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Lying in bed this morning, I was thinking about love from the male perspective while trying not to throw up. No, men’s viewpoints on love do not make me want to hurl, but eating possibly contaminated mayonnaise does (and no, I am not hung-over. Really really.).
Anyway, I’ve been wondering more and more lately what motivates men to fall in love…no, let me take that back, because I don’t really believe in “falling in love” even though I’ve been known to use that phrase in my own writing. Love is a choice. Sometimes someone appeals to you so much that it feels as though you have no choice but to love him or her. However, it’s still a choice. And being “in love” with someone means he or she reciprocates your choice to love with his or her own to love you. Otherwise it’ s just unrequited love and frankly, we don’t want to hear about it. But I digress…again.
I can tell you things that first attract me to a man: a wicked sharp sense of humor; quickness of mind; a strong sense of loyalty. I’m also a sucker for dark-haired men with light eyes; blue, green, grey–it doesn’t matter. My husband is one such man, lucky him, although there is less of the dark hair than when I met him. Some motivating factors that make me choose to love a man to whom I’m strongly attracted: the willingness to provide me with security (physical and financial); the willingness to be loyal; the willingness to be my best friend; the willingness to be a partnership in everything. It all sounds very clinical, broken down like that. I think that all motivations do; you can put the blush of romance on it, and that’s all good and fine, but when you strip love down to its basest form, it’s truly about not wanting to go through life alone and selecting someone who you can stand to be around for the next sixty or seventy years. (Ummm, no, I’m not much of a romantic.)
Men, on the other hand… I have no clue what motivates them to take the plunge. Is it possession? Regular sex? (although it can be argued–mostly by men–that regular sex ends after marriage. It doesn’t. Women just define “regular” differently.) Companionship? A drive to reproduce? And speaking of that–what is the motivation there? The enjoyment of raising children? The accomplishment of of carrying forth the bloodline? Smugness for being virile enough to impregnate a woman?
It’s all a mystery to me, but I need some answers because I need my current work-in-progress to ring true. So my question to any men out there willing to offer their thoughts on the matter is this: What would motivate a man who has been through literal hell, who has lost badly in the romance game and decided long ago he won’t play again–what would make this man decide to love a woman? From your own perspective on love, that is.