Mature Love Stories Are Where It’s At. Really.

THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER. THIS IS NOT HYPERBOLE.

I’ve been thinking about what makes me tick lately. And because I’m such a commoner, I figure this applies to other people all over the place. 

Like people everywhere find the same things alluring that I find alluring because I guess you could say I suspect that I’m quite boring and haven’t really enjoyed the privilege of developing any fetishes. I know. Right? How drab of me. 

I mean….don’t get me wrong. I’ve had some time to figure this out and if we’re being frank about it (which we are, it’s the only way to be, I’ve got no time for games), I’m a damn sapiosexual.

Now, I don’t really KNOW what that means, precisely, because I think it means a lot of things.  But now that I’ve written that—about me being a sapiosexual—I’m questioning it’s validity. 

I should look that up before I go swinging it around as a label that we can apply to me. 

Again, time. But, I think it means that what a person finds alluring and sexy and sexual is the mind.

To me this would explain why readers can develop crushes on characters in books. Because it’s about the story that exists in a person’s head and in the head of the author who has written the story (?). Not necessarily any function of reality. 

OK I just looked it up and it took me like 3 seconds. I don’t know why I was complaining about time four minutes ago, but it’s just like me to find an excuse for a simple task like that, meanwhile I can dig into writing a book that takes weeks if not months without even batting an eyelash.

Oh, by the way. Looking it up did confirm my suspicions–sapiosexual. It means a person finding intelligence sexually attractive or arousing. 

I know that this doesn’t necessarily bear pointing out, but I’m going to venture into the territory anyway, if for no other reason than that I find it hilarious to state and possibly reiterate if you already noticed it. The subtext in that definition is that this means there are people who don’t care about intelligence. Maybe that’s overstating the facts. But does that mean there are people who don’t give a shit about the intelligence of the people they’re attracted to? 

I find that weird. 

I dated a couple guys in college who were kinda gorgeous. In fact, I wondered what the hell they were doing with me they were such ideal physical specimens of male. I know that’s funny, because I know I should have potentially seen it as complimentary and that I could interpret it to mean that I was super hot. 

Instead, I simply assumed they thought I’d be easy because I was so beneath their actual level of attractiveness, so much that I’d be begging them to bed me. 

Is that, what? My religious upbringing pounding shame and modesty into me so much that I can’t even accept that perhaps on some foreign plane of existence I am somewhat attractive? 

I don’t know. I have no answers. I just know that the end of that story about the super hot guys was that they were dumb, I couldn’t respect them, and their brains at all, and so it lasted about a day, which is as long as a clever person can last with a person who has never managed to develop their mind or their personality. 

It’s not bad. It just is. And I don’t feel like a dick for pointing it out, because we are all free to choose what aspects of ourselves we develop. Yes, we are products of our environments and so some start out better off than others. But it’s also true that many people are never hot, and so they start off lower on the totem pole of blessings of pure awesomeness from day one.

All this was meant to lead into the central idea here, which is this SUBLIME concept that I had recently conjured up in my head that the BEST love stories have a sort of gravitas to them.

Not to diminish the Romeo and Juliet love stories out there—but those kinds of stories ARE based on something naive. At some point maturity pushes us past them. And at this point in my life, I think they kind of suck. I’m sorry if that’s a brutal proposition to put out there, but kids that naively commit suicide over love are damn morons (yes, this is a story. But….a story that we have idealized!).

There are other options. Use your head. Consider alternatives. Maybe, I don’t know, put on a disguise and leave town? You are, after all, living in medieval times when it would be super easy to go off grid (there was no grid) and just blend in with a village several serfdoms away.

Someone will likely school me on how wrong I am about what I just said. That’s fine. I’m here to learn even when I’m saying stuff like I have it all figured out.

I will admit that there’s something cool about that trust of youth that love will save you and save everything and that it is worth the pointless sacrifice of everything else to get it.

Here’s the crux of what I’ve been thinking about regarding love and love stories: these days, what I admire most is the mature love story—I don’t know what else to call it, so if you have a better term, let me know. This to me is the older person finding a fire in their heart, knowing better how long life is, but still letting the flames of hope and desire awaken within. They do it willingly, almost.

So, forgive me the examples, but take Cmdr Adama and President Roslin in Battlestar Galactica, or in the Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson—Dalinar and Navani—and consider how different the choices they make are. Their love stories aren’t pure whimsy. They’re built from embers that have never gone out, fanned alive by layered emotions and mental realizations that aren’t solely dictated by instinct.

I trust these stories. The characters have survived hardship. The flames in their hearts are more like those embers I already mentioned, and not a quick bonfire that will burn itself out in a day. Their desire is borne of mutual respect as much as passion—they’re likely not just going to succumb to a whim and then wonder what drugs they were on the next day.

I know that youthful romance and sex are easily packaged and sold in books and film. They’re cake. Because beauty and ripe sexiness are easily transmitted through physical appearance as messages for everyone to understand quickly. So that is how love is communicated—sex and beauty. It’s harder to build something deep like that Roslin/Adama storyline. That takes four seasons or two 1200 page books, for Dalinar and Navani.

But I was just thinking how gorgeous it is to see stories like Adama’s and Roslin’s as a focal point in bigger stories that hammer their way into the halls of legend (possibly only the halls of legend in my own head) Was the Adama and Roslin story always meant to be a major plot point or did it grow over time, organically?

It seems that, almost as a culture, it is the youthful passions that form the template for what love is and how it’s represented in story. But I question that. I think in actuality it is the stamina and respect that the mature love story embodies that we have built the Love Story edifice upon.

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