But what about love?
I don't know what love is. We love all kinds of things, ice cream, our best friend, our significant other, our children, our favorite author, a TV show, a piece of clothing... it's the ultimate superlative in approval.
But perhaps we are confusing need for love. I don't really need most of these things, although on my list there are two listed who I do need - my significant other and my best friend. I do have a favorite author but I seldom read her books anymore, and although I need clothes - I have plenty.
We need to belong with other people who will take care of us when we need help if we're sick, who will help provide our requirements, food, shelter, care... they form a kind of context for our lives. These are the people we tell our sorrows, joys, thoughts and feel comfortable with.
these people are probably the most important people in the world to us and without them - we would probably have to replace quickly if something happened to them.
Not that it might be a straight replacement - several acquaintances might be able to replace a best friend.... in time.
I'm not talking about infatuation - a huge dash of sexual attraction and the intoxicating rush of hormones that has to pass or it isn't a real relationship until you are hip deep in the connection; and the knowledge of you needing them as much as they need you. You know all their faults, but you still like them well enough to want them to be in your life.
I know most people point to Jane Austen and say she wrote romantic comedies - and perhaps she did make pride and prejudice a fun read but her message was that marriage is a business arrangement that hopefully won't be too unpleasant. She was after all writing a book of economics for half the population of her society. And her aim was to balance the financial aspect with an agreeable business partner. While that may sound harsh - the reality is the most important job a woman performs in this arrangement is to give birth and that meant putting her life on the line every time she was due to deliver. In this day and age we think of giving birth as a simple biological process. It is not. It is dangerous for both the woman and her baby.
These are considerations men don't need to consider because women have been forced kept the dangers of child birth pretty much to themselves.
Of course there has also been a lot of social pressure on women to get married. Having a husband elevated women in society above those without a husband. Mainly because gaining income is often difficult for women.