to mind after reading this was in movies or tv shows when the husband or wife cheats they usually claim “it’s just sex”, and to a point I agree with this. Like Oord pointed out in this article, sometime love/marriage can burn down to just embers. When that happens, it’s sometimes the case that one of the spouses look for the sexual satisfaction elsewhere. In that case, it’s literally just sex. They still may love their spouse, due to comfortableness, friendship, whatever. They just needed the sexual fulfillment that they can’t get from the marriage, so they look elsewhere and it’s just sex. No love or friendship or even relationship, just sex. Don’t get me wrong, I am not condoning cheating on a spouse if it’s “just sex”, I just think that it is important to know that there is a major different between love and sex. Healthy relationships (marriage) can utilize both, but sex without love is nothing.


Kindra Galloway

I completely agree with the conclusion of this blog post that love does not equal sex. This is what popular culture wants us to believe, though. Too many “relationships” these days are based off of “feelings” and attractions, rather than a sense of companionship and compatibility. With the ambiguous use of the word “love” in the American culture, it is easy to get caught up in all the sex hype the media seems to plaster on everything. More and more people are open to promiscuity that real love can seem nonexistent at times.


Christie

Love is such a beautiful thing, it is a shame it is often used to define sex. Love may lead to sex, but many times it is an act done in spite of love, not because of it. I like the idea of using more appropriate language to describe things we call love.
I also like the statement that love is a category greater that but including Eros. I am reminded of Jesus when he asked what good is it if we only love those who love us? He then instructs us to do something quite unexpected and that is to love our enemies. We certainly would not be attracted to our enemies, nor would we find them particularly valuable. None the less we are called to love them. While Eros is a particular form of love, and sex can be an expression of love, it is important to remember that neither are completely accurate definitions of love.


Laura Shacklett

You say that sex and romance promote acts of well being then they are representing love. I feel that this is quite vague and may be taken many different ways. Someone may believe that having sex outside of marriage is promoting their well being so does that mean that they are still representing love? We are living in a culture where abstinence is not a common thing anymore. I do agree that attraction plays a large part in finding the right person. If you are not physically and mentally attracted to someone it will be hard to get to that deeper level of intimacy with them. There are so many forms of love. I wonder what has happened to society that loves definition now a lot of the time means being physical with someone. Love is such a complicated and twisted ideal that it is hard to pinpoint a definition of love. Love is so much more than sex and romance.


Korri Dobson

When you say that “love is not sex misspelled”  I completely agree.  Sex can happen out of feelings of hate, agression and wanting to hurt someone.  When someone is forced into having sex it is not an act of love.  I think that when you said love is caring about someone and their wellbeing is what love it.  Another reason love and sex cannot be the same thing is because I have very close friends that I love very much but that does not mean that sex is a part of our relationship!  It is weird just saying that.  I agreed with the statement about “romance and attraction can fade.” what are you left with after that fades?  Hopefully friendship and a bond that keeps you in love with that person.  That is why I think it is so important to really know the people you chose to marry or fall in love with.  It cannot be just attraction and romance. 
I did find the myth about people having two heads, four arms and four legs interesting.  I didn’t know that this myth existed.  I obviously don’t agree with it but I find it entertaining.


Kendria Werner

For the most part I feel that this topic helps support the idea of your conclusion on the thought that Love is not Sex misspelled. I found the section “Biology Explains Sexual Faithfulness?” interesting though. While reading this section the idea that “Males restrict their sexual activity to one female, because they cannot be sure when the female is ovulating”  is a good idea, but I dont see how that would make “humans to commit to exclusive pair bonds.” I agree with the idea for the need to protect their sexual partner, but why wouldn’t the male want to have multiple “partners.” In today society there is a large number of individuals who have sexual relationships with more than one person. Wouldn’t this take away from the idea that humans are committed to exclusive pair bonds? And with taking away from that would that take away from the idea that Love is not sex misspelled?


Davis Halle

I agree with this blog saying sex and love are not the same thing. I really believe that sex is something that should only be an act of love. It should never be love because of sex or romance. One part of this blog I really liked was the story at the beginning about searching for our other half that we have been separated from. I feel that God has a plan for who we are to be with and I believe that whoever you marry or love makes you, or should make you, a better person. I believe that in a truly loving relationship the two work as one and together they are better. Love has become so broadly defined and wrongly defined by many. It is sad when people think the physical part of relationship is what makes that relationship full of love. Like I said at the beginning of this response love needs to come first and the physical or romance should come out of love.


Kellie Miller

I really enjoyed reading this entry. The way people associate sex and love varies between people and faiths. I have grown up with sex not being talked about, it was a sin, and those who did it outside of marriage were bad people. As I have grown up, sex has become such a giant part of our society. It is everywhere and everyone is talking about it. It’s nearly impossible to keep it from young kids. Now that I am older, I see sex as an expression of love, but I know it doesn’t always MEAN love. I also know that people who have premarital sex are not bad people. I don’t agree with what they are doing, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t quality people who have a heart to serve the Lord. Maybe it’s the only way they know how to express love. There is the other side, though. Those who rape, pay for sex, etc. Do I think they are showing true acts of love? Of course not. Are they incapable of loving? of course not. But there is something going on that makes them think it’s all okay.

