L´earning to Love
Gloria Ornelas Hall
Friends or LoversFriends are about loyalty; lovers, about fidelity. Friends are about confidence; lovers are about trust. Friends are about secrecy; lovers, about intimacy. Friends are about sharing; lovers are about mutuality. Friends are about numbers; lovers, about exclusiveness.
The origin of the word ‘friend’ comes from the Proto-German, meaning ‘freedom’. Friendships set us free, since they accept us unconditionally; but drop the second letter ‘r’ and it turns to ‘fiend’!
‘Lover’ comes from the Latin: luber, meaning ‘desire’ (de-sire- pertaining to the master?).
Where ‘friendship’ implies ‘freedom’, ‘lovers’ imply ‘commitment’.
Last night a friend of mine was going on about ‘men’, and how happy she was without them. “They are so different from us” she said. And of course, we all know she´s right. Men and women are different. Our perception on life and our experience of it, have been proven to be reactions from different parts of the brain, as seen in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI’s). Even orgasm is integrated with different sensorial responses! A study we made in the Mexican National Autonomous University proved young boys initiated their sexual lives at around 14, with a ‘friend’; where young girls started at around 16 years of age, with a ‘boyfriend’. Boys don´t necessarily relate sex with emotions; girls, do. It is a physiological response.
Male erection is an autonomic response with a neural loop round the spinal cord. Women´s eroticism excites a response from the spinal cord, through the emotional mid-brain in the hypothalamus, to the rational cortex, before deciding to respond, sexually. One responds instinctively, for a couple minutes; the other, with an unconscious response to what could end up being a 9-month pregnancy.Such differences make for different interpretations of what a ‘friend’ or a ‘lover’ implies. Nowadays, with ‘free’ open relationships among teenagers, sex is not a negotiated right. It is as freely given, as it is, taken away. Mutuality or exclusiveness are not conditioned. The effect of open pornography in marriages is just making sex a sport, covered up in lies. Truth and fidelity are now obsolete. So what is the difference?
I have come to believe that the difference is 'commitment'; not only contractual or social but in soul. We are bound by soul, to love, being responsible for each other´s spiritual growth! Sexual intimacy with a lover is a binding spiritual commitment. If women's awareness of inner consciousness is more developed, we are responsible to help our lover grow.
As life turns the spiral of chance, lovers return. We owe each other a kind word; reassurance, in failure; memories, to keep the cold nights warm; gratitude, to lessen the burden of failure. They may need help or council. It is no longer about sex or possessiveness; but about ‘loving’.
Lovers get to know the soul where friends only touch the surface.