Relationships/Agape

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In 1993, 46-year-old former Wyoming cattle rancher, Grateful Dead lyricist, and founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation John Perry Barlow fell in love with 28-year-old psychiatrist Cynthia Horner. A year later she died unexpectedly. In 1997, This American Life radio host Ira Glass interviewed Barlow:

Ira Glass: Now that you've had this experience with her, do you find that you have this experience all the time in a smaller form, where you'll meet a group of strangers, and there'll be one whose eyes strike you, and you think OK, this person, I could see a part of this thing.

John Perry Barlow: Absolutely. I feel an ability to attach on a moment-to-moment basis that is completely unlike anything that I felt prior to that. And I think it's a little disconcerting to other people because it's genuine on my side, and people are not used to having somebody just dock emotionally that instantaneously. I feel like I can see their souls, you know, their souls are visible to me.

In an adult relationship, you see your partner's good qualities, accept his or her faults, and emotionally connect. After you learn to do this with one person, you can connect with other people.

Traditionally, a man and woman who passionately love each other produce children, whom the parents passionately love. I.e., passionately loving one individual leads to passionately loving other individuals.

Religions teach individuals to feel passionate, non-sexual love for an abstract being, and then extend that love to other people. I.e., love for a deity helps them feel altruistic love for other people. The Greeks called this passionate, non-sexual, altruistic love agape.

Adulthood · Where Couples Met

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Adulthood · Relationships · Where Couples Met
About This Book · Q&A · Recommended Books
The Science: The Evolution of the Human Brain · How Women Select Men · How Men Select Women · How Our Ancestors Lived · Monogamy and Polygamy · Hormones · Communication Styles
Life Stages: Childhood—Seeking Unconditional Love · Adolescence—Seeking Romantic Love · Adulthood—Families And Forgiveness · Agape—Altruistic Love
Practical Advice: Where Couples Met · Flirting · How to Write a Personal Ad · Dating · Sex · Becoming a Couple · Conflict In Relationships
Personality Types: Emotional Control Systems · Zeus-Hera · Poseidon-Athena · Apollo-Artemis · Hermes-Hestia · Ares-Hephaestus-Aphrodite · Dionysus-Demeter · Hades-Persephone