Leave it to Time magazine to ask (and answer) life's tough questions. This week's cover story, written by Jeffrey Kluger, seeks to explain to readers "Why We Love." Why indeed?! Kluger starts off on the wrong foot by writing:
The last time you had sex, there was arguably not a thought in your head. O.K., if it was very familiar sex with a very familiar partner, the kind that--truth be told--you probably have most of the time, your mind may have wandered off to such decidedly nonerotic matters as balancing your checkbook or planning your week. If it was the kind of sex you shouldn't have been having in the first place--the kind you were regretting even as it was taking place--you might have already been flashing ahead to the likely consequences. But if it was that kind of sex that's the whole reason you took up having sex in the first place--the out-of-breath, out-of-body, can-you-believe-this-is-actually-happening kind of sex--the rational you had probably taken a powder.
Even reading this paragraph for the fifth time, I still find it alternately confusing and hilarious. As the piece progresses, we get a string of stunning insights:
--Every living human is a descendant of a long line of successful maters
--If it's easy for a glance to become a kiss and a kiss to become much more, that's because your system is trip-wired to make it hard to turn back once you're aroused.
--The elaborate ritual of dating is how this screening takes place.
--The problem with romance is that it doesn't always deliver the goods. For all the joy it promises, it can also play us for fools, particularly when it convinces us that we've found the right person, only to upend our expectations later.
--All relationships must settle and cool. That's a hard truth, but it's a comforting one too.
--The eventual goal of any couple is to pass beyond serial dating--beyond even the thrill of early love--and into what's known as companionate love.
And the final paragraph is, yes, you guessed it, a warm-hearted farewell about love being weird and crazy and not totally explainable by science.