In short, I agree that sex and romance are ways to show love, but it doesn’t always mean love.


Steven Coles

I like how you distinguish between love and sex, but it seems that without love, sex can be missused and become ungodly. I especially like how you talked about how love is promoting the well-being of others and how sex is the promotion of the well-being of that individual you are participating in that act with. I do, however, struggle with the fact that it seems that others could justify having sex and be committed to the well-being of others outside of marriage, and that troubles me.


Christabel Leonce

I personally love the final statement where you say that love “Love seeks well-being when the fires of romance rage.  But love also promotes well-being when passions die down to embers or ashes”. In the sense of Sex and Romance we tend to associate a lot of burning sensation and desire for the other person. Our hearts are racing, our palms are sweaty and don’t forget the butterflies in our stomach. We are “in love”, we can’t seem to get enough of each other, always wanting to be around one another 24/7. Then, this warm fuzzy feeling, or fiery hot passion, slowly fades away. I hear a lot of people who break up say “I just don’t love them anymore”, really now, just like that. I agree with you, that the habit of language needs to be changed a little. If one can easily walk away from a relationship and say “I just don’t love them anymore”, I don’t think it was love in the first place. I know things happen and relationships fall apart and you stop talking, but can you honestly say you don’t love that person anymore. If we consider your definition of love, Dr. Oord, I think even though the steaming hot romance has melt away, if there was love at the beginning, we can still continue to love (seeking overall well-being for) the other individual.


Darci Curtin

I appreciate how you repeated your definition of love at the end of this blog entry; it was a great way to bring it all together. I agree with the statement “sex and romance may be expressions of love. But they may not. Love promotes well-being – whether sex and romance are involved or not.” When two people are 100% committed and know that they will be together forever, it is appropriate to engage in sexual conduct. However, before two people are committed to each other, it can only hurt things. Sex is such a normal thing in our culture nowadays, I think that it is sad that many men and woman as young as high school believe that a relationship without sex is not even worth it. It shows immaturity and just proves that they should not be having sex. People can be very selfish when it comes to sex and until they are in a relationship that is self-less and they are truly in love with a person, it can be guaranteed that one of the partners will not leave the other broken. I think that the church needs to approach the topic of sex in a way other than just “don’t do it before you get married”. That doesn’t really mean anything to anyone… people need to know why not? It seems that so many people have become uncomfortable with the topic and cannot muster up the courage to talk about it. Whether it is a person in a relationship, a mother or father, or a youth pastor, everybody needs to have someone that they feel comfortable talking about sex with. Otherwise, questions go unanswered and someone will end up getting hurt.


Cecelia Pena

I appreciated this blog entry because it talked about love in many different aspects. The only critique I would make about this post is how at the beginning of the post the statement “the flames of romance almost inevitably dissipate. Often only glowing embers-sometimes even dust and ashes-remain”, is made and the way we feed that “fire” is not addressed. I feel that this dissipation of love happens not only in romantic relationships but also every other type of relationship exists. I feel that the way to keep that fire going should be talked about and discussed because our society is becoming too comfortable ending relationships instead of working through them and “rekindling that fire”.


Elora Drake

It has always been difficult to deal with these issues mostly because it is an issue that is rarely discussed. I agree that love and sex are too often used interchangeably and I agree that, that can be dangerous. I like that the definition of love is the base for determining whether or not sex would be considered loving. I like how in the book real sex and class the idea of sex is communal was discussed. Because when compared to something like communion it is a ritual that works on bringing a relationship closer together. I tend to see it as a re commitment. I think that, when viewed in that light sex falls in line with the definition of love.


April Kerbyson

I appreciated the different explanations of what brings two people together—sociability, attraction, and psychological and biological factors.  Although I don’t accept the ancient myth explanation, its thought process was very interesting.  Overall, I think a combination of the sociability, attraction and psychological and biological factors bring people together.  In fact, I think when all those factors are brought in and thought about, love exists, because love is not based just on attraction or wealth, love is based on a combination.  Therefore, I agree that love is greater than sex since some people use sex as an escape rather than an act of expressing true love.  Therefore, I also disagree that love is just “sex misspelled.”


Thiago A.

After reading this, I became more aware of how much we use the word love in ways that probably should not be used. Being married, I can definitely understand the strong relationship of love and sex as promoting complete well-being. On the other hand, I can understand how sex can be separate from love.  For instance sex can be used to promote individual pleasures without the concern of the other person’s well-being.  I also would like to choose my words more carefully when using the word love.


