Around the world, some disappointed lovers slip into clinical depression; others stalk, murder or kill themselves. As the Swiss writer Henri Frederic Amiel put it, "The more a man loves, the more he suffers." The Tamil peoples of South India call this state of romantic suffering "mayakkam," meaning intoxication, dizziness and delusion. And Poet John Keats wrote of his dependency on a beloved, “Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, / And so live ever-–or else swoon to death.”
Why do rejected men and women suffer so? Nature appears to have overdone it. But rejected men and women have lost priceless social ties, precious economic resources, comforting daily rituals and vital self-esteem. Even more essential, many have lost an opportunity to have children—a form of genetic extinction.
No wonder we try so hard to win back a vanishing mate. No wonder we feel such despair when a lover leaves for good. Our social, economic and genetic future are at stake.NEXT