Immortality is a problem right from its definition. Does it include beings that can be killed, but that won't die of natural causes? Are only impervious, eternal beings like the Greek gods "immortal"?
I'm going to use the broader definition here, because it includes vampires, Highlander-style beings, and my own creations, the saints. I touched on some of these issues during the A to Z Challenge, in I: Immortals, and now I'm at the part of Disciple where I'm thinking about it again.
Withdrawal is one reaction. Downplaying the loss is another. I know I've had to do this with the various cats I've loved and buried over the years. It's sad, but they lived good lives and in a few months I'll meet another cat and bring it home. No need to get too bent out of shape about it.
Is that a good way to handle human relationships, though?
I've been questioning, in specific, the ability to fall in love after centuries of love-and-death cycles. The chemistry may still be there, physically, but what role will experience play? Would an immortal be able to throw themselves into that giddy falling-in-love feeling, or would it be tempered by knowing what comes next? "Next" being 30-50 years down the road...
The answer is, of course, "that depends on the immortal's personality." But I can't help thinking that some of that "pet" attitude will creep in. After one has fallen in love, lived together for 30 years, and then buried one's lover a few times, you know for an absolute fact that there are more fish in the sea. You know what you're willing to put up with and what you aren't. Would you do less compromising? Invest less?
Do relationships become more "disposable"? Is it simpler to just ride the chemical high of infatuation and walk away when the shine wears off? The Greek gods seemed to follow that school of thought. Or maybe a "friends with benefits" arrangement makes sense.
It does challenge one's ideas about the function of love, sex, and long-term relationships.
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