Raymond Lloyd Richmond is a very interesting psychologist. Today I will be quoting him from his article “Sexuality – and love”.
Sexuality – and love
“Perversion is to always miss the point.” Raymond Lloyd Richmond states that perversions are not limited merely to eccentric and criminal people. He believes that we are engaging in perversion every time we distract ourselves from emotional pain with many types of pleasure.
One of these perversions is often romantic love. He notes that through most of history romantic love was rarely a factor in mating, family and marriage decisions. However, the modern Western world has become obsessed with it.
However, he claims that “courtly love—and all the romantic sentiments and eroticism that fill it—is an illusion. It’s impossible to find love through sexuality. It’s impossible to use your body to hide your emotional pain. It’s impossible to heal your own emotional brokenness through the body of another person as mortal and broken as you are.”
As a therapist he reflects on the fact that many people try to seduce women to get the nurturing they didn’t get enough of at home. Seducing men has often been similarly about compensating for a lack of protection or attention. He notes how it is impossible to obtain real love and attention through sex.
“The difference between these two kinds of love—common “love” and true love …can be conceived of as the difference between receiving and giving. …Giving does not refer to the mere sharing of material objects or wealth; it refers to the expression of profound emotional qualities such as patience, forbearance, compassion, understanding, and forgiveness.”
It is not rare to see people trying to satisfy another with gifts, flowers or with words believing they are truly loving. Too often, it is about avoiding anger and rejection, puffing up their egos in order to have the appreciation returned, or for sex.
Dr. Lloyd Richmond believes that our culture teaches us to fear real love.
“How often were your deepest human needs for comfort, protection, and guidance …ignored or stifled by your parents? How often were you… criticized and laughed at for expressing your honest feelings? How often are you now used, in our culture of merchandising, as an object to be manipulated in order to satisfy some other person’s desire for profit and power? How often do you shape yourself—with fad diets, implants, cosmetic surgery, workouts, jewelry, tattoos, makeup, hair dye, and clothing—to meet the expectations of someone’s desire?
And how often, in the midst of all this exploitation, has anyone ever done anything for your own growth and welfare, without thought of what could be had in return?”
Having lacked real examples of love around us, it no surprise that we see this world as an individualistic survival of the fittest, where “honest and compassion are foolish weakness”.
We have been told that love is an emotion we fall into. It is not. It “is an act of will” and “it’s a sacrifice of all the illusions”. It’s giving up on the idea our culture sells us that others will bring bliss into our lives or that the prestige, success and status we gain will make us happy.
“As unpleasant as it may be to admit it, eroticism is based on infantile needs to be received, accepted, and satisfied. When a person feels intensely received, accepted, and satisfied, then he or she is “in love.” But sooner or later that intensity will be broken.”
Once the intensity of the bliss fades away, it turns into anger. Love-hate relationships are very common. How many marriages start with people who “fell in love” and ended up in disappointment or bitter divorces. True love wouldn’t bring such pain, especially to children.
Fortunately matrimony doesn’t depend on attraction. “Instead it derives its meaning as an unbreakable act of family and societal service between a man and a woman to a mutual divine love.”
In my opinion, Raymond Lloyd Richmond does a great job of exposing hard truths about real love and it’s implications. However, I don’t believe (and I doubt he does either) that love has no enjoyable parts to it. New research says that a key to success in relationships is not just supporting the other during hard times, but by taking the time to celebrate the good things that happens to him/her. This is also an easier but meaningful way to show care. Even taking 30 seconds to stop and appreciate a bird they find beautiful, although you don’t really care for it goes a long way. Long-term, this type of thing might be something that drives you relationship into a caring direction or a burdensome one. The same applies to parenting or any other relationships.
Now re-watch P!nk’s video.