WHEN two young things promise to love and to cherish one another, they take for granted the existence in human nature of a capacity for loving and cherishing. And each as regards the other is chiefly interested in that; one aspect of the other’s nature. Will he love me always? How much does he love me now? These perennial questions reveal the natural form which the thought of the newly married assumes. It is a sound intuition which fixes upon this quality of human nature as the most important in connection with domestic problems This quality is so worthy of special study that we will give it a special name. We will call it the psychological equipment of the domestic man (homo domesticus).

The social sciences have adopted a convenient method for studying the general effect of any given trait in human nature. They create for purposes of inquiry a fictitious man whose psychological endowment consists of just such qualities as are pertinent to their investigation. The most distinguished of these creations is, of course, the economic man (homo oeconomicus) who knows only the motives of self-interest and whose intellect is able to measure with incredible exactness the intensity of all of his desires. Less well known is the political man, whom Catlin presents to us. The intelligence testers have [p.102] brought forth a psychological man whose nature is completely revealed in the answers he gives to lists of prepared questions. No careful thinker makes the mistake of confounding these abstractions with the facts of nature. It is perfectly apparent that a real man is neither the economic abstraction of pure self-interest nor the political abstraction of pure will to dominion nor the psychological abstraction of pure “intelligence.” Yet these abstractions are useful, and we would not know what to do without them. Taken together, they constitute a little menagerie of fabulous beasts. Into this interesting and useful menagerie it is permissible to introduce a new creature – the domestic man, whose sole quality of mind and heart is an ability to love and to cherish.

What is meant by loving and cherishing? What are these qualities which we deem so important in the life of the family?

The kind of account we will give of these qualities depends upon whether we confine our attention to their conscious manifestations or try to trace them back to some unconscious process out of which they can be said to arise. Since the object of formulating these principles of marriage is to establish a pattern for conscious purposive conduct, these qualities must be studied in their conscious form, although their derivation from nonconscious elements may be recognized.

They derive from two primitive and beautiful attitudes – the attitude of a male and female toward each other as their lives are joined in a new life, and the attitude of the protecting parent toward a dependent child. Both of these love-attitudes enter into the character of the domestic man.

[p.103] When these primitive love-attitudes are interpreted according to the requirements of a religious cult, a social code, or an intellectual interest, many variant conceptions of love result – there is for instance the disembodied “pure” love which derives from the worship of the Virgin, the love-service ideal of medieval chivalry, and Platonic love which expresses itself in the contemplation of an ideal.

These variants of the love concept are products of a certain amount of sophistication and discipline. They do not flow directly from natural impulse. We cannot witness their analogues in the behavior of the higher animals. They represent special qualities of love in a given time and place and not the universal quality of love everywhere. They describe aspects of culture or civilization rather than aspects of human nature. They always threaten to cause a misunderstanding of the real nature of love, and to establish in hierarchic order a series of different kinds of love, from love of the body to love of the soul.

The distinction between “sacred” and “profane” love, between pure love and animal passion, between natural love and sophisticated love, is a dangerous distinction to introduce into marriage. It is a distinction unknown to the domestic man. And yet it is often introduced, in the Western World, under the influence of the Puritan tradition. The psychoanalysts describe it as a dissociation phenomenon in which the sex aspect of love is dissociated from the tenderness aspect.

It is a distinction which can do no good at all, but which can work infinite harm. There is always plenty of [p.104] ways, but no beautiful love relationship between man and wife can be based on the repression or contempt of sex.

Love can be spiritual if it does not denounce the flesh or regard the body as unclean; it can rise to great heights of beauty if it does not destroy its own foundations in nature. A bride who thinks of loving and cherishing as something ethereal, and of sex as something vile, must either change her mind or endanger her marriage. Most of them, according to Dr. Hamilton, change their minds. The real and important distinction which must be made by lovers is the distinction between personal and impersonal love. The impersonal love for mankind which Christian ethics requires is the antithesis of the personal love which marriage demands. Humanitarianism, brotherly love, altruism, philanthropy – all these sentiments are rivals and even enemies of the jealous personal attachment which draws two lovers together. The oft recurrent tragedy of the man torn between love for his family and devotion to a cause is evidence of the wide disparity between these two kinds of loving and cherishing.

The capacity to love and to cherish which we ascribe to domestic man is necessarily an aptitude for personal rather than impersonal devotion. This is logically implied in the definition of the family as something that consists of determinate members, and in the description of the relationship of personality which unites the members of a family. Quite aside from formal logical requirements, the voices of all lovers would insist that this and nothing else, is the special quality which they demand in their beloved. Loving and cherishing in domes[p.105]tic life is a personal affair, an outgrowth of the natural functions of sex and parenthood.

