schopenhauer on love

Hence, people of extremely different temperament frequently marry for love—that is to say, he is coarse, strong, and narrow-minded, while she is very sensitive, refined, cultured, and aesthetic, and so on; or he is genial and clever, and she is a goose. This will anticipates in the being, of which they shall become the parents, an objectivation of its nature corresponding to its aims. A man who is quite perfect in some respect himself does not, it is true, desire and love imperfection in this particular respect, yet he can be more easily reconciled to it than another man, because he himself saves the children from being very imperfect in this particular. And so we frequently find a woman preferring a stupid, ugly, and ill-mannered man to one who is well-educated, intellectual, and agreeable. For it is the future generation in its entire individual determination which forces itself into existence through the medium of all this strife and trouble. This one-sidedness is more definitely expressed and exists in a higher degree in one person than in another; so that it may be better supplemented and neutralised in each individual by one person than by another of the opposite sex, because the individual requires a one-sidedness opposite to his own in order to complete the type of humanity in the new individual to be generated, to the constitution of which everything tends…. For this reason conjugal fidelity is artificial with the man but natural to a woman. Love is clearly a highly complex and still misunderstood human emotion. So that it is not stereotyped, perfectly beautiful women who are wont to kindle great passions. This illusion to a man deeply in love becomes so dazzling that if it cannot be attained, life itself not only loses all charm, but appears to be so joyless, hollow, and uninteresting as to make him too disgusted with it to be afraid of the terrors of death; this is why he sometimes of his own free will cuts his life short. It is chiefly the strength of a man and the courage that goes with it that attract them, for both of these promise the generation of robust children and at the same time a brave protector for them. Finally, a man may both love and hate his beloved at the same time. For Schopenhauer, romantic love is a servant of the will-to-life. "Und wenn der Mensch in seiner Quaal verstummt, On the upside, his theory does provide some useful avenues in which to think about why we become so intensely attracted to specific individuals. [18] Satisfy his instinct of sex. It was another trait that affirmed it. The second consideration is that of health: a severe illness may alarm us for the time being, but an illness of a chronic nature or even cachexy frightens us away, because it would be transmitted. And now let us more thoroughly investigate the matter. It is the spirit of the species alone that can see at a glance of what value the beloved one is to it for its purposes. Therefore much must be attached to Calderon’s words, when he calls the horrible Semiramis a daughter of the air, yet introduces her as a daughter of seduction, after which follows the murder of the husband. The profoundly earnest way in which we criticise and narrowly consider every part of a woman, while she on her part considers us; the scrupulously careful way we scrutinise, a woman who is beginning to please us; the fickleness of our choice; the strained attention with which a man watches his fiancée; the care he takes not to be deceived in any trait; and the great importance he attaches to every more or less essential trait,—all this is quite in keeping with the importance of the end. For if it were foreign to and contradicted human nature—in other words, if it were merely an imaginary caricature, it would not have been depicted with such zeal by the poets of all ages, or accepted by mankind with an unaltered interest; for anything artistically beautiful cannot exist without truth. The particular degree of his manhood must exactly correspond to the particular degree of her womanhood in order to exactly balance the one-sidedness of each. 5. But there is an apparent hole in this theory of sex and love: why does homosexuality exist? Moreover, these compatible relationships may involve stronger feelings of attraction and love than incompatible ones. From which it may be concluded that they are controlled not so much by objective and proper apprehension as by subjective ideas, which excite desire and arise through the influence of the ganglionic system upon the brain; accordingly they are moved by a certain illusion…. By the way, it is for this reason that mothers who have either felt or experienced the former influence have their daughters taught the fine arts, languages, etc., so that they may prove more attractive. We will later on more fully state the considerations which this involves. Other’s love, and expect to find their greatest happiness in the enjoyment of it, do not avoid taking extreme steps, and prefer suffering every discomfort to sacrificing with their lives a happiness which is greater than any other they can conceive. It depends on the context. This infinite regard is not based on any kind of intellectual, nor, in general, upon any real merits of the beloved one; because the lover frequently does not know her well enough; as was the case with Petrarch. It’s always worth asking ourselves whether this inexplicable, unconscious passion is based on our best interests or whether we are being dragged along by drives that don’t have our happiness in mind. When a woman says that she has fallen in love with a man's mind, it is either a vain and ridiculous pretence on her part or the exaggeration of a degenerate being. While there may be some truth to the notion that opposites attract, there are countless cases of people with similar dispositions and physical characteristics being attracted to each other and falling in love.

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