Elisha Storm

I don’t if you indirectly shared this, but there was a lot of research on why women choose certain men. The reason was that women unconsciously choose men that they think would provide the best genetic chance for their children; this plays into Darwin’s survival of the fittest. This factor is not always present, and not always a determining factor, but it’s interesting that not only can we talk about a spiritual, emotional, and mental form of love, but there is a scientific form as well.
I think that the issue of sex is such a problem because the way society is right now. Society is so heavily sexualized; they are obsessed with being sexy, beautiful, and the ways to become so that all we know is that we have to do certain things to attain a level of sexiness. Just recently, I learned most of the people in my job and all swapped and traded their exs, and you could trace a pattern in whom slept with whom, in addition to even kids at this school. It’s all so normal, and it’s hard to think that you are doing the right thing in saving yourself for marriage. Ultimately, you know that you are, but in this society, you can lose sight of it along the way.


beth castro

Love permeates everything that any one person does.  Whether it is for the “promotion of well-being” for others or for themselves.  For the subject of sex and romance, if it still for “well-being”, why does it sometimes end up with the wrong intentions?  The description of romance, and sex being for “ill-being” is not an act of love, how can it still be given credence in the same sentence?  Romance and sex are so important to relationships in this day and age.  If you ask any married person, it is what usually brought the couple together.  I think that the “act of love” sometimes gets distorted and forgotten in busy lives- it is important to remember why God gave us the ability to show love.  To our spouses, our children, our friends, and family.  Love comes in many different forms, but none of it would be possible if two people did not want to “get together” first.  So, it should be valued as very important to your life.


Alicia

Love to me focuses on promoting the well-being of others both in friendship and romantically. One of the greatest ways I know and have experienced love is through someone doing this such as through asking me (sincerely interested) how I am doing or (I know this sounds silly) my boyfriend holding out his arm or grabbing mine as I walk down a set of stairs in high heels. Simple things like this all the way through more complicated acts are all ways I see love truly being promoted in ways romantically and/or friendly. In the way we think of passiOnate live, I believe true love can only be shown through that when a base for the relationship has been formed because otherwise it is just passion. When I think of people talking about how sex innately and biologically is (when you get down to the core of a human) is only for reproduction, I find it hard to believe. It may have been that way at the beginning of time, but I don’t believe that now that that is the ONLY reason biologically that we have sex. In my opinion, there is something tied to it that is more than just the natural drive. As to what that is, I am still figuring it completely out.


Taylor Watson

I liked that you ended with saying that love is not sex misspelled. It is a very common thing in out culture to equate sex with love and because of this; it is often used entirely out of place to make something revolting which once was a beautiful part of a marriage relationship. Love is much more than just sex. As you said, love is seeking the wellbeing of another. Not simply using another for your pleasure.


Priscilla Cuevas

I was most intrigued by the view of humans having both female and male characteristics at one point and then being separated and forced to find our “better” halves. I have always thought about everyone’s true love as their better half so it’s nice to know that part of my view is also shared with other people’s views. I also really enjoyed the perspective you took with love and sex you made sure that the reader understood that they are two different definitions and meanings but sex has to do with love so I’m glad you still were able to discuss this instead of ignoring it like Christians tend to do.


Diane Vander Hulst

I thought it was really interesting reading about the different explanations of love, such as the evolutionary myth, the biologic, and psychologic views. Some of the ancient myths are very interesting – to think that man and woman were the same being until they tried to attack the ancient gods and they were split as two. I don’t believe in ancient mythologies but I do find this myth to have some truth. In Matthew 10, the Bible states that when man and woman leave their mother and father, they unite and become one flesh. Just like in this ancient myth, the imagery of “one flesh” is implied and that is why I think sex should be held in the context of marriage.
I think this whole blog offers great truth in explaining love, sex and romance. I do not think there is one way to explain the attraction of love. Everyone looks for different characteristics in their partner. I do think that in general, attraction drives romance and that in order for love to work, one must find their best friend.


Shanna Rippy

I appreciated this entry because the thinking behind it still allowed for sexual attraction and behavior to be considered showing love. I think in a marriage, this is a key way for spouses to show that they love one another and are attracted to each other. However, I liked how sex and love can be separated because sexual attraction and behavior is not always showing love. I think this is something that has been lost in society. I feel that because we live in such a sexually charged society, people have formed the connection that sex is how you show someone you love them and that sex always shows love. I think that romance is important because it can be a powerful way for us to show how deeply in love we are to someone, but love, sex and romance should not always be considered synonymous because it doesn’t always promote well-being.


Tara McClees

I agree that we should be careful how we use the term love, especially in relation to sex and romance. I have little to no experience in this area myself – much of what I know comes from discussion and observation of others, particularly cases of my peers’ “love gone wrong.” Many people, when first diving into a romantic relationship, or simply becoming smitten with someone, will be quick to say they “love” the other person, when what I detect is simply a strong physical desire for that other person. Of course, there is nothing wrong with physical attraction and I appreciate that you mentioned that. The problem I see in those situations is that the attraction is the only thing there is or that it’s all too important to the relationship, when relationships should be built on so much more. Like you said, attraction comes and goes.


Noah Chance

I remember in my Christian Theology the graph written on the white-board while discussing about sex. Dr.Leclerc said that we connect to our spouse physically, emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically. All these characteristics serve a need that every individual has from their spouse or significant other. Some are weighed more heavily depending on the individuals, but what Dr.Oord discussed fit into these four categories. What Dr.Oord describes mainly in the absolute basic, ingrained, and genetic traits that we as humans express. I like to think that yes those are valid explanations of why we do the things we do in relationships, but it is the groundwork for a larger amount of variables that result in what we see today between sex, love, and romance.


