Love, Phenotypes, Baseball Magic, and “Soul Mates” – Guest Blogger

Earlier this week I wrote about Soul mates and I had several bloggers share their thoughts on the subject which I am very grateful for their assistance…..there was one who I knew would take  the subject of Soul Mates to another level and I would like to share her view on the subject. Thank you Aly for taking sometime out of your busy busy schedule to be my guest blogger! for those that maybe  wondering where the link it to her blog is, she is on hiatus from blogging for a while…that is why I am thankful for her to take this time to write for me. I really enjoyed her views on life,relationships and let me just say this ……she’s smart….she’s like Bernadette and Amy smart but Penny beautiful. Hope you enjoy !!

guestblogger

What is love? Love is an intangible emotion. It is a feeling. It means something different and feels different to each individual. Each person is a product of both biology and cultural factors and experience. No two people have the exact same combination of the three; therefore, it is impossible to declare exactly what love is beyond the fact that the feeling of it begins chemically in our bodies, that spark we feel. It is chemistry, literally. Our hormones rage, our endorphin’s get involved, and the rest is history.

In evolutionary history, the phenotype of emotion (tenderness, love, compassion) was selected for. A phenotype is an observable trait of an organism. For example, morphology, development, physiological and biochemical properties, behavior and the products of behavior are all phenotypes. This observable behavior is coded for genetically in our genotype, Deoxyribonucleic acid.

One must conclude that the concept of emotions, such as love, had an evolutionary advantage to the human species. This is what makes us sociable creatures. Let’s face it. No matter how much animosity, hatred, and anger we exhibit for one another, we are still sociable creatures. As one anthropologist, a professor of mine, put it, try placing 200 Capuchin monkeys in one small area with no food for two hours and see if they can fly in a plane for hours without biting each other.

Love must serve some sort of purpose regarding species fitness. Reproduction? Probably not. I doubt dung beetles have emotions such as love, yet they still reproduce. The idea of cooperative makes the most sense to me. Humans banded together in hunting and gathering, they banded together for cooperative; therefore, those with the emotional phenotype, those able to make emotional connections to people, would have more successful reproduction and would pass those traits to further generations.

One also must combine history in the search of soul mates. When did monogamy begin for humanity? Most societies practiced polygamy until polytheistic religions developed. The concept of one man and one wife must have something to do with the “Soul Mate” theory. The idea of “Soul Mates” could very well be merely a social construct created by the culture of Judeo-Christian beliefs. Before this, many men had multiple wives; therefore, establishing that the concept of a “Soul Mate” was not always of significance. Humans have survived a millennia without being soul mates.

The other idea is that how do we know someone is our “Soul Mate?” It is only after a successful partnership ending in death that one can confirm someone was one. How many times have you thought you had met your soul mate? I know I have several times. I was only disproven when a relationship fell apart and the male in my life was replaced by another. So are we just “Souls Mates” until it ends? All relationships are doomed to end at some point, be it human error or death.

One must also consider the evolution of women’s rights. Historically, women were unable to divorce their spouses and we forced to deal with cheating spouse, abusive spouse, and everything else. In many points of history, it was just downright illegal for a woman to divorce her spouse. Women have come a long way in the past 100 years. Our culture has evolved along with it. Now, women no longer have to put up with such treatment. Of course, divorce rates will sky rocket once it is socially acceptable for the woman to divorce her spouse. 100 years ago, 50% of the population could not file for divorce. Think about it.

Whenever I hear of stories of people being married 50 plus years, I am reminded that they were married 50 years ago. American culture was completely different than it is today. Divorce was still socially unacceptable. Those women were raised to put up with whatever treatment was offered, that was the culture they grew up in. They grew up with the idea that men make the decisions.

With 7 billion people on the planet, it is rather hard to believe that there is only one perfect person for someone. There are multiple possibilities. There are multiple ways the feeling of love manifests itself. It can be passion based; I had many relationships where the emotions manifested themselves in intense passionately feelings. It can be companionship based; only once have I had a companionship based manifestation of romantic feelings. I desired him, do not get me wrong. It wasn’t the intense “Let’s make love right here and right now before we are consumed by the insanity of unfulfilled desires.” I felt like this person would be an ideal companion, but the feeling was not returned. For him, relationships were less about feelings and more of an idealistic we must match in this, this, and this kind of way. Love means something different to each and every person. I can honestly say that I have loved more than one man. Unfortunately, most relationships are doomed for failure.

Is the concept of a “Soul Mate” something we still delude ourselves with when we fail?  It’s okay; he just wasn’t “The One.” He wasn’t your “Soul Mate.” Is this a comforting notion when we are down and depressed from our latest romantic failure?

Some people say there are “signs” when you meet that special person. I used to believe in signs, until I thought I read them appropriately and got my heart ripped out “Kali Ma” Indiana Jones Temple of Doom style. Thank you, sir. There were many signs I thought were there. Out birthdays are the same, but different months. We met at one point, only to find out later that his best friend is married to one of my friends from high school. We kept randomly walking into each other on campus.

The physiology of our brains forces us to create patterns, much like it forces us to see in binary opposites. We see patterns, we create superstitions from them. We use these patterns in religious rituals. Baseball players are infamous for having ritualized patterned behavior. “Lou Skeins used to reach into his back pocket to touch a crucifix, straighten his cap and clutch his genitals (Gmelch).” There is a whole genre of anthropology just about “Baseball Magic.” We see patterns and we claim “SOUL MATES. IT IS KISMET!” in much of the same way.
Gmelch, George J. “Baseball Magic.” http://www.faulkner.edu/academics/artsandsciences/socialandbehavioral/readings/an/baseball.aspx

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9 thoughts on “Love, Phenotypes, Baseball Magic, and “Soul Mates” – Guest Blogger

  1. This is a unique take on ‘Soul Mates’. The idea of ‘Soul Mates’ being due to polytheistic religions or of Judeo-Christian beliefs had never occurred to me. New food for thought. Thanks for sharing.

  2. There are a bunch of errors I made last night. I must have been tired. In between 7 class and a teaching assistant position in the anthropology department, I am exhausted. I need to edit this and email it back. After I finish with my day’s classes I will fix it up. Polytheistic was supposed to be monotheistic. There are several other errors I made. This lack of sleep is killing me.

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