[Janie:] “Yes, she would love Logan after they were married. She could see no way for it to come about, but Nanny and the old folks had said it, so it must be so. Husbands and wives always loved each other, and that was what marriage meant. It was just so. Janie felt glad of the thought, for then it wouldn’t seem so destructive and mouldy. She wouldn’t be lonely anymore”
Love is quite possibly the most wizard thing currently known to mankind. Society regards it as some magical force that lifts you high above the clouds, makes all your problems go away whenever you stare into those eyes. It’s a well of inspiration for many poets and writers that seems to never run dry and a beacon of hope for basement dwellers and teenagers wear too much mascara. Something that motivates people to wake up each morning, work ridiculous hours just to please their significant others; a fact even The Beatles knew. But how did society get to the universal picture of this sacred emotion that seems so mystical to people, but each person experiences it differently? After all, love is really just a release of chemicals in the brain such as dopamine, oxytocin, and other chemicals that cause “more adult” drives like estrogen and testosterone. Our bodies are biologically designed to release these chemicals in order to encourage reproduction to keep our species alive. If the cause of everyone’s feeling of love is caused by these chemicals, why is the experience so different for everyone?
Personally I inquire that love is subjective based on what you were surrounded within your society; where the hormones only serve as a match and gasoline to start your loving emotions. This can be proven by looking at examples in life and even in Their Eyes Were Watching God. In real life, people believe what they had been taught and shown throughout their life. One individual might view love as a one-sided relationship, purely used for self-gain, while others see it as a mutual relationship with each party constantly building each other up. Some individuals think the relationship should move quickly, whether it means smashing the comforts of the other party or not, and the contrary view of taking it slow as if to ensure a solid foundation of the relationship by respecting the boundaries of the other. Some think love is something that should be used loosely and thrown about to friends and others think it should be a rare emotion saved strictly for their lovers. In Janie’s case, her society has taught her that love is something that will just happen with time, not reinforced by any attraction.
This idea of love being more of a moldable clay brings the argument that love is more a vague collective understanding, however, there is one fact that remains true throughout every human no matter their personality or preferences. Humans are greedy. It is consistently proven throughout history that we are all vines clambering over each other in order to get closer than the people below us to the sun. With that in mind, love can be seen as something purely for personal gain. At the base level, everyone is but a pawn, but in order for you to become more secure, it’s essential you turn some pawns into queens. Most individual’s friendships are caused by the essential need to belong, and you use those people to fulfill that need. Hormones are released in order to help fulfill the biological need to reproduce, and the only way to fill that is with the help of another partner. A relationship may be as wholesome and pure as snow, but even that was caused by the deeply buried subconscious drive to gain in a relationship. Whether it was to feel joy, security, a sense of worthiness or belonging, or more visible personal gain, the lovely emotions were stemmed from humans nature to gain.
If you go back to Janie, it was her loving mother that set her up for this marriage in order for her to be financially stable, however, Janie didn’t see as much worth in the gain of fortune from this relationship valuing the gain of potential freedoms and care over the gain of stagnant stability. So she runs off with Joe, an ambitious individual in which Janie is keen to reap the rewards of his ambitions and care that the relationship with Logan lacked.
In conclusion to this slightly organized rant, love is nothing more than an opportunity to exploit the traits of others for their own gain. Sure, love is enjoyable for both parties when they both actively love each other. I’m not saying love is bad, the intention was mainly to point out the real cause of love. In fact, this is more of an attempt to make love more appealing because nobody would get anywhere without building off others. At the end of the day, love is a natural emotion shared amongst all humans that just so happens to be a glamorous and enjoyable way to evolve our lives even further.