Taylor Bickel

I think it’s interesting how it seems, at least to me, some members of the church has taken exactly what you said, and extrapolated it to become an almost anti-sex campaign for youth. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel there are some within the church who treat sex as a taboo when addressing it with young people. It is not put in a positive light as I think it should. Instead it is sometimes crammed down your throat if you ever think about sex you’re sinning against God, and while I’m certainly against lust, I would say the youth need a better education about the Christian view of sex and love.


Sydnee Oord

I really like the story of the four-legged humans at the beginning of this post. Even though I don’t think we every had four legs, I enjoy learning about new ways different cultures and religions thought about love. I think we as the American, Christian tradition can learn from these different cultures who seem to understand love and sex better than we do. Although I think physical attractions are important when being in love, I agree with Buss that “caring, kindness, generosity, and other personality traits” are more important. Personally, I find myself being attracted more to people who have a kind personality, one that I would get along with. These types of personalty traits are much more important to me than looks because I enjoy being around people with these personality traits.


Leslie Warwick

Lets talk about …sex. Growing up I have always been taught that it was a dirty word that it was something we kind of hush-hush till you are married. But I believe that this just sets the generation up for failure. We go into situations blind not knowing what to expect because we believe that we love someone and the only way to show we love them is to give up our “V” card. I know that’s harsh but the truth is if we were more open to talk about how sex is to be a beautiful thing to create life and bondage with another human being then I would believe we wouldn’t hear as much of 16 year olds getting abortions. I do appreciate the defining of the two terms of mere love seeking pleasure and love seeking Eros. So why not talk about sex in its pure form. Just Love!


Grady Turner

I was very dissatisfied with the biological explanation of why humans stay more faithful to each other than other species. Consider what marriage is equated to in the Bible. Marriage is supposed to reflect the churches covenantal relation with God. With that in mind, consider God’s faithfulness to us. We don’t see God walking out at the first sign of conflict. In fact, God is the epitome of love, faithfulness, kindness to His people. If we truly understand the seriousness of marriage, which is a union that God has created and blessed, we will view marriage in a way that mirrors God’s own example. If we are doing this, it should not be surprising that humans are more faithful in their marriages than other species are in their relationships.


Alexandra Jarratt

I find Plato’s explanation of Eros to be a good, comprehensive view of the word. I was under the impression for the longest time that it was only a word for romantic love, but the “desire for or attraction to the beautiful, valuable, or good” definition brings to light a more relatable explanation, at least for me. As someone who does not believe in macro-evolution, I find most of the biological explanation for monogamy to be unsatisfactory. This is just my opinion, but I believe that God places in us a desire to commune with one another and have the loving faithfulness of another to lean on in times of trouble. God is dependable and loving, and I think we seek that in other people and delight when we find it.


Holly Sheffield

Sex and romance are definitely not always an expression of love. Do to experiences that I and others have had, I would be inclined to say that sometimes sex is the opposite of love. There have been several times when I have also seen romance used as a tool to get something from someone that that person wasn’t inclined to give. It is sad that something that is supposed to be originally motivated by love, has been perverted in ways that often hurt to other people.


Patrick Patterson

I really enjoyed this post, it is extremely thought provoking and brings up some very good points.  I have always believed the word love to mean and be more than just intimacy.  Love is more than just initial attraction, it a bond/friendship in which we “find our better half” and contribute to one another’s well-being in a selfless way.  Intimacy and romance can surely enhance love, but the person behind those “acts of love” is what really makes the difference and defines what pure love truly is in my eyes!


Molly Breland

Being the person I am, I happen to find great enjoyment in hearing and reading the stories of Greek mythology. I found it interesting that while you could have tied together at least your biology and mythology section, you didn’t. Zeus being “Mister High and Mighty, Mister Hey you get off of my cloud.” Fathered many children (god and demigods alike), even through the mind with Athena.
While there are many ways to define love, I feel it is important that we remember to include romantic, and sexual love as well. To some, these can be big parts of a definition of love, if not a primary aspect. I find it, interesting, if anything that this can be more highly regarded than Godly, familial, or friendship loves.


Amanda Peutz

I like how you don’t separate love and sex. So often it seems that people want to separate them because in our culture today, many times sex is an act of pleasure not an act of love. I firmly believe in the term, “making love” in regards to sex. It is something that brings two people together on a very intimate level that is almost indescribable. It provides the two people to “become one” in the bond that God intended to be good. It is sad that for so many people, sex is simply a pleasurable action rather than a bonding and loving act. I wish that more people would think of sex as a loving gesture and not give it out so freely, because when it is experienced under the right circumstances and with the right person, it can be truly magical.