This kind of loving and cherishing is at its source common to man and beast. It need not be expressed in words nor formulated in thought. It is more primitive than logic, and anterior even to consciousness. But when the light of consciousness is thrown upon it and the schematization of logic is applied to it, it is very clearly a personal attitude. An ego is the source of object-love; a person is its object.

Loving and cherishing, being acts that arise in one person and are directed toward another, have both an active and a passive aspect. They involve motives on the one hand, and feelings on the other. The motives and feelings are of a special type which must be assumed to be present in the domestic man.

Just as it has been necessary to borrow from the social sciences in analyzing various aspects of the family, so now it is appropriate to make use of psychological theory in the domestic view of human nature. It is necessary here to defend the idea that the domestic man’s behavior proceeds from motion and then to classify and analyze the motives from which it proceeds.

In a period of intellectual adventure and experiment, such as the present, there comes a time when service can be done by stating emphatically facts that are perfectly obvious and insisting categorically upon the recognition of truths that are already accepted. In this spirit it is appropriate to assert that there are such things as motives and purposes, and that human behavior is sometimes motivated or purposive. This is a view so much in accord with our commonsense interpretation of things that some [p.106] psychologists regard it as a perversely unsophisticated notion.

Psychologists object to motives because there is no experimental proof that a motive corresponds to any psychophysical fact; what we call motive may be merely afterthought, or, as they say, “rationalization”. This objection would be regarded as mere pettifogging if motives could be measured exactly or analyzed statistically. But motives are notoriously ill-adapted for use as objects of science. They have quality and quantity, but their quality cannot be reduced to any quantitative terms nor their quantity measured on any known scale. Psychology lets them go with a sigh of relief, for it suspects all introspective data. “Since the rise of the experimental method in psychology there has been little if any room in the field for the study of the human individual when he performs what may be very definitely and accurately called purposive actions.”1 Since Kantor wrote these lines, two significant books on motives have appeared: Thomson’s Springs of Human Action (1927) and Troland’s Fundamentals of Human Motivation (1928). Thomson is clearly a pioneer in the analysis of these things; Troland’s work is more thorough.

There are other fields of thought from which the concept of motive cannot be dismissed so easily. If we are trying to get human behavior into a rational system such as ethics or law, not attempting to correlate it with a physiological or sociological process, then the existence of motives must be assumed; otherwise ethical systems and codes of criminal law are irrational.

[p.107] And yet it is clear that not all behavior is motivated. Thomson uses “motive” to mean all factors moving to conduct, but most writers use the term to mean a conscious and purposive element in the determining of behavior. “Motivated behavior belongs to that most complicated of all behavior modes . . . in which the person is not only a part of the stimulus reaction but the main stimulus.” (Kantor.) To illustrate: In the ordinary reflex action situation the stimulus is external, as light striking the eye, but in motivated behavior the principal stimulus is the total personality of the actor, as when Napoleon decides to return from Elba. It would be a grotesque description of Napoleon’s decision if we should say that the arrival of newspapers from France at Elba operated to bring about the departure of Napoleon from exile in the same way that the light striking the eye operates to contract the pupil. Kantor lists in hierarchic order five modes of action as follows:

  1. Automatic (Actions not remembered, anaesthesia, stupor, coma, etc.)
  2. Subreactionalistic (Individual concentrated on stimulus but action not sharply pointed; habit reactions often in this class.)
  3. Reactionalistic (This includes the “flash of genius” type of behavior.)
  4. Subpersonalistic (This includes the reactions of the person as represented by his likes, tastes, abilities, etc.)
  5. Personalistic (“Whenever there is some problem of advantage or disadvantage”; all motivated or purposive behavior.)

[p.108] The intimate connection between motives on the one hand and personality on the other is attested in Occidental thinking whenever human behavior is ascribed to “social forces” rather than to the agency of an individual person. When action is not attributed to a person, the motive concept drops away. The Samoans, according to Miss Mead,2 do not possess any well defined concept of motive. Their social habits do not allow them to inquire and their language does not permit them to speak concerning the motives of any one in doing anything. The absence of a motive-concept implies a distinctive attitude toward personality. A Samoan love does not engage the personalities of its participants. Very deeply, and even as between husband and wife, a deep personal attachment is regarded as indecent. Needless to say, the natural family is quite submerged in the Samoan kinship and village organization. Thus the ethnologist, the psychologist, and the student of the family arrive at the same truth from different points of view. The psychologist notes that the behavior which most completely engages a personality in action is motivated behavior. The ethnologist notes that the motive concept, the personality value and the natural family unit are linked elements in a culture; the student of the family discovers that motives are important in domestic life because they testify to the engaging of a complete personality therein – because they are part of the psychological equipment of the domestic man.

