Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Do men really love women?

Today’s blog is an interesting topic for Valentine’s Day: do men really love women? The question in a Quora post is far worse: “Do men really love women, or do they just use them?” At least, I’m glad that my question is on the mind of “many” men – and even women (eg, PT-2011, JGC-2019).

Today’s topic was triggered by a recent conversation with a former colleague. He argued that women do not really love men. Despite my divorce and my dating experiences, I’ve never felt evidence for his view. Once (sic!) women love, their love seems unlimited and unconditional.

I (highly) doubt that the same applies to men: their love towards women seems limited and conditional. I’ve never written about this before. I had assumed that my view would be my micro focus and one that cannot be extrapolated to a macro perspective. It seems I was wrong.

With hindsight, my 2022 blog Love, Knowledge & Power, a f/m perspective already argued something similar: “The Power-related belief systems are all dominated by men, while women are more interested in Knowledge and Love (eg, caring for children, elderly & sick).”

I remember having written about my (continued) surprise about the heterosexual bond between men and women (eg, my 2022 blog). I’ve never been able to retrace that Ted Talk by – I assume – anthropologist Helen Fisher. Still, her arguments relate to my question: do men really love women?

As far as I remember, Helen Fisher argued that the explanations for a f/m relationship have a very different focus (eg, character vs looks). Remarkably, that difference in f/m focus builds and reinforces their relationship. However, it’s also the source of many f/m conflicts (eg, flirting, money).

Our (contemporary) focus on the word Love is actually quite weird because nobody can even define that word. Most of all, the word Love is a bulk term that covers various types of love. The ancient Greek used (at least) 6 different words to define (what we now) call Love.

To answer my question above: I’m not sure if men really love women. At the age of 52, I fell in love for the first time in my adult life. It lasted slightly longer than 1 week. Then my doubt (about who she really was) won from my love for her. Much later, fear took over. She claims she still loves me.

A Thing Called Love (1968) by Johnny Cash (1971 cover)
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-song

[Verse 2]
Most men are like me, they struggle and doubt
They trouble their minds day in and day out
Too busy with living to worry about
A little word like love
But when I see a mother’s tenderness
As she holds her young close to her breast
Then I thank God that the world’s been blessed
With a thing called love

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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