Friday, February 13, 2009

Cupid and Psyche

I have always loved the story of Cupid and Psyche. It is the basis for the modern version of Beauty and the Beast.

"A tale as old as time..."

I have a question for you. Do we fall in love with someone because they are beautiful, or are they beautiful because we fall in love with them? I think when we are younger and we are first noticing the opposite sex, there are certain physical characteristics that appeal to us. I remember in grade 8 having a huge crush on a boy named David. My first crush. Years later I saw him at a school reunion, and I thought, "What was I thinking...!?"

I always remember a scene with Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell in "The Seven Year Itch" where Tom Ewell says, "Face it, no pretty girl wants me, she wants Gregory Peck."

And Marilyn says, "How do you know what a pretty girl wants?"

Tom Ewell says "I don't know, but I imagine --"

Marilyn says, "Your imagination! You think every girl's a dope. You think a girl goes to a party and there's some guy in a fancy striped vest strutting around giving you that I'm-so-handsome-you-can't-resist-me look. From this she's supposed to fall flat on her face. Well, she doesn't fall on her face. But there's another guy in the room, over in the corner. Maybe he's nervous and shy and perspiring a little. First, you look past him. But then you sense that he's gentle and kind and worried. That he'll be tender with you, nice and sweet. That's what's really exciting. If I were your wife, I'd be very jealous of you. I'd be very, very jealous."

Oh, yes...

A handsome man or a beautiful woman can become plain and unappealling very quickly if he or she is generally unpleasant to be around, or lacks integrity or kindness or any of the other wonderful traits. But in reverse, it is possible to fall in love with someone's soul, and then they become they most beautiful person on earth. Well, that's my theory, anyway. What's yours?

Happy Valentine's Day!

36 comments:

Butler and Bagman said...

Yes, I think tomorrow I am going to have to answer your question and talk about how I met my wife...beauty is much much more than advertisers would have us believe.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I think you are spot on. Coincidentally, Aikenvoodoo-U the famous witch doctor and love guru has made a re-appearance at my site

Lover of Life said...

I think you said it very well.

SweetPeaSurry said...

Ah ... I've always loved mythology. I'm not one to go for just the pretty face. I like interesting facial characterstics ... but for the most part ... I'm looking for the same characteristics I would find in my best friend. Kind, gentle, honest, loving, generous and fun!

introspection said...

Beautifully put - thoughts about love. If I were to fall in Love, it would be to a person who is a combination of kindness, care, chivalry and be very attentive to me. He would be the envy of others in his looks and style. A bit of mystery about him would have me intrigued.

Alas! these are things that rarely ever happen. Happy Valentines Day...!!!

kenju said...

I have always been drawn to a pretty face, but I have also noticed that people I like a lot - or come to love- get better looking in my eyes.

I just noticed that you have the same quote here as I have on my blog (Thoreau)

Muznah Umar said...

this was a very nice post to read. As for any theory, I agree with you.

I see so many marriages failing around me but now that im married myself i realize, it only fails (even when the two are together) when both of them get 'used' to the idea of being together. One should never forget what value the other brings to their life. or for that matter, how one felt when they first got together.

Arley said...

I have to be honest, Valentine's Day is the least of my favorite holidays. I was married to my first husband on Valentine's Day, whom I was not attracted to, nor did I love him. (Very long story) It lasted a little over a year, than I met my sole mate. It was, love at first site. I wouldn't say he was prince charming, but he swept me off my feet. He is a devoted husband and father. He would do anything, (and I mean anything) for myself and our children. To me, that is far more attractive then any pretty face!

Edward Yablonsky said...

I have heard beauty is in the eye of the beholder or one who is the lover.

lovelyprism said...

That's twice now you managed to turn the question around backwards and make the light bulb in my head turn on. Why do I never think of things this way myself, but when you write them they make perfect sense? I love that you have a way to make me see things just a little bit differently. Happy Valentine's Day, Jo!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

You obsessive too?

I chased a woman for twenty years, largely because of her beauty, her elfishness. She was like Idyll by the fountain in the 1930's Ivory Soap commercial layout. Tinkerbelle.
The spell was broken when one day she faced me squarely, and said, "For crimminy's sake, will you just F-off?
But by this time, she was near middle age and had started to bloat.

"Why do you keep chasing that fat-ass?" a friend wanted to know?
"That's my fat ass and I'll chase it all I want."

Ah well.

Queen: "Fat bottom girls make the world go round"

Even if they swear.

