Eavesdropping on a Young Couple ~ BENEATH THE SURFACE WITH PAUL MURANO

By: Paul Murano – August, 2017

The following is a Socratic dialogue of a typical young couple having an atypical conversation. That is because it contains wisdom, intelligence, and virtue – three things civilization is built upon but are often missing today. Common sense can seem strange to a people conditioned by false ideas and subjective morals. Let us listen in on their personal dialogue…
John: I love you.
Jan: No you don’t.
John: I don’t? What do you mean I don’t?!
Jan: You may be attracted to me or feel an emotional high about me, but you don’t love me.
John: You’re being silly. I know how I feel about you.
Jan: But love isn’t a feeling.
John: Of course it’s a feeling. What else could love be?
Jan: It’s an act of the will, a choice or decision. We share feelings and passions with other animals. They’re involuntary, temporary, and fleeting. Love is personal, which means it necessitates a free choice of commitment to the good of the other.
John: Hold on now; aren’t you being a little dramatic?
Jan: No. Are you willing give up your individual interests, and even die for me if need be?
John: Now you’re being really dramatic.
Jan: Not at all. There may be strong physical and emotional feelings between us, but without that irrevocable commitment you only love things about me, not me.
John: I don’t get it. I’ve always been good to you, haven’t I? I’ve always told you how beautiful you are.
Jan: Will you love me if I gain 70 pounds? If I get cancer and need a double mastectomy? If I get into a car accident and become a paraplegic, or become permanently comatose? Picture one or all of these things: Are you willing to sacrifice your own interests to remain faithful until death?
John: Now you’re getting way too dramatic. We’re only in our twenties.
Jan: You’re avoiding the question. How many people in their twenties today, including you, are willing to give that kind of commitment?
John: Well, I’m certainly not ready for marriage, if that’s what you mean.
Jan: But without that unconditional commitment it makes saying “I love you” a lie. Using each other until the physical or emotional high wears off, or until one of us finds someone else they like better, is not love.
John: That is so insulting! I can’t believe you’re saying this. I would never leave you.
Jan: We need to be realistic and truthful. There’s a lot at stake here. How many people do you know marry their first boyfriend or girlfriend nowadays?
John: I don’t know any.
Jan: And how many in those broken relationships thought it was love while it was happening?
John: Maybe all of them.
Jan: And how many needless broken hearts, broken lives, and hopeless cynicism does this all result in?
John: Well, I guess there are a lot of people who have regret and wished they did things differently.
Jan: Sure, and they often carry their woundedness with them the rest of their lives. Let’s you and I do things differently. Since love is a free choice to permanent commitment, and since we’re not ready for that, let’s not talk or act like we’re married. This way we don’t live a lie, we respect our potential future spouses, and we keep ourselves from deep harm and regret.
John: Ah…well, okay. What you’re saying seems to make sense, but I’m so confused.
Jan: Our culture forms us since childhood to believe that romanticism and lust are love. It manipulates for profit the emotions of women and the physical attractions of men. These natural desires the ancient Greeks called ‘eros’. It’s a kind of “need-love”. Agape is unconditional selfless sacrificial love. Eros can be a good starting point, but without agape it quickly devolves into selfishness and abuse. Eros is the frosting on the cake, agape is the cake itself. It doesn’t take too long to become ill if all you eat is frosting.
John: You mean young people are conditioned to believe selfishness and mutual abuse are really love?
Jan: Yes. Everything is about FEELINGS in our shallow, self-absorbed society today.
John: Then why aren’t adults – parents, teachers, doctors, etc., who should be protecting us from the snares of our immaturity – why aren’t they warning us and teaching us virtue?
Jan: Most of them were brought up in our throw-away “relationship” and divorce culture too. The sexual revolution made us stupid. We now have a responsibility to be David to the Goliath of our media and academia establishments who have conditioned all our peers how to think. Be bold and courageous. Only truth can set people free (Jn 8:32).
John: With your inspiration I’ll give it a shot. We’ll speak first by our example. Thanks for sharing your insight. That’s something I “love” about you.

Paul Murano

Paul Murano

Dr. Paul Murano teaches philosophy at Rivier University and North Shore Community College and hosts Beneath the Surface radio show on 980 WCAP. Paul has a doctorate in marital theology, is certified in bioethics by the NCBC, and teaches adult ed. at St. Patrick's in Nashua. He is founder of Heartbeat Pregnancy Help in Burlington, and is a singer-songwriter-musician. E-mail Paul at

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2 Responses to Eavesdropping on a Young Couple ~ BENEATH THE SURFACE WITH PAUL MURANO

  1. Raymond A DeNuccio Jr. Reply

    August 28, 2017 at 12:29 PM

    ya but did they have meaningless sex..? lol Ive been bless 30 years ago after a horrible marriage in which I was desert and left to raise 3 toddlers. now I have unconditional supportive health lovely relationship My prayers were answered…

  2. Dre Reply

    September 3, 2017 at 8:31 AM

    Meaningless sex? No they were just for filling their desires– this was deep big ups to whom wrote this

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