In normal experience motives are, as we say, “mixed.” We are seldom able to pin them down and identify them [p.109] with certainty. As Thomson rightly complains, they are numerous, elusive, complex, varied, and locking in constancy. And yet, without insisting unduly upon the naturalistic accuracy of our conception, we describe motives as having both quantity and quality. Having quantity (or intensity), they are capable of being added to or subtracted from each other, having quality, they are capable of being grouped or clustered in various ways. The problem of classifying motives does not differ fundamentally from all problems of classification. A thousand individuals be they beetles or poems, verbs or motives, will continue to present individual differences whether we group them or not. In order to group them we must assign classificatory significance to certain of their features, disregarding others.

The motive which is peculiar to loving-and-cherishing behavior is a motive of benevolence toward the person who is loved. The domestic man intends his acts to benefit his beloved rather than himself. It is permissable, therefore, to classify as domestic those motives which direct behavior toward the welfare of some definite other person, and to regard all other motives as nondomestic. The domestic motive is the distinctive characteristic which marks the active aspect of loving and cherishing. Just as the economic man is perfectly selfish, so the domestic man is perfectly unselfish.

The distinction between selfishness and unselfishness is a dubious one, but we cannot explain the nature of the domestic man without expounding it. One of the first signs of sophistication in a college student is his grasp of a certain formula for calculating motives whereby he can prove that all acts whatsoever are selfishly motivated. [p.110] The philanthropist and the miser, the patriot and the city boss, the loving daughter and the faithless wife are all alike selfish. Even the martyr who seems to be sacrificing himself is, according to this formula, giving himself the satisfaction of martyrdom. This current sophistry impresses tender minds, but after all it amounts to nothing but a word trick. If we define “selfishness” in such a way that it corresponds to “preference,” then we can argue that whatever is decided upon is preferred, and whatever is preferred is preferred by a self, and hence is selfishly preferred. When this little logism has been played through, it is still necessary to distinguish between certain kinds of “selfish” actions. If some actions are intended to minister to the needs or increase the happiness of others, such actions can be classified together, whether the word “unselfish” is used to describe them, or not. Actions of this kind flow naturally from a disposition to love and to cherish. Nature has equipped husband and wife to delight each other in the act of sex, and has prepared the parent to minister to the needs of the child. Thereby nature sets up prototypes for the activities of a domestic man.

The activity which we have for the moment described as “unselfish” would be regarded by many thinkers as a perverse and intricate kind of selfishness. For the kind of conduct which results from a personal attachment occupies a very uncertain place in the speculations of social theorists. In economics unselfishness of any kind is an anomaly; in sociology and political theory it is comprehended only as group-loyalty, which submerges [p.111] these theories except as a special form of self-seeking. If a governor appoints his son to some high office, despite the fact that some other candidate was better qualified, economic theory sees this act as an economic act wherein the governor drew some of the invisible wages of his office by securing something he desired for himself – i.e., his son’s appointment. In political theory it might be pointed out that the governor had two capacities: the capacity of a public official and the capacity of a father. In making this appointment the governor permitted the father to act outside of his proper sphere. A personal motive interfered with the discharge of a public duty. It would not be asked whether the personal motive was self-regarding or other-regarding. The personal motive would be regarded necessarily as a selfish motive. And if, in order to protect his son, the governor would ruin his own political prospects, or risk imprisonment, these sacrifices would still be regarded from the point of view of economics or political theory as risks selfishly assumed. If a man gives up everything he has in order to save his wife or child, it is regarded as selfish. In such a context the word “selfish” loses its meaning.

If these acts are seen from the standpoint of the family, from the point of view of those persons who benefit by them, they appear to be unselfish. The governor is acting as a domestic man. A sacrifice of a father for a son is an evidence of loving and cherishing. Favoritism and nepotism look selfish from without the family, but unselfish from within. The acts in themselves are neither selfish nor unselfish; the antithesis between selfishness and unselfishness lies not in nature, which is ethically blind, but in the set of principles and presuppositions [p.112] which we use in classifying acts. This is evident when we compare the plausibility of the sociological and the economic explanations at human behavior. For almost all conduct can be referred in sociological theory to an other-regarding movement of the mind, in economic theory to a self-regarding movement. The two diverse explanations of the same act can be made equally plausible and are in fact equally true.