But where did the pixie go?

Idyll, idyll gotta find.

American idyll.

KathyB. said...

Valentine posts are very interesting and the question you asked is too tempting to NOT comment....hmmmm. I was attracted to my husband originally because I thought he was beautifully handsome, but that is not why I fell in love with him. His inner beauty is what keeps me in love after more than 35 years.

Veronica said...

A man who is so shy and unassuming; yet so talented and with the most extraordinary strengths and abilities. Not handsome in the conventional way. One who does not need Valentine's Day to show his love in so many kind and gentle ways, one who brings love tokens and courtesies so frequently. Who puts up with me and loves me even when I Grrrr! at him. To me, the most handsome man in the whole world.

the walking man said...

Love like all living things grows, with the water and light, the physical becomes less an issue and the inner soul more a determinant to the strength of love. Character is the winner in this race.

Faithful said...

I, too, love the tale of Eros and Psyche. Reminds me a bit of my husband and my 40 year old love story. I still wonder why he fell for me but I know I didn't fall for him because of his outer beauty.

Firefly said...

Strange. I sometimes see women who I knew when I was in school and whom I thought were stunning girls. You know, the kind that you just wish they will spot you or want to dance with you at the school dance. Now years later I look at then and I also think, like you, what was I thinking. Then you see women who were those quiet unnoticed girls and now they are stunning. Strange world

Amor said...

It's always looking right into the heart of the one you love.

DUTA said...

Nowadays, when it's possible to correct a nose (the very center of our face) , straighten teeth, slimming an overweight body -Beauty is no longer a factor.

XUP said...

It's not very romantic, but I think attraction is largely based on chemistry. A scent or vibe or interactions of ions that draws 2 particular people together initially and keeps them together long enough for them to get to know each other. Then it depends on whether or not the personalities harmonize enough to keep building a relationship together.

Mary Ellen said...

For me it was less looks and more personality, most of all, his sense of humor is what attracted me. As a kid, I always had a crush on the class clown. I don't know what that says about me other than I like to laugh and couldn't imagine life without a daily chuckle.

Oh...and here's a joke for ya...

Phil, a smart and handsome young man, dressed in the latest fashion, walked into this local pub. He noticed a woman gazing at him without blinking her big eyes. Phil felt flattered so he walked up to the woman and said in his deepest voice, 'I'll do anything you wish, beautiful lady, for just $10 but on one condition.'

The woman appeared to be trapped in the moment and asked as if in a trance, 'What's your condition?'

Phil answered, 'Tell me your wish in just three words.'

There was a long pause, the woman opened her purse, counted out the money and handed it to the man along with her address. She then looked deeply into his eyes and whispered, 'Clean my house.'


Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!

jackc50 said...

there are alot of things that make up attraction, that other blog was right. its a chemical thing.......all in all i guess the old saying holds true....beauty is in the eye of the beholder,hope everyone has a nice valentines day, love and chocolate from jc

BeNC said...

I was with a girl last year (and of course, I celebrated V Day with her). Well, I have to admit that she's a person who puts major concerns on her looks, and she's been prettier day by day.
But due to certain reasons, we parted ways after got together for almost a year.

Well, I still love her though. But I'm not sure whether I'm trapped in the snare of good looks. But I do miss her very much.

How I wish all the people in this world really see things your way, Jo. How I wish people realize that looks are not the solution for a long lasting love.

PinkPanthress said...

I guess everyone would answer your question like this...

I do not care about their looks, it's about charakter, it's about honesty. They have to be kind, gentle, loving and being able to make me smile..........

The truth is. We want, almost crave, someone tough, raw, pretty, sexy, gorgeous looking. Someone that will make everyone envy us.
And then we will be unhappy 'cause this person lacks intelligence, is obnoxious, has the attention span of a 3 year old, etc...

TheChicGeek said...

People are beautiful because we fall in love with them...most definitely. I love the photo in your posting. Happy Valentine's Day, Jo! Wishing you a day filled with fun, love, and maybe a little chocolate (hehe)!

Lover of Life said...

I know you receive lots of awards but I gave you another one, anyway. You can view it on my blog. Happy Valentine's Day!

leilani said...

ummmm.... i think between men and women its survival of the species.I think we at a younger age are attracted by forces that have to do with biology. I think TRUE love comes later when our need to reproduce and populate ceases. I feel with the burden of recreation off of us we choose what and whom we truly are in love with.

Jane said...

