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Wanting romantic relationships


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Do people really want to be in romantic relationships or are they just wanting it because it's expected? I've always thought people just pretend to want a boyfriend or girlfriend because they really only want to have sexy with them but we've been programmed to think you have to be in a relationship to do that. 

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I asked a whole bunch of people once about why they want relationships, and why friendship isn't "enough" to satisfy those particular cravings. The answers I got were not very convincing to me personally, and I got the impression the people I asked hadn't really given it much thought.

 

"Someone to share my life with" seemed to be the most common "reason" why people wanted a relationship, although I don't understand why they think friendship wouldn't be good enough for that. I guess they think of friends as temporary disposable people, not permanent companions.

 

Basically, people seem to "want" relationships because they believe it's the only way to have long-term companions in life... I think. :/

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People do want it, definitely. I mean, I know a guy who spent decades hiding the fact that his 'roommate' was actually his romantic partner, even though he risked losing his job, being physically attacked, or being arrested if people figured out the truth. If all he wanted was a life partner, he could have had that with far less risk. If all he wanted was gay sex, he could have gone to a bathhouse, and had anonymous sex, which would be a lot less suspicious than having a man he lived with and slept in the same bed with. But he wanted a romantic partner so badly that he risked serious consequences and hid his true feelings from the public eye.    

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Hmm, I think it varies a lot between people in general. Some people do have that craving to find a romantic partner at some point, other people (like me) only really want a relationship if they meet someone they start liking in a different way than friendship (not exactly sexually, in my case anyway, and even if I do get with them I usually wish I was single again pretty soon after...), and others, like SoulWolf said, haven't really thought about it that deeply but think it's something you just "do" because everyone else does.

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Romance arises from natural selection. Mates who pool their resources to help the female survive gestation and then the offspring survive to reproductive age were more likely to have that offspring survive to reproductive age than mates who were not; and romance caused mates to stick together. So romance can be replaced with rational commitment to perpetuating the species, but in practice our species is not capable of sustaining rational commitment and is poorly capable of having any goals other than strictly personal. And these things operate only on a macro level and completely ignore specific individuality. Neither human biology nor society pay any attention to whether you, as a specific person, ever reproduce or not, or are romantic or not. They just put you under pressure to be romantic and reproduce because they put everyone under that same pressure without making distinctions between people. It's totally impersonal even if the pressure seems to come from specific people who rationalize that it's personal. Don't be fooled.

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