For example, let us say that a woman is buying a hat. On her way she passes a curio shop, where many strange articles are displayed. She gives only a passing glance at the richly gleaming articles in the window, and passes on to the milliner’s where she buys a hat. Explain this by economic theory: she had a certain quantity of desire for the hat which was greater than her desire for the strange ornaments. She satisfied her selfish desire. Explain it by sociological theory: she was sensitive to the fact that other people approved of the wearing of hats, but not of the wearing of showy jewelry. A maiden from Basutoland would for similar reasons have passed by the millinery shop and purchased a fine nose ring in the curio shop. Now let us suppose that we explain her conduct with reference to the family and to her capacity for loving and cherishing. We can say that she wished to please her husband by making herself more attractive, to give him greater cause for pride in her. None of these explanations are complete; any of them may be transposed into the language of the others; the value of any of them depends upon the importance of the general conclusions we can reach by making use of them.

The overt action which proceeds from a domestic motive is a distinctive kind of behavior, which should have [p.113] a definite name. It may be called benevolent activity, or perhaps (if the words are understood in a special sense), a domestic act. It is perhaps the kind of thing we mean when we use the words “to cherish”. It is a fundamental element of that interaction between members which the structure of the natural family implies. It is a vehicle wherein the separate will of a member of the family finds expression, and hence it is a manifestation of the basic will-tension of marriage. It is productive of the intrinsic values of family life.

The distinction between domestic and nondomestic motivation is of course merely conceptual. There is in nature no hard and fast classification of motives. In practical life motives are mixed. The woman who is putting her hair in curl papers is actuated partly by a domestic motive: to please her husband or lover and partly by a nondomestic (or economic) motive: to satisfy her personal vanity. How much of a component of domestic motivation is necessary in order that an act may be regarded as domestic?

Psychologists who remember the extravagances of sensationist psychology with its classification of subjective data will be prejudiced against the use of such a scheme as this which is here set forth. It is so easy to draw up catalogues of emotions or sensations or desires or instincts; so many of these catalogues are meaningless. An arbitrary list of types of motive would have no value if we were trying to study psychology, but it is necessary when we are studying the family. It brings before us the distinctions which may or may not be real in the human organism, but which are certainly real in the business of family life. [p.114] It is certainly both futile and impossible to name a quantity of domestic motivation which invests acts with domestic character. The domestic or nondomestic character of an act is clearly manifested only in certain situations of suspense, when rival interests are hanging in the balance. In such situations it is a matter of no consequence how the components of motivation be added or subtracted, so long as the domestic motive prevails. The domestic component need be neither great nor small; it need only be sufficient, that is to say, sufficient to turn the balance in favor of an act which benefits the marriage partner rather than the self or some other interest.

There is a simple pro-condition of benevolent activity which can he described in the words “paramount loyalty,” or “preponderant interest.” The domestic man always deems the welfare of his marriage partner to be a matter of highest value to him. Any conflicting interest which comes to his attention will be subordinated to this preponderating interest. This does not mean that he must, like Annabel Lee,

Live with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

His thoughts need not dwell perpetually upon the welfare of his mate. There may be innumerable choices and decisions in which her welfare is in nowise engaged. It is not necessary that domestic acts should always be sacrificial acts. It is only necessary that when an interest in a member of one’s family is in direct conflict with other interests the former must prevail.

If a man values his club or his business more highly than his family, there is something wrong with his family [p.115] life. Circumstances may compel him to be more persistently and assiduously occupied with outside affairs, but our common-sense view of things demands that except in some exceptional situation the interest of the members of the family should predominate when it comes to a showdown. If the wife’s health demands they move to Arizona, the husband must sacrifice his business in New York. This personal evaluation which seems so natural within the family appears out of place or mischievous outside of the domestic circle. As we have observed, it is known as favoritism or nepotism in the domain of business or politics. But in family life it is normal and good. There are a number of situations in which ethical theory requires that the interest of a member of one’s family be sacrificed to some other interest, but there is no pretense that such situations are norms of domestic conduct. Should one member of a family perjure himself for another? It is understood that such situations are exceptional, just as martyrdom is exceptional, and that they interfere with the functioning of the family.

