Despite the sorrows, disappointments, memories, routines and changes that dot the present, we continue to seek the bond of a couple. But why? Is there something in us that leads us to search for it? Is it genetic, social or both?
Last update: December 08, 2022
Despite the failed relationships and disappointments we may have experienced in the past, we human beings always tend to reform a couple bond as if this were part of a predetermined plan by our biology and social culture. Have you ever thought about it?
In the course of human history there have been many, if not innumerable, changes in the couple model. We know well that nowadays the dynamics of the couple are not the same as they were fifty or even a hundred years ago.
However, the changes did not happen in a radical way. It can be said that the evolutionary mutations of the couple bond are not so distant in terms of structure and routine.
Is the relationship of a couple today really different from that of 50 years ago?
Compared to the solid ground of fifty years ago, postmodernity has caused a certain instability and emotional insecurity that have shaken the structure of the couple and the family. All this, within the positivist linear paradigm.
The current era is experiencing a paradigm shift. This is why ideologies, social and family norms, beliefs, the organization of life, the criteria of truth, objectivity, rationality and reality are increasingly questioned.
Postmodernity has not only led to a theoretical change, but also to changes in practical formulations. In turn, all of this had a major impact on the structure of the family and the couple.
When one thinks of the family or the couple, questions may arise such as: what path are these structures taking? Which direction do they go in? What pattern do we tend to establish when we form a couple bond? What are the paths and the multiple ways for to arrive at a postmodern model of the couple, etc.
The answer to all these questions can never be univocal as the patterns linked to the constitution of the couple and the family are constantly changing.
Currently there are different models of couples and even families
Over the past fifty years, the concept of a couple has changed considerably. The institution of divorce has resulted in two or three breakthroughs in couple love, as well as new types of families.
Currently there are new couple and family models with equally different characteristics. For example, there are couples who do not share the same bedroom; others place restrictions on the number of children to have; finally there are singles who have had children thanks to biotechnology.
The separation in modern society between sex aimed at reproduction and sex for pleasure, thanks to contraceptive methods, shows a sexuality unrelated to pregnancy. This inevitably involves gods changes in the philosophical conception of the couple.
Nowadays, there are many people who want to get married and be happy, without necessarily having children, but only for love and for a satisfying sexuality.
Thus, the desire for love and sexual desire take on an important meaning in relationships. And as expected, all of these factors produce considerable structural changes in the couple.
Years go by ... So what? The apocalypse or reunion
During the course of life, the human being goes through different experiences. In a couple, members spend years together and accumulate memories.
The brain stores a great deal of information and selects experiences that it will then remember; and that material is housed in memory (under the responsibility of the hippocampus, which allows us to associate and make sense of different situations). For this reason, we always tend to remember the good things and separate them from the bad ones.
Living as a couple is a complex process that requires patience, generosity, tolerance and adaptability, as well as love. Of course, love coincides with the satisfaction of numerous fantasies, but coexistence implies commitment, learning to support each other, finding a compromise between two different personalities in order to live together and, if agreed, procreate together.
Meanwhile, the years pass and the maturity, the domestic obligations, the problems at work, the education of the children arrive ... Everyone aspects that introduce elements of separation between the members of the couple. Routine and fatigue quench the fire of early passion, reducing sexual encounters.
In addition to this, the vigor of the young years decays and many other thoughts crowd the mind and, progressively, almost without realizing it, the desire towards the partner decreases.
There are many couples who live a limited sexuality and without a link with the remaining activities. They live resigned and bored, at least as regards married life, and take refuge in outings with their grandchildren or other couples, making social life more active, but at the expense of intimacy. Others, however, choose to separate.
After so many years, experiences and memories, is the desire to form a bond as a couple or to live together still alive?
Couples who have been together for many years, at least once a year they should sit down and talk about how to see the couple again: you are no longer what you used to be and you have to accept it.
If the couple decides to separate, both must be aware of the fact that separation is a complex experience in which various relationship complications develop, such as alliances, coalitions, aggressions, etc. Couples accumulate various relational aftermaths that flare up in the moment after separation, making it difficult to agree.
While keeping the path of separation or divorce open, it should be borne in mind that about 80% of separated people remarry and 60% of new couples include a child living with one of the spouses.
These percentages indicate that, in a certain sense, the aftermath of the past, many of them traumatic, does not discourage the attempt to form a new couple bond. This also suggests that we continue to bet on love as a couple, that the expectations of a new love triumph over failed experiences. So… all is not lost. The past does not at all prevent forming a new couple.