Men, Women, & the Mystery of Love: Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Beyond the Sexual Urge

“In [the relationship of utility], the moment they cease to match and to be of advantage to each other, nothing at all is left of the harmony. love will be no more, n either of the persons or between them.” – from “Love and Responsibility” (39), John Paul II

From Dr. Sri: The sexual urge manifests itself in the tendency for human persons to seek the opposite sex…it orients a man toward the physical and psychological characteristics of a woman–her body, her femininity–which are the very attributes that are most complementary to the man. And the woman, in turn, is oriented toward the physical and psychological attributes of a man–his body, his masculinity–and the properties that naturally complement the woman. (p. 16)

The sexual urge draws us to the physical and psychological attributes of a person of the opposite sex. But ultimately, it is meant to orient us toward another person who possesses those attributes–not just the attributes themselves. Manifestations of the sexual urge thus present us with a choice between loving the person, and using them for their attributes.

How do some couples who are dating or married are in a relationship based on mutual use? What are some ways we see mutual use in relationships today?

Why do people in utilitarian relationships feel so much insecurity and instability? (sexual urge) Have you experienced this for yourself?

How is the sexual urge in human persons different from animal instinct? What does this tell us about how we should respond when we experience physical or emotional attraction (to someone of the opposite sex)?

What does JP2 mean when he says the sexual urge “can provide the raw material for love,” and how so?

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Lover of books, wandering, music, coffee and Jesus. I'm a curious storyteller with (and a child at) heart.

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