I always went for the bad boys due, I think, to the fact that my dad was a very lovable but naughty boy. After a lot of work I am now with a very lovable well behaved guy and to my surprise he's handsome too! I am a lucky girl all the hard work paid off.

Avril Fleur said...

When I first met my husband I was not at all attracted to him. I thought he was average looking at best. But man, was he charmer! It is no coincidence that he is a salesman, and a good one at that! However, when we first met I had just come out of a six month relationship with an extremely attractive but utterly selfish man. And I was having a hard time letting that go. The ex-boyfriend would call me up, string me along, make me think there was a chance again, just to dash my hopes and hurt me once more. At the same time, I was trying to put Mac off, but he would have none of it. He sent me the sweetest note, right after another disappointing conversation with the ex-boyfriend. Mac was so sweet and nice and made me realize that I deserved to be treated so much better. I never looked back at the ex again.

Deedee said...

Someone I may not be very attracted to at first becomes much more attractive once I get to know them and find things in them that I like. That's how it works for me, anyway.

Donnetta Lee said...

I've heard that when we see a little bit of ourselves reflected in the other person's eyes-then we're drawn to that person. Ah, love. Ah, lust. Now-love and lust combined. There's a winner! D

Jo said...

BandB, Oh, yes...!

LGS, I love Aikenvoodoo-U. He is very wise.

LoverOfLife, Thank you. :-)

SweetPeaSurrey, "Kind, gentle, honest, loving, generous and fun!" Oh definitely!

Introspection, well, first you have to dream...

Kenju, yes, I love that quote.

Muznah Umar, "One should never forget what value the other brings to their life. or for that matter, how one felt when they first got together." Yes!

Arley, it sounds as if you have found someone truly wonderful!

Edward, beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder!

LovelyPrism, well, thank you! My mind is a very strange place. :-)

Ivan, you know the story of Eros, when the light was turned on, love flew out the window...

KathyB, oh yes, inner beauty is the thing that stands the test of time, isn't it?

Veronica, that was beautiful...! I sure hope you say that to him too. :-)

Mark, what a beautiful, poetic way to say it. Oh, I agree totally!

Faithful, I would love to hear your story!

Firefly, "Then you see women who were those quiet unnoticed girls and now they are stunning." Yes, that applies to the men too. It almost never fails!

Amor, oh, yes...!

DUTA, yes, and that can be deceptive, can't it?

XUP, yes, sometimes chemistry can jump right out at us, can't it?

Mary Ellen, LOL...! I love it! Can I borrow it?

Jackc50, yes, beauty is very much in the eyes of the beholder. That's what makes it so wonderful. :-)

BeNC, well, looks can fade with time, but the inner beauty is always there. I hope you find someone else soon!

PinkPanthress, LOL. Yes, often beautiful people are very shallow, aren't they?

TheChicGeek, Happy Valentine's Day to you too. I managed to get through the day with no chocolate! Phew!

LoverOfLife, thank you for the award. I appreciate it, and I'm quite honored!

Leilani, I think you are right. There are two "ages" of love. Definitely!

Jane, you are indeed lucky. I think a lot of girls went for the "bad boys", unfortunately. *heh*

Avril, I love your story. And good for Mac! "Faint heart ne'er won fair maiden." He persevered.

DeeDee, I am exactly like you. I think it's the best way, don't you?

Donnetta, "when we see a little bit of ourselves reflected in the other person's eyes-then we're drawn to that person." That is so true, and I had not through of that before!

RiverPoet said...

That's always been one of my favorite movies. And it's so true to the life Marilyn led - too bad she never found true happiness.

Happy V-day - Peace, D

Kimberly said...

I agree with you. Handsomeness and prettiness are total perks if the outside matches the inside.

Mona said...

i agree! i often fall for the brainy, shy ones...actually i avoid good-looking guys...feel like i'm wasting my time...so intellectually uninteresting...i've met a few exceptions though...

Snooty Aunt Cynthia said...

Psyche has been one of my favorite names and I have even used it as a stage name.
As for as what attracts us to others, I think that physical attraction is probably what initially attracts us to others for the most part. And what is attractive to me in a member of the opposite sex might not appeal to someone else at all.
While it is sad that sometimes a person falls in love with someone based on personal appearance and then they are blind to any of their faults, it is also true that if one falls in love with another's soul that it has more of a chance of enduring.
One question I would suggest to someone in a relationship: would you want this person as a close friend? If the answer is no then that person is wrong for you in the long run.

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