02/12/2014 08:26 pm ET Updated Feb 12, 2014

What If The Purpose Of Love Is To Get Us Out Of Relationships, Not Into Them? - Quartz

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The most memorable lecture of my college career was the one in which biological anthropologist Melvin Konner asked a room full of impressionable undergraduates what the purpose of love could be. Theatrically, he let a few of us answer. Then he dropped the hammer.

“What if the purpose of love isn’t getting people into relationships, but out of them?” asked Konner, author of more than a half-dozen books on human nature. Think about it, he urged. Love makes us irrational. And what’s more irrational (in a universe in which there are surely more bad possibilities than good ones) than leaving the safety of an existing relationship?

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