It is always very difficult to comment a known subject in an innovative manner. We have a strong conservative tendency which leads us to reject, at least at first, any idea that is not in agreement with what we already know. I will speak about love and that seems to make it even more difficult for people to be able to realize its less sympathetic aspects.
Love corresponds to a search for completeness. Every one of us, since the beginning of life, has a sensation of being incomplete. It would seem that we only feel whole and in peace when we are with our chosen one. Thus, it is obvious that our first love is our mother, and all the other objects of love that we have during our lifetime will be a substitute for her.
Children are extremely dependent upon their mothers, with whom they experience the sensation of being fused together. They feel insecure when they are away and are tormented by the nightmare that their mothers might abandon them or die. When we think about adult amorous relationships, we perceive that the manner in which people unite is very similar to the sentiment that connects a child to its mother. The great truth is that the negative ingredients related to jealousy also manifest in a very intense manner. That is the reason why we usually perceive love as a sentiment that, in a more or less definite way, opposes our desires for individuality.
Adult love is a copy of what happens in childhood. The discourse is more rational, but the reactions are identical to those of children. Couples in love treat each other by childish diminutives and also like to receive endearments of an infantile nature. These small details would not be important if they did not come accompanied by the notion that those in love have acquired rights over their beloved ones. A mother believes she has rights over her children and that, up to a certain age, makes sense. But, that the husband may tell his wife what she is allowed to wear or where she may go, is an attack to her individual rights.
The other type of intimate relationship that we experience is friendship. Here, the pleasure of the company is as important as the one that exists in so called amorous relationships. Mutual trust and support are usually greater than the bonds established between lovers. We are more respectful and less dependent upon our friends.
What is the conclusion? To me it is clear that love is an infantile process that usually perpetuates itself in adult life. Friendship is a much more sophisticated association because it does not seek fusion but the closeness of two creatures with important affinities and common interests. Our adult portion establishes respectful bonds of rich intimacy that correspond to friendship. Our childish part tends to establish a sole link with another, about whom we begin to have expectations similar to those that we had with our mother. I have no doubts in this respect: friendship is a much more adult process than the one we call love.
Translated by: Norma Blum