What is it that makes one person fall in love with another? That was the question that led me to conduct virtual interviews with people like Emperor Napoleon and Josephine, plus Galileo and his mistress Marina Gamba. William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway’s marriage was a fascinating example of how the great writer chose an uneducated women who was 8 years older than himself.
What drew them together and pulled them apart? Was it just basic sexual attraction or something more? I have written a book called Amazing Love Stories, that covers these and others who had celebrated and often tempestuous relationships.
In some societies marriage and love are separated. That was the case for the aristocracy in France and other European countries, where politics dictated who should marry. Arranged marriages are also common today in certain societies were the elders decide who their sons and daughter marry.
However, in other societies people can choose. Or can they? Recent research shows that we are attracted to people because of their smell. Maybe we are programmed in ways that we do not know – but think that we have a free choice. Do your genes dictate who you will choose and who you will love?
Darwin’s theory of evolution says that we are drawn to people who we feel will help us survive – not just physically but mentally in terms of stimulation, but most of all in terms of reproduction.
How do real life love stories help us understand our own lives? What amazing love stories have inspired you in your life?
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Thanks to fotodisenocm for the use of this photo from flickr.