Joseph Norris

I agree, ‘love’ in its general use is not the equivalence of sexual intercourse. If that we true, then my love for a my mother would be sexual. I don’t agree with that sentiment. Certain types of love can be sexual in expression. Such love as Romantic or Eros love. I think Romantic or Eros love is not inherently sexual, but I think ordinate sexual desires toward the recipient of Romantic or Eros love is virtuous and desired by God. We as humans have the capacity, intellectually, to understand that we are not just animals and put here on earth to procreate alone. We have the capacity to create life with intentional love, some would even say for divine purposes in mind and increase intimacy in the relationship. Love is a romantic conduit that is expressed when compatible desires are present for love to flourish. If love promotes overall well-being and, I think, love is also self-exerting, but not coercive, then love will always promote overall well-being even when the desire are inordinate. Romantic love can be present and working when the members of the relationship are not having sex. We are in agreement.


Jennifer Yearsley

•  I never would have thought to compare our sexual lives to those of the non-human primates, but what you wrote was interesting to me and I think that some in this world are more like wild animals when it comes to self control in the fact that they cannot control their sexual urges. It was interesting that both men and women rated dependability, emotional stability, and a pleasing disposition as some of their top qualities. I would agree those are what I would look for in a “mate”. I strongly agree with your definition about eros, and enjoy how you say to be attracted to what is beautiful, valuable, or good. This brings such a deeper meaning to eros rather than just sexual attraction, which I agree with.


calvin fox

I like the idea of being carful about our use of the word love. If we use the word love to mean many deferent things then it becomes no better the any other four-lettered word. Eros love has way more meaning then I originally thought, it is not just the simple sexual meaning that it is commonly refers to today.


Greg Hata

The act of love is more than just a feeling or an emotion, it is a choice that a person does to show affection toward another human being. I think that it is this rational that set us apart from other living creatures and our ability to save ourselves for one person. I think that intimacy and romance are a bi-product our the affects love has between a couple. People sometimes mix up the feelings of passion for love and the actions turn out terrible. I also think this is why God commanded that we do not have intercourse before marriage so that e could have relationships that would not be tainted by previous sexual encounters.


Hillary Ashmead

I like this blog in the sense that love has may layers to it. Love is also the main difference that sets us apart from animals because we have the ability to love on more levels than just to procreate. As humans we love emotionally, physically, and intellectually. Just naming a few as humans we love to have connection with others and therefore improve their well being. In a good relationship the sex and romance should come secondary to the good of the individual in the relationship.


Jennifer Yearsley

I never would have thought to compare our sexual lives to those of the non-human primates, but what you wrote was interesting to me and I think that some in this world are more like wild animals when it comes to self control in the fact that they cannot control their sexual urges. It was interesting that both men and women rated dependability, emotional stability, and a pleasing disposition as some of their top qualities. I would agree those are what I would look for in a “mate”. I strongly agree with your definition about eros, and enjoy how you say to be attracted to what is beautiful, valuable, or good. This brings such a deeper meaning to eros rather than just sexual attraction, which I agree with.


Andy Yue

I agree with the conclusion of this blog post. I do think love is way broader than sex; in fact, comparing sex with love is like comparing the earth with the entire universe. Based on this understand, the claim that “love is all about sex” sounds more like “the universe is all about the earth”, such claim is simply foolish.
However, as a “extreme skeptic” against romantic relationship, I found the way which people treat sex as a great way of loving highly problematic. Yes, I do agree that sex is a kind of love; however, such love seems way to insignificant comparing to many other kinds of love. Romantic relationship takes huge amount of time and energy, and romantic relationships are often exclusive between two people. In some sense, I have the feeling that the very act of having romantic relationship with another person disables me from loving the broader community given the fact that I have limited time and energy.
For those who enjoys romantic relationships, what they are doing is fine in my opinion. And I approve sex as a kind of love after all. However, I personally believe that loving the community as a whole is a much better idea than spending the majority of one’s time and energy on loving one person. And for this reason I personally reject sex, since I believe sex is exclusive to exclusive romantic relationships, and exclusive romantic relationships disable one from loving the broader community.


Curtis S Mostul

When you talk about love growing cold and not maintaining its initial flame I have to agree but I do not think that love usually dies down to embers and ashes. Love is always there glowing in your soul you might not feel it as passionate as before but it is still there burning in you. It is interesting how different religions think about love and the four armed and four legged humans that were split into two gives a very interesting view on love and how people think it affects our desires.


Noelle Parton

I think that it’s very important to distinguish what love is when it comes to sex and romance, as you have. I think about the people who decide to divorce because they have “fallen out of love.” I don’t think these people are viewing love as being possible when those intense feelings and attractions die off. When the “honeymoon phase” goes away, there needs to be something greater that connects two people so that they can continue to have a flourishing relationship. Physical attraction is not the most important aspect of a relationship, and I think this is a great way of explaining that.


Cassidy Ball

This is definitely an issue in our society today. Most people assume that love, sex, and romance are all the same when really each one has its own characteristics. To love someone doesn’t always mean sex and romance doesn’t always mean sex. Sex isn’t always loving or romantic either. The theory of evolutionary sex and biology explaining faithfulness is very interesting. The fact that primates don’t have a “marriage” ceremony but commit themselves to a partner for life is something that we don’t really think about much. Or the fact that males commit themselves out of fear that another male may steal their female is almost humorous. Then there is the psychological side to sexual behaviors in which Freud tells us that it leads back to how we feel about our parents, which quite frankly weirds me out some. But no matter what theory we believe in I think it’s important to look at the differences between love, sex, and romance throughout today’s culture.