Paramount loyalty is thus seen to be the subjective prerequisite of domestic activity, and a distinctive endowment of the domestic man. It is a mental act or sentiment by which the welfare of some one else is evaluated as having greater importance than the welfare of any other person or the attainment of any conflicting aim which may be simultaneously present to the mind. Value-begetting attachments of this kind are, of course, at once conscious and emotional. If they were unconscious, the psychoanalysts would call them complexes. Paramount loyalty, being conscious, is called a sentiment or “con[p.116]stellation,” not a complex. It is the key to the psychological make-up of the domestic man. Briefly, the domestic man is a hypothetical person who, though normal in other respects, is abnormal with respect to his personalistic mode of behavior. Instead of balancing a variety of conflicting interests when he decides questions of advantage or disadvantage, he refers all these questions to one final standard – the welfare of his domestic partner. Real men approach this quality of mind to a greater or less degree. The domestic man is a fiction, and being a fiction can be also an ideal.

There are some who think that a life lived for another person is necessarily a satisfactory life, that even if such a life does not bring apparent happiness, still it yields obscure satisfactions which are all the more profound and intense because they are concealed. It is a mistake to preach such an immediate connection between benevolent activity and happiness. Unskillful cherishing may be more disastrous to happiness than enlightened selfishness. There is no absolute superiority in homo domesticus over homo oeconomicus or any other ideal man. It is only relative to the life of the family that the domestic man offers a more appropriate ideal of conduct than others.

In the family as elsewhere there is unlimited scope for artistry and science. There is an art in the planning of a surprise and science in the planning of a meal. A cultivated aesthetic sense can express itself in anything from a coat of paint on the kitchen table to an artistically managed quarrel which melts away in delicious tears of reconciliation. Applications of scientific knowledge are possible all along the line: the husband’s bad temper can be cured if the wife knows about orange juice and vitamin [p.117] C; the wife’s coldness can be overcome if the husband will watch the periodicity of the moon. The domestic man may be ignorant of all the important things, and his life may be tragically unhappy because of his ignorance. The domestic man as such may be neither wise nor happy, and none the less be continuously domestic. The distinction between domestic and nondomestic does not parallel the distinction between wisdom and folly, welfare and misery, happiness and discontent. Domesticity and its opposite are the poles of an independent series of values.

For illustration, let us imagine a crisis in the life of a young family. George and Dorothy have been living in a one-room apartment for two years while George has tried to launch himself as a commercial artist, and Dorothy has helped out by working at Macy’s department store. George is thinking that the time has come to give up his plans and get into some business which will yield more money for Dorothy. Dorothy fights grimly to keep on because she is afraid that he will not be happy in the insurance business, and she insists that she is glad to go on working and doing the cooking over a gas jet in the bathroom if George will only keep on with his art. This is clearly a case of domestic behavior.

On another floor of the some cheap apartment house another young couple is in equal misery, but in this case the wife is complaining that she is sick of living in one room, while the husband laments that his chances of success are being ruined by her demands. These two situations are externally parallel, but from the domestic point of view there is a world of difference between them. We do not know on the facts as given which of the two situations is most painful, but we do know that they unfold [p.118] themselves on different levels. One is domestic, the other nondomestic. The difference between them is not a difference of degree but a difference of kind.

This difference in kind between a domestic and a nondomestic situation has long been taught to our young people. The older generation has repeatedly assured the younger generation that marriage will give life more depth, more fullness. The language in which this message is preached borrows phrases from religion on the one hand and from the literature of romance on the other. Especially the word love serves at once to describe and to explain the deeper life which marriage makes possible. George and Dorothy love each other, whereas the other young couple do not love each other! The explanation is so simple that it leaves us where we were at the beginning, with our vague schoolgirl faith in true love. It leaves us with the blank question still before us, whether this or that kind of love is to be a possibility in our own lives. Love explains nothing, but is itself a thing that needs to be explained.

Nowhere in our thinking is the survival of faith in primitive word magic more apparent than in our use of the word love. Let a woman be rude, captious, complaining, jealous, and mean to a man, and if it is only said that she acts that way out of love for him, the word is held to change the color of her actions. Just as some states require that an internal revenue stamp must be affixed to a certain class of documents, so some customs require that a declaration of love must in decency accompany a certain class of proposals. The potency is in the word rather than in any one specific thing to which the word refers, for the word covers a multitude of different [p.119] attitudes. It can be traced through a maze of contradictory meanings. For instance: the home requires love; love is essentially free; free love breaks up the home. It can be applied indiscriminately to contrary kinds of behavior, as any movie plot will demonstrate. If the man seduces the virgin, it is because he loves her, and if he refrains from seducing her it may also be because of his love for her.

