Is This Trap "Tender"?

Many of us were raised in an era when love and romance went hand in hand. Movies fantasized the emotions between men and women, making it seem as though physical attraction were glamorous, mysterious, totally blissful, and resulted automatically in everlasting happiness. The trend today is more realistic. In fact, many are disillusioned by the illusory nature of "happy-ever-after." Increasingly there is need for a closer examination of this thing we call "love."

Some of us may remember a play that dubbed the boy-meets-girl-and-falls-in-love cycle "the tender trap." The initial excitement and wonder of being "in love" can, and often does, lead to a still deeper and permanent relationship. This can only happen, though, if the companionship is based on deeper and more lasting feeling than mere romantic attraction. Real companionship would include unselfishness, patience, understanding, forgiveness, faithfulness, and mutual appreciation—that is, respect. Without these enduring qualities as a foundation, the fate of the romantic attachment is usually boredom or misery.

In the light of Christian Science, we can stay clear of the snare of mere self-centered physical attraction, or affection based on a false foundation, and thus spare ourselves untold agonies and regret.

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July 12, 1975

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