Saturday, October 24, 2009

Parasites and Lovers.

A while ago I posted some musings on the nature of modern love. I think one of the reasons divorce is so high at the moment and relationships so transient is that the approach that people take when it comes to marriage. Presently, lots of people enter marriage selfishly, seeing it as a beneficial institution and that their partner a source of utility. In fact, one of the most off putting things about the evo-bio community is that their understanding of marriage is formulated along these lines. Their justification for marriage being an "exchange" of goods. At the time I was grasping for a terminology which would adequately express what I saw as the pathology in modern relationships. A few days ago I was browsing through Poetry of The Flesh's blog and stumbled on this quote which seemed to be what I was looking for.

I see a lot of glorifying of feminity, of women encouraging others to take control of the relationship they are in, the use their feminine games and wiles, to withhold, until they get what they want. And these things work on most men.

Rules like the man should always pay for the date.
Rules like until he proposes, you're allowed to date and sleep with whoever you want.
Things that tell you it's okay to pout, to withhold sex, to expect him to read your mind and grovel.
To throw a fit if he doesn't remember your two month anniversary.
Lessons on how to get him to pay for everything.
On behaviors you should expect from a man.
To know if you're in a good relationship.
And those Cosmo articles that make me want to use the glossy edges of the magazine to slice open my own wrists before I would suffer through reading them.

These things make being female sound like being cattle at an auction, where instead of checking health, they check feminity expressed through how much a woman can beta-bitch her man.

It's not a partnership, only a symbiotic relationship between different kinds of parasites, if the man is lucky. If he's not, it's more like he's got a growth of mistletoe on his branches, and it's not looking for a kiss. (My emphasis)
Parasites live off their hosts, without regard to the host's well being. The only interest of a parasite is its self-interest. When the host stops giving it what it wants, it leaves; or if the parasite is particularly malignant, it will suck the life out of the hosts without any regard to it.(Modern woman in divorce). The psychological outlook of the parasite is simply what is in it for me.

A lot of "love" is this type of love. The benefit that this type of parasite gets from a relationship is the hedonistic pleasures derived from the host. When the host stops being pleasing the relationship stops. It's important to understand that this type of person's love is the love of what they can get from you, not the love of you. It's a selfish love. One can see how two such people can get together. Initially, both see qualities in each other from which each derives pleasure, and as men are drawn to pleasure, both are attracted to each other. There is proximity but no bond. But over time the as the pleasures are habituated their intensity is lost. Slowly the attraction fades, and the parasite moves on till it can find someone else to feed its hedonistic appetite. Two strangers in a one night stand are proximate yet alone, there is no connection. Together yet apart.

Contrast this with the behaviour of a symbiote. This type of organism sees its well being as directly aligned with the well being of the host. This type of organism does derive pleasure directly from the host, but more importantly it derives pleasure from the well being of the host as well . A symbiote not only "consumes" it also "gives" to the host. Indeed what the symbiote gives may be out of all proportion to what it gets from the host. In a mutually symbiotic relationship each is linked to the other by the very nature of the relationship. Indeed they are obligated to each other. They may be oceans apart but they are together, since their well being is conditional on the other. Without one the other fades, they are united by their very existences.

Since symbiotic love requires at least a recognition that we have obligations to another, it is no surprise that in a culture that preaches rampant individualism it is rare. We are training our children to be selfish. The world's future lovers are going to be parasites.


Poetry of Flesh said...

While I do not agree with the idea that our children will be parasites when it comes to relationships, I agree with most of the rest of the post, and am flattered that you quoted me... though there's no "the" in my screen-name. For some reason, that keeps happening.

Also, I'd love to see you speak on men as parasites. It's easy to do such on the topic of women... but can you reverse it?

The Social Pathologist said...

I'll drop the "the".

and am flattered that you quoted me

You've got a lot of good stuff on your site.

Our children will become parasites because we are teaching our children to be selfish. Symbiotic love is other centered; it's apprenticeship is courtesy, community sense, self-sacrifice and obligation. There's not really much of that going about, is there?

Yes you are right, men can be parasites as well. I certainly didn't wish to imply that women were the only parasitic lovers. Hedonists of all sexes are ultimately parasites.I'm not a misogynist, more a misanthrope by nature.

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Anonymous said...

you sound smart, educated on your subject matter, so i was hoping for a more balanced view.

it suggests that women in general are a species easily influenced by e.g. media, and not by other possible strong influences like parenting and local culture. i actually enjoy fashion magazines, and they are mostly marketing vehicles.

2 month anniversary tantrum? really? you've cheapened your own argument with things like this thrown in.

i suspect you're better than this.

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My daughter has been with a parasite for 13 years going on 14 years. She met him 13 years ago, after she suffered the loss of a boyfriend. She never grieved or sought counseling to help her and her son with his father's untimely death. Anyway, she left town and ran into this man about 6 years older than her. All's I remember over the years is that this man (call him Ted) never lived on his own. When my daughter met him, he just broke up with someone. He moved out and lived with a guy for years, he lived with another woman, all the while my daughter cared for him. Ted never showed any "real" love for my daughter. He never offered to marry her or be there for her. He never could hold a job either. He'll work for 3 to 6 months then he somehow ends up unemployed again. A miracle! Well, her son and Ted have never had a relationship. He never cared to love my grandson. Never. He just tolerated him because Ted is smart. He never wanted to come between her and her son; he desperately needed to keep as much peace as possible, Ted is homeless and a parasite. Over the years he has left, come back, left come back, left come back. This has happened at least five times that I can remember. She pressures him to work and he will find something and then get fired for some reason. He never interacts with us (the family). They stay in the bedroom most of the time. Only to come and cook and eat our food. My daughter has low self-esteem and he is a drunk. It is 2013 and he left 9/2012 and he's back. Eating using water, lights, and all's he does is cut the grass. Mind you, each time this man has left, she almost goes into a break down. So what happens when he comes back she is less and less willing to make him work and participate. He hardly opens his mouth. He doesn't talk and MAKES NO EFFORT TO INTERACT WITH ME (her mother) or her son. I currently live with my daughter and I have found full-time work and will be moving as quickly as I can after I get my first check. Ted is disgusting and my daughter is an enabler (she buys the booze) and she is co-dependent. It's sad and unhealthy. It's not a relationship at all. I can honestly say now; my daughter suffers from an illness. He on the other hand just needs a host to suck the life blood out of. I can't blame him anymore. If anyone knows how I can help her let me know.

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