Like any other animal’s migration patterns, humans have a tendency to return to a known territory or reclaim what used to be theirs. One of the places where this is most obvious is in love.
Our evolutional process has turned us into creatures based on the senses. This means that several of our biological needs are now ruled by feelings. The attraction we feel for another person no longer comes with the original purpose of reproduction. We have evolved to the point that love is now made out of several emotions and sensations. The only difference between us and other mammals is that most of them change partners constantly, whereas humans tend towards monogamy.
Several scientists are sure that our brain is capable of falling in love more than once. Yet even with infinite possibilities, we tend to always hark back to the one who left us. The famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud had a particular theory of why we always want to go back to that certain someone. He came up with four conditions that he believed forced our brain to respond this way.
When a breakup happens, men will look for their ex only when she begins a relationship with someone new. It’s as if a treasure has been taken from him and he needs to get it back. While their ex continues to be single, he will continue to feel that he has power over her.
Freud’s claim that a virtuous woman of good reputation will never be as attractive as the one who admits she might not be able to fulfill the faithful part. This suggests that because we are highly sexual beings, we want our experiences to be even more pleasurable. And when someone comes along assuring us that they know their way around a bedroom, we’re immediately taken. When we haven’t had many sexual experiences, we try to go back to the person who last filled our desires.
Value of women
Since he was convinced that only men were able to feel love, Freud assured that a man would not fall in love with a woman until she possessed him. When she absorbs all his mental energy to the point that she is his only interest, this results in him believing she is the one for him.
On this reason, Freud says that men will always feel the need to save their female love interest because, deep down, he believes that without him she would lose any social status and respect. Without his protection, she would be lost. By staying by her side, he thinks he is saving her.
By exclusively focusing on the male emotion, Freud’s claims come off as pretty sexist. They objectify women as a thing of desire and not as an individual capable of making her own decisions and choosing her own destiny.
Despite the fact that there are men who do follow this behavioral prescription, we need to ask ourselves whether women actually agree on these four points. Are we really destined to get back together with our ex based on a psychological pattern?
Translated by María Suárez