Did Cupid Dupe Us? Secret #2: Why the Fairtale Fails

by: Dr. Felicia Clark

This is part 2 of a 10 part series that reveals what Cupid omitted before striking us with his arrow. Part 1 talks about the different types of love and makes the distinction between egotistical and spiritual love. Here in part 2, we talk about Fairytale love (e.g. egotistical love) and why it has to evolve.

Notice how fairytales always pair the handsome successful prince with the beautiful and sheltered virgin? Was that love or did Cupid dupe us?

Romance, beauty, youth, upward mobility, status pairings, possessing a desirable person, and instant love are all Fairytale themes. However, use with caution! This is our mating instinct – not a recipe for happiness. Fairytale romance is how to make higher status babies and benefit in the process. Animals, including human animal, have an instinctive drive to mate for status. This increases the likelihood for survival of parents and offspring. Status and ego are co-mingled, so high status pairings make the ego feel more secure. Having the ego served by the opposite sex feels good (due to stimulating mating hormones), and we naturally crave that feeling. It subconsciously makes us feel like we will survive.

Unfortunately, egotistical love is self-serving, seeks self-preservation first, is inspired by fantasy, and is designed to last only long enough to make children and safely deliver them into the world. This period of deep physical and sexual attraction lasts approximately 9-18 months which is enough time for procreation to occur – or to know that it won’t.

Let’s look at the mating instinct in the context of the fairytale. The human male instinctively prefers a virgin so he knows that the children she bears are his. This explains the ‘locked away unexposed virgin’ theme in fairytales. The human female instinctively selects a man who can provide for and protect her and their children. This explains the strong, powerful hero theme in fairytales. Both men and women have a mating preference for physical attractiveness. Beauty has a status and parents with beauty are likely to make beautiful babies. Can you see how human mating selection has nothing to do with what makes a relationship fulfilling (e.g. character, spiritual development, common values, getting along, etc.)? Think about it, if fairytales truly are about ‘happily ever after’ love, how come Fairytales never pair people of lesser sexual desirability? Don’t Snow White’s dwarfs and the evil witch need love, too?

While status markings change over time, what stays the same is that high status people are the most sexually desirable. Because sex produces children, human animal is easily sexually aroused by status. This is called ‘selective mating.’ The more sexual attraction one creates, the more likely they will be selected for sex (i.e. mating). This makes it likely that their genes are carried on. That is why sexiness and survival are linked. But, don’t worry about whether or not you are sexy enough to survive – you are.

Unfortunately, how much sexual attraction is actually needed to inspire mating gets exaggerated by the media to generate profits. A person doesn’t need extreme sexiness, or hypersexualization, to mate. In fact, extreme sexiness often reduces relationship connectedness (e.g. spiritual love). Increasing one’s attractiveness via sex appeal does not increase happiness – only opportunities to mate. So, having a high status mate is good for survival, but it only creates a foundation upon which emotion can build, not love itself.

Happiness comes from the spirit – not the ego. If you want happiness, you must love from the spirit more than the ego. So, when you are tempted to look past bad character due to status, ask yourself: ‘am I seeking to survive better, or seeking to be happy and fulfilled?’

Egotistical love alone creates strained and difficult relationships that don’t last. But, blame mother nature before you blame your ex-spose, or Cupid. The purpose for egotistical love is to get more babies on this Earth and to set them up for the best survival possible – you, too. So, if you have beautiful children, a comfortable home, and food on the table, then fairytale matching served its purpose.

To evolve beyond animal sexual attraction, put spirit above ego and status. This requires ongoing spiritual practices that bring you closer to your mate. Religion may or may not serve this purpose. While you must have enough status for stability, normal levels of status are enough when spiritual love is present - more on spiritual attraction in part 3.

In conclusion, the fairytale fails after 9-18 months because it is only designed to get genetically compatible people of comparable status to share resources and make babies. After extreme sexual attraction serves its purpose to inspire baby making, spiritual love must take over. Think of ‘happily ever after’ as after you move beyond ego.

Dr. Felicia Clark, specializes in the math and science of happiness. She hosts teleseminars and workshops to help couples have healthy relationships and singles choose a compatible mate. She also help the over 80% of women who dislike their bodies get beyond body shame. Look for her upcoming book which reveals how body dislike among women destroys relationships and society. Join her mailing list at http://www.ebooklifecoach.com www.ebooklifecoach.com for more information.

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