In another of the stock situations of drama the woman loves the man but believes that her love will harm him. Then if she renounces him, this is due to her great love, but if she still clings to him this is also due to her love. Love blows either hot or cold; whatever she does she does for love. It is another case of word magic.

But when we speak of a domestic motive, of preponderant interest, or of paramount loyalty, we bring before our minds something which has a more precise and unequivocal meaning. If this woman’s attitude is domestic, that is to say, if her interest in the man’s welfare looms larger in her life than anything else, then she renounces him. This very attitude is indeed one of the many things which are by some people called love. It happens to be the one which is of greatest importance in family life In insisting on its importance we do not disparage any of the other varieties or manifestations of lover. Least of all do we contend that love is any less significant than it is generally held to be. We mean simply that love as a word refers to many different things which have different kinds and degrees of importance in marriage.

What are these different meanings which the word love has accumulated and the different points of view from which it is regarded? There is first the notion that by [p.120] love we mean bare sex life. A book on “love in nature” tells us about the mating habits of frogs and lizards. Sharing this point of view but lending to it an artistic interest are those who, like Ovid or Havelock Ellis, see love as an art based on sex, an art which finds in sex life its principal medium of expression. Others like Edgar Saltus in his Historia Amoris think of love as a texture of social conventions about sex life. They compare love in Greek times when there were heterae and temples of Aphrodite with love in medieval Europe when there were tourneys and courts of love, and with love in our own day when there are movies and coeducational universities. Freud dips into his deep sea of the unconscious and drags forth Narcissine love, which attaches to a projection of the self, and object love, which attaches to a complement to the self.

There are some metaphysicians who see in love a universal principle of nature. Empedocles said it was the principle of attraction; Schopenhauer declared it was the life force. Far more numerous are those who describe or classify love experiences, whether their own or other people’s. Frances Newman’s “hard boiled virgin” felt love as a fountain playing within her somewhere in the region of the navel. Others have seemed to feel it as something resembling fire rather than water. Some writers try to classify all the different feelings which can be called love. Stendhal found that love is of four kinds: passion-love, body-love, spirit-love, vanity-love. The new school of German philosophy, the so-called “phenomenologists,” attempts to define the subjective state with rigorous methodical accuracy. Max Scheler, a leader of this school, has worked out the following definition: “Love [p.121] is a movement from lower value to higher value in the object loved.” Some of these attitudes called love bear very little relation to the functioning of the family. Don Juan was a lover, but not a domestic man.

From the practical standpoint of courtship and marriage, the most confusing ambiguity in the meaning of the word love results from its dual application to experience of feeling on the one hand, and of purposing and evaluating on the other. Many of those who describe a love experience present it to us as something that seizes upon us while we remain more or less passively subject to it. It may come or it may go, as the foul weather follows fair. While it lasts it bathes us in a glow of pleasure which we enjoy but do not create. It beckons us with more or less directness toward the possession of the beloved as the supreme goal of desire. In the language of psychology this is a “feeling response” rather than a personalistic mode of behavior. It is something that happens to one, not something that one does. It is an ultimate datum of experience in which reason and purpose are not present as components, and which is no more under the control of the will than is the beating of one’s heart. Such a love as this is the natural basis at a liaison, but not of marriage.

The love which marriage requires is more highly developed on the active and voluntary side. It seeks not only to enjoy the beloved, but also to serve and benefit her. This is the kind of love for which young people who are thinking of marriage must search their hearts. In order to avoid confusion we have given it a special name, calling it the domestic attitude, or the sentiment of paramount loyalty. It you prefer to call it love, well and [p.122] good. It is intimately related to the feeling reaction of love, for this feeling enters into it as a component, along with reason and purpose. It is the kind of love of which one can be master rather than slave. It is the kind of love which is the necessary precondition of the functioning of the family, and which constitutes the psychological equipment of the domestic man.

It is notorious that those who marry are prone to indulge themselves in transitory idealizations and to accept temporarily the most fantastic fictions, so that many a bride who pledges her truth to a more human being imagines that she is pledging it to none other than the domestic man himself. The imagination of lovers long ago invented this man; it is time that a place be made for him in social theory and that the domestic view of human nature be recognized in the social studies.


  1. R. Kantor, Principles of Psychology (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1924), Vol. 1., p. 129.

  2. Margaret Mead, Coming of Age in Samoa (William Morrow, New York, 1928).