Monday, July 21, 2014

Why Do We Accept Zombie Love?

Little-known fact: The idea of modern "zombies" originated from H.P. Lovecraft's observation of people listlessly wandering through life, methodically decaying from the inside out, trudging along in a slow, mindless march toward their eventual demise. In other words, he was observing people in long-term relationships.

Okay, not really... but it makes for a compelling story. 

I'm defining "Zombie Love" as a condition that afflicts people when relationships move past the passionate honeymoon phase, past the "warm comfort" of discovering and accepting each others' flaws phase, and past the "building a life together in harmony" phase. It's the point of a relationship where we activate the autopilot. We're basking in the comfort of knowing we've won the heart of our significant other, so we relax. We develop routines. Life becomes predictable. Lazy, even. 

And we love it.

After all, this emotional security is the reason we crave long-term relationships. It gives our lives order and a degree of certainty. Emotional security is, after all, one of the more basic needs on Maslow's hierarchy.

Unfortunately, comfort eventually leads to complacency, which leads to... well, boredom. Conversation morphs from the sociopolitical climate in Africa to "did we run out of crackers?" Spending discretionary income on exotic vacations is replaced by refinishing the deck. Sexy lingerie is replaced by torn, stained pajama pants. 

Since we're on autopilot, we don't notice the slide. We're too immersed in our young children, careers, or hobbies. Our significant other becomes more of a roommate than a lover. We fall into a rut, and the rut gets deeper and deeper. 

This is the point where he zombies become most noticeable. They stop smiling as much. They move a little slower. They start gaining weight. They drink too much. They develop a raging porn addiction. They start finding excuses to avoid their significant other. They complain more often. Yet they do nothing to improve the situation. 

They've reached the Zombie Love phase of the relationship.

That brings me back to the title question: Why do we accept Zombie Love? 

Leave your answer in the comments!


1 comment:

  1. Great post.

    Personally, I accept zombie love because:

    (1) if i divorce the wife and remarry am I really going to be that much better off? Getting old is just a bitch.
    (2) if i divorce the wife i pay a lawyer a lot of money.
    (3) if i divorce the wife i have to sell house, move out, sell stuff, buy stuff, change, etc. Pain in the ass and very disruptive.
    (4) if I divorce the wife who's going to explain this to the children? Sheeesh...

    Now that you've so perfectly diagnosed our situation I'm going to take a zombie love anti-viral... if I can find one.