Lexi Sterling

I think the need to define these terms in our society is incredibly important. All too often I think people do associate love and sex as being interchangeable and simply meaning the same things. However, if love were the same as sex, how then could divorce really be explained? If sex was always loving, then couples would never “fall out of love,” for it would clearly be simple to create this love all the time. I feel like that’s a question I would want to ask someone who believed that sex and love were the same. I really enjoyed the story of the four-legged humans at the beginning of this blog post as well. While I personally do not think we ever had four legs as humans, I really find it interesting to see how other cultures view love and the need for relationship. I definitely agree that humans find satisfaction and strength when we locate and embrace our soul mate, like the text said, but one question definitely arises out of this idea for me… is there truly only one “soul mate” for you or me in the entire world? While this post really does not address that idea it is one I find very interesting, especially due to the idea of the four-legged humans who are seeking that one and only. Overall I really enjoyed this post and it prompted a stronger need for me to better define what I mean by love in my everyday life.


Cali Carpenter

When reading this blog post, I took a particular liking to the ancient love myth. I thought it was very powerful how strong humans were described when they were together; strong enough that they were attacking the gods, so they had to be separated. I think people get so caught up in the love and sex aspects of being in love, that they do not realize how strong you can be when you are joined together with your soul mate. I do think that we can be strong by ourselves and do not need another person to be a strong individual, but I believe there is a reason God created us to have a soul mate. Love and sex are both important aspects of being in a romantic relationship, but people often forget how powerful you can be once you find a soulmate and choose to spend the rest of your life with them.


Kara Den Hoed

First just as a side note, I have never heard the actual myth story behind the term “soulmate” before. I thought that was very interesting and totally makes sense why it is called that now!
Now for the main point, I absolutely agree that sex, love, and romance are three different things. If we they weren’t, we wouldn’t have different words for them. In my mind, sex is a thing or a physical action, romance is a feeling, and love is a concept. I think that in our culture we definitely overlap these words, but we know that real definition if we had to write it down on a test. The tricky part for me is that sometimes all three of these things can be true at the same time.


Taylor Gould

In our society today too often do we see love, sex, and romance used interchangeably. Yes, they are related, and I don’t think you can have on without the others, but they are definitely not the same thing. This blog was one of my favorites to read because of the myth behind love. To think that we are each created with someone who completes us is an incredible aspect to grasp. And then for them to be forced apart because of how powerful they were becoming adds a whole layer of depth to their relationships. We can’t make it through this world on our own, and to find that person who completes you and makes you stronger in return, makes this life so much more incredible. People get too caught up in finding someone to go through life with and because of that they can stray in all the wrong directions. I choose to believe that we have one person out there who fits us better than anyone else could. And once that person is found love, sex, and romance are no longer a mystery.


Tawni Palin

What an unromantic way to look at ‘love’ and ‘sex.’ At least the science presented in the entry acknowledges the importance of “female selection” in monogamy. I just found that to be funny, because if it is to truly be love there needs to be consent and acted up from both sides. I am a fairytale girl, looking for her happy ending, so I get put a little on edge when an ideal is reduced to science. This really made me think about what love and attraction really are, so thank you.

On a funny side note: I really hope that in my case Freud is wrong because if I marry a man like my father I may cry.


Connor Magnuson

I think a key distinction that should be made (at least for in my own head) before taking much of this information into consideration is the difference between “love” and “true-love”. When I read some of the opinions of the professional psychologists or historical philosophers, it seemed that they had held constant the aspect that all love is true love. When I heard the opinion from David Buss, I briefly batted an eye when he said that “love is formed by caring, kindness, generosity, and other personality traits.” When I heard that, I thought that this was true for lasting, sustainable love relationships (what I would call true love) but not for all ‘loving’ relationships. Aren’t all weddings a celebration of love? But do all marriages last? That raised the question for me: Do all (or a high majority of) marriages that end in a divorce start off with love or do some of them never begin with love at all? Can it be a combination of both? I believe it is possible to love and then fall out of love. I just wonder which is more common in marriages that do not last.


Rachel Ball

I would like to focus on my idea of romance. I believe that Jesus can, and desires, to have romantic relationships with us. I don’t mean that sexually (because that really doesn’t make sense) but in a sense that romance is related to wooing. Romance refers to the part of a relationship where there is a desire to be with the other and actions are present that would make the lovers counterpart respond to the wooing. Jesus woos (spelling?) us because he deeply desires a relationship with us.

Sex, however, can be an earthly representation of the coming together of two romantic partners. It is an example of the depth of a union that can be made between us and the father. This probably sounds really strange, but I only mean that sex is like the pinnacle of union between two humans and it can exemplify the passion and union of a relationship with God. Biblically, sex is talked about as two becoming one, similarly to us becoming one with the father.


