I read once (somewhere long forgotten) that men love for lust and women lust for love; despite the polymorphous semantics or ambiguities of this, it remains interesting. That the various culturally or historically constructed gender roles may be much more fluid than any simple logical bifurcation indicates is a realisation only really very recently accepted into mainstream cultural narratives. It is very likely a measure of one’s own security and comfort in their own skin to feel unthreatened by difference or novelty and creativity in gender (or any other) roles.
On the original topic here of the purposes and goals to which a man or woman may direct their amorous endeavours, I find myself at times questioning the various ways in which relationships and identities are formed or founded, as it were, in orbit around that orientation and conscientious stance one takes in regards to their loves and lusts.
I wonder if that, over the long-game of global civilisation and cultural evolution, human beings might eventually attain sufficient maturity and fluid subjectivity to be able to perceive that there does not need to be any one true love or perfect partner any more than there needs to be any one true way or truth of the world. In our minds and cultures, as much as in our relationships, we remain underdeveloped and enslaved to caricatures of who we think that we should be, that we think we might please others by becoming. That dynamic and adaptive entity that any one of us actually represents and embodies will never attain cathartic revelation or personal emancipation when we constantly chase these poorly rendered shadows and labyrinthine mythologies of our selves and our relationships in this way.
There is difference between us (and within us) all, certainly – in our motivations and beliefs or cultures and personal histories, but acknowledging that there is a unity beyond this is where our collective wisdom and maturity might emerge. I do not fear difference and nor do I have unrealistic expectations of life (or love). The bittersweet feeling of mild dissatisfaction is very likely an inevitable existential flavour of human being and for all of that, if we were ever to be fully content – why should we continue to participate, to dream or to attempt to make a better world ? As Lao-Tzu noted, it is in the places where there is nothing, where something is missing or void, that we find the true usefulness and purpose of a thing and this is no less true of ourselves than of those many other people who pass through our lives and our experiences of them.