Anyone who has taken so much as a cursory glance at my blog may have gleaned the idea that I’m a bit of a romantic, and it’s true. I’ve written about all types of relationships, romantic and platonic, along with the factors influencing them.
Examples of such you can find here:
- Tainted Love (The Marilyn Manson Cover)
- The Hyperbolic Relationship
- Permanently Left of Center
- 4 Keys to Crafting an Engaging Romance pt. 1 (with its second part, link in the post)
- Even Great Character #12 — Leon Phelps a.k.a. The Ladies’ Man is used to drive the point home.
One thing I do not feel like I’ve covered adequately?
Why Romance is So Important!
Now, I don’t mean only in the context of writing a story, although this importance does transfer well to writing one. What I’m here to talk about today is the basic human need for romance, that strange mysterious connection between two individuals. Due to my slightly nerdy and intellectual nature, I’m going to give this basic human need a quick breakdown. I promise I will do my best to entertain you as I go.
Our teacher for today? The Grey Wolf.
To quote a line I heard from somewhere, “… he wants to hunt, he wants to grunt. He wants to participate.” (If anyone knows where this is from, please let me know in the comments, haha) So I figure, why not learn from the master, right?
1. To Hunt
Despite modern man having no need to hunt for our food, except for recreation, hunting still plays a massive role in our everyday life.
We call seeking employment, “job hunting”.
We call the pursuit of possible significant others, “the chase.”
The ingrained need to hunt and pursue what we want/need in many euphemisms we employ naturally and without prompting every single day.
Maybe it’s because, like the grey wolf, our eyes face front in the most basic sign of being a predatory species.
Maybe it’s because we’re strangely self-destructive creatures and we’re urged to satisfy those wants and needs through an aggressive way.
I don’t know and, honestly, right now I don’t care. All I do know is that this is a real phenomenon that has somehow influenced creative works since the dawn of time.
Look at the greats, if you don’t believe me:
One man, Odysseus, spends 10 years with his crew to get home to the island of Ithaca after the Trojan War. He overcomes Scylla and Charybdis, a cyclops, the ever alluring Sirens, and more just to get back to his wife and son.
Every play by William Shakespeare, ever:
Hell, even the movie Anonymous gives an interesting take on The Bard’s life and how it was fueled by lost love and need for a family.
The theme of the hunt after romance has fueled more than a few songs as well. Here are some of my favorites from YouTube:
- REO Speedwagon – Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore
- Whitesnake – Is This Love?
- Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’
Yeah, I know… I’ve got a thing for power ballads.
The point I’m trying to make here is that we find a natural built-in rush to the whole affair. It’s inspired creative works since people have put ink and quill to parchment and vellum.
Who are we to ignore such an important part of the human condition?
2. To Grunt
I don’t know about you but, in my experience, there are certain parts of romance that do include grunting–at least if you’re doing it right, that is.
Now, I feel no need to get too in-depth with this section, as I’m sure you’re picking up what I’m putting down, here. What I do want to highlight is one very important thing. The physical side of human relationships can be described in a plethora of ways, and it’s far more than a reproductive instinct.
It can be:
- all of these things, and more, all at the same time.
Some cultures make it taboo, and others have venerated it. Sure, there is plenty of room for this part of us to go awry (and lord knows it has, just watch the news), but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water here.
I believe anyone who has participated in sex (that’s right, I said it) in a loving and passionate way would agree with this statement:
Sex is Amazing!
It brings pleasure, intimacy and, I truly believe it is a necessary bedrock for any romantic relationship. Is it really surprising that it’s on our minds as often as it is?
3. To Participate
I’ll be honest. I always hated participation medals my entire life. I hated receiving them, I hated seeing others receiving them even more. I always felt like they were some kind of insult. Something akin to saying, “You’re really great at sucking, kid!”
Now, I don’t mean to call anyone a loser, because that’s not the point either. The point I’m making is that, at the end of the day, we all need to know our limitations.
WE ARE NOT GOOD AT EVERYTHING!
It’s just the way it is. We all have strengths and weaknesses, and the most important part of participation, romantic or not, is finding out what those are and celebrating those strengths!
If you celebrate the weaknesses like you would the strengths, are they really that different? It’s like some weird passive aggressive way of forcing perfection onto people. No one’s perfect, and that’s what makes us all so amazing and wonderful.
The reason the grey wolf, and by extension us (keep the metaphor in mind here, people), wants to participate is to feel these high and lows. Without the lows of failure, we won’t properly appreciate the highs of victory.
Without bad relationships, we can never truly appreciate the good ones!
Through this accidental by-product of participation, we’d never enjoy the wonders that life has to offer us.
Now this post is running far too long, so I’ll cut it off there. If you have anything to add, or if you want to yell at me like that lioness above, please drop a line in the comments.
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The photos used in this post were used with permission by the owner.