Brenden O’Neill

I could not agree more with the conclusion that this post has come to. I agree that above all else, love has to be seeking and promoting the well being of the other. Unfortunately I can also see many examples in culture today where love is not seeking the well being of the other partner, but is instead seeking the instant gratification that comes with the passions and sexual desires of love. In this way love becomes only what that person can gain, and has no regard for others involved. This is especially true when talking of sex. Sex is such a passionate act and as a result many can become trapped in the idea that love and sex are synonymous, and in other extreme cases that love and sex are completely separate. It is only when we truly seek a loving relationship with Christ that we can fully share in the passion and unity that is involved with sex, and the miracles that it can bring.


Kendra Wilson

I think love sex and romance are so linked together but Everyone has their own belief of how the three work together to make a successful marriage. I personally believe you need all three to have a successful happy marriage because as soon as you grow out of the honey moon stage you have to have something that keeps the flame going. A lot of times in counseling it is because they are having some type of sexual complication and they are already out of the honey moon stage and they need a spark of romance. I think it’s hard to have romance without sex because I think romance is intimate and to be intimate is sexual. And I think it would be really hard to be sexually intimate with your partner and not love them.


Michae delie

Sex, love, and romance all have their own characteristics. While they are different it is very interesting how intertwined they can be. The trouble is that too often today they get mixed up and are seen as the same thing. The feelings and connections experienced in each are very diverse. I think sometimes people dont know the difference because they havent experienced the other and that is why over generations change happens and these norms such as sexual activity change. If someone doesnt know the difference in definition or the feelings of love, romance, and sex then i can see how it is very easy to get them confused. These three categories are overlapped by some very fine lines. It is a matter of understsnding and experience i believe. Some people are confused and uneducated in a way because of the social norms of the world today.


Caleb Gerdes

I can only agree. Sex is the next step in a romantic relationship between one man and one woman who made a commitment to one another. The consequence then of abstinence is frustration when desiring such intimacy and trying to follow such a principle.


Kevin Field

I think adopting a change in when we use love to describe sexual relations is a very valuable idea. It may help people realize that t is possible to truly love someone in a sexual way (temporarily) without thinking of their overall well-being in the future. This mindset does a lot to shaping a person’s actions and really calls into question if the sexual activity is personal. When sex is personal, when sex is love, it includes a mutual understanding that each person involved is someone with an entire life experience (passions, goals, family, a variety of relationships, a body that needs caring for, etc.), not just an object of pleasure. I believe that when sex is love, at a personal level only possible in marriage, the depth of its experience can fulfill God’s design and bring about a divine oneness.


Kristen Loper

Well, Im going to put myself out there a little bit and say I have experienced both sex inside and outside of love. There is a difference in how one feels about oneself and their partner. I think context is where the line is drawn. The context of commitment vs marriage is still a huge divide when talking about love and sex. You can be in a committed relationship and have love, or sex and or both . This is true of marriage as well. Sex is a component of love and shows commitment but it is much like the frosting on a cake. Awesome for some but, for others they can do with out .It enhances the cake especially when you buy the cake vs. borrowing or stealing it. If you haven’t had cake then well then you don’t know what you are missing till you do. So buy cake and enjoy the frosting! A statement just about as confusing as the subject of sex and love.


Rachel Finley

When God created Adam, he realized that he was lonely and needed a friend/partner, so he made Eve. Being in a relationship isn’t so much about sex as it is having a best friend that you are hopefully madly in love with and who you can share your life with. Sex is just a bonus that can and will make your relationship go to a whole new level if each party is willing to be vulnerable and selfless. I absolutely agree that love does not equal sex, otherwise rape would be considered love. However, when you truly love someone, it can be expressed through selfless sexual acts. Sex is all about being vulnerable with someone and connecting with them on a deeper level. If there is no love behind it, then it is just an activity.


Shantay Perry

I agree that love to most people initially is attraction whether that be physical or something else. However, I think that how the idea and definition of love has changed over the last few hundred years is sad. That is why it is so important in the church to talk to the youth about love and about sex. We talk about marriage and about waiting for that one person to have sex with. It is don’t do this, don’t do that type of conversation. We need to do a better job at explaining why. I am not saying that sex is always about love or vice versa; I just think that explaining this and being open about this in the church will help guide preteens and teens through those difficult middle school and high school years. Love is a difficult topic and since its definition has been tossed around and perverted in some cases it needs to be talked about and explained.


Brad

I wish the ancient myth of humans having four legs was true; it would be great to have another head, more legs and more arms!
But anyway, I find that I agree that love and sex and not interchangeable. You can have love without sex just like you can have sex without love. I believe that sex is the most primitive, and you use romance to fall in love. Love is the most difficult of the 3 things because it requires the most work, but because of this, love is also the most fulfilling.


Kayla Sevier

I find it hard to believe some of the ancient and lengden stories or myths about love because I believe that love ultimately depends on here and now. What I mean by that is that your own love depends you. Not what other legends have said it to be. But then there’s God… Which I see as a whole different story because God was so much more than an ancient ledgen and is still with us today. Therefore, He does have an impact on how we love.


