Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Why is Love binary?

Monday last week, Belgian newspaper De Standaard published this Dutch-language article: Why do people often keep an open relationship secret? The article compares the rise in open relationships in the 21st century, with coming out of the closet for gay and lesbian people in the 20th century.

Love appears to be binary for c.98% of humans. Hence, we tend to love just one (1) person, even while we may “sleep” with other people (ie, lust). The exception to binary love are bisexuals, who account for c.1.8% of adult people (source). Also see my recent blog Bisexuality and trust.

In 2015, I identified Love as a 7th belief system and domain. The other six (6) human beliefs are: Money, Politics, Religion (in Power domain), Philosophy, Science, and the Truth (in Knowledge domain). These 7 beliefs constitute my concept of The 7 Belief systems – a summary (2016).

Any (human) belief is a known unknown; also see my 2015 blog Belief systems – known unknowns. Love might well be our most binary belief system: either we believe in Love or we do not. There’s no alternative (eg, I Don’t Know).

All species have needs (eg, water), only some species (eg, birds, monkeys) have wants (eg, use of tools) and only humans have beliefs. However, there are signs of proto-religious behaviour in animals. My classification suggests that Love and monogamy are unique to humans. Actually, it might be.

“Polygynous mating systems with group fidelity are a common animal organization, typically consisting of multiple females in a mated group with a single male for an extended period (sometimes referred to as harem polygyny).” Note: markings in quote by LO.

A quote from the Abstract of a 2020 study in the journal Science Advances

Hence, it could be argued that an open relationship (see article above) is a reminder of an our ancient past. In those days, the “elites practiced de facto polygyny” (Wiki). Today, our (sexual) identity (eg, elites, LGBT) may still play an important role. Lust and polygyny are expressions of our identity.

Love and monogamy are binary beliefs for the common people.

“Human beings have a strong dramatic instinct toward binary thinking, a basic urge to divide things into two distinct groups, with nothing but an empty gap in between. We love to dichotomize. Good versus bad. Heroes versus villains. My country versus the rest. Dividing the world into two distinct sides is simple and intuitive, and also dramatic because it implies conflict, and we do it without thinking, all the time.”

A quote by Hans Rosling (1948-2017) from his book Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

Love of the Common People (1967) by Paul Young (1983)
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-song

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


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