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We tend to see romantic love as the ultimate savor that will overwhelm us with such passion and devotion, that it will take away all of our problems.
When we take care of our partner, we don't pay much attention to ourselves and our needs. We tend to avoid our issues and stop investing in the painful practice of self-discovery.
If we want to live in a society where we take our emotional health seriously, where self-care, self-awareness, and self-love are valued, we will teach each other more about different perspectives of love.
With real love, we will accept and value ourselves without relying entirely on someone else for validation.
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In history, marriage was a pragmatic institution. A sense of identity was more embedded in community, and not solely in marriage.
The shift to individualism and choice has meant that we feel the need to find our identity in an all-encompassing romantic partnership. We are asking from one person what once an entire village used to provide.
Recognising that one person can't be your everything can help you find a broader definition of love.
Sharing your experiences with others is an essential ingredient to feeling connected.
This conncection doesn't have to come in the form of a partner or having friends around you all the time. Rather, it is the quality of your close relationships that has an impact on your well being.
The ancient Greek philosopher Plato argued that the highest form of love was brotherly love or platonic love.
For most of human history, there was no time for romance. Marriages were arranged by families and were a purely economic arrangement designed to promote the survival and prosperity of both extended families.
It wasn’t until the industrial age that things began to change. They didn't have to rely so heavily on family connections any more. Consequently, the economic and political components of marriage ceased to make sense.
The economic realities of the 19th century mixed with the idea from the Enlightenment about the pursuit of happiness. The result was the Age of Romanticism.
People became economically independent and love (or emotions) became valued in society. These ideals of love have been heavily promoted and marketed during the 20th century.