Matti Munger

It’s very true that people are initially attracted to each other by their looks, but I also agree that love isn’t just sex and and what goes along with sex. Relationship love may be started from the way we look but it continues based on so much more than that. You become more in love with someone based on their minds and their personalities, not whether or not their appearance is still the same. I think it’s definitely a combination of the romance and the other but just like we saw in our movie at the theater, people can completely love each other enough to get married based solely on their minds. I think a combination of these two things is what the perfect relationship becomes.


Toniessa PHelps

I really appreciate this blog entry mostly because the media has put into many heads including mine that love involves sex and without sex it’s hard to truly love someone. Just like we talked about in class yesterday sex and romance can help boost the love relationship but it can also be used for evil such as rape and cheating. Now that I am older and am married, I think love is more than a sexual relationship but I do believe that as the relationship progresses and the love becomes deeper the couple wants to express their love for each other and that involves sex.


Allison Christy

I appreciate the clarification that love and sex are not the same. Too often I think that the misconception that implies that love and sex are essentially the same thing is engendered in both secular and church circles, and I think this misconception does anything but promote overall well being. As a Christian woman, I have grown up hearing things about how important it is to wait for “the one” and that my value as someone’s “better half” is often contingent on my degree of sexual purity, that it is only natural that I come to equate sex as a gift of love to my eventual significant other and abstaining from it as a a measure of my love for myself. Thus, if I do not practice whole and entire abstinence, than my love for myself naturally is diminished and the love I have to offer to my future husband is some watered down version of what it should have been. On the other hand, the modern media and secular society have propped up sex as not only a facet of love and relationships but the driving force between either. If you do not present yourself in a relationship as ready and willing to offer yourself sexually, than you are at best uninvested, at worst an anomaly. Both contexts represent the extremes of the spectrum, and portray sex and its relation to love in equally as antithetical ways. I think that as individuals we have to come to terms with the fact that sex is not love, but that sex can be an important component of it. If we learn to measure romantic love on more terms than just sexual attraction and our commitment as more than sexual purity, I think that the quality of the love will be much better.


Linnea Phillips

I think our society has become way too desensitized to the differences between love, sex, and romance. Often we use these words interchangeably without given much thought to how different these words actually are. Obviously they are closely connected, however, I never gave much thought to the differences between the three words. And now that I’ve actually began to think about it I think that each of these words bring a very important aspect to a loving relationship. With that said, I think they are all three are important, but it’s also crucial that we don’t just clump them into the same category.

I also was really interested in the mythical love story. I’d never heard this story before, and now I totally understand how the word “soulmate” came to be. I know God created us to be in community with him and with other humans, but I also believe that God has created a very powerful relationship that can happen between two people that make them so much stronger together than they could ever be apart. And I think that is such a critical concept to grasp when looking for someone you want to share your life with. Don’t choose love just because it’s passionate or it’s fun, I think it’s important that the person you choose who helps you grow stronger in your relationship with Christ. Because it’s not till you find that person that you will be able to fully value the aspects of love, sex, and romance.


Brianna Kinghorn

I appreciate that this article shows that love and sex are not defined by each other. Sex is not needed in for there to be love, but can be used to help deepen love. Also it is kind of fun to read all the different theories of why humans are monogamous. As logical as some of the theories are or how fun the myth is, I still think that there is something more to why we look for one person to be with for the rest of our lives. The answers that science and psychology come up with are good and can be a good explanation for such a phenomenon. There is just something about it that seems like a lot more is going on than genetics and learned behaviors.


Jackson Bevens

I really like this blog, and how you talk about how love can be expressed through sex and romance but sex and romance is not love. I think we all get caught up that if we are in love then there must be this raging passion for the other person and deep desire. But in reality that is usually just a phase of falling in love with someone and is not it in entirety. I think that Love is shown through friendship, and partnership. I do believe that Sex and Romance are a big part in expressing love, as you said when they promote well-being, but I agree that they are not the only aspects of Love. I think it is important for the longevity of relationships for people to understand that the fire does not last forever, however the love in a relationship can, as long as it is being shown in ways that promote well-being.


Michael Gordon

Love is difficult to define hints the purpose of the class and the great depth that we dive into to try and figure out the true meaning of love. Love comes in many forms and definitions. Everyone has their own definition of love and they toss around the words “I love you” quite frequently nowadays. The thing that I take away from the class the most is the phrase “promoting the overall well-being.” That definition of love really helps me narrow down wether I, or someone else is being loving in a situation. Am I being selfish and thinking about all the parties involved in the situation. Love isn’t just something that you express to another in the form of infatuation, but also to friends, family, enemies, and strangers as well.


Spencer Hassman

I appreciate the implied holistic approach to attraction that you conveyed in this blog; there are many, many factors that contribute to human attraction, both sexual, emotional, psychological, and spiritual, and I don’t think that any one of them carries more weight than another as a general rule in all people. I also really like the distinction of love from sex, romance, etc. Love is always promoting well-being, while the others definitely have the ability to both promote and demote. We need to look carefully at our own actions that we generally associate with love and see if that is, in fact, the case, and also be careful to note that contextual factors deeply affect the status of acts as loving or not.


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