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How Romanticism Ruined Love

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https://www.theschooloflife.com/thebookoflife/how-romanticism-ruined-love/

theschooloflife.com

How Romanticism Ruined Love
To fall in love with someone feels like such a personal and spontaneous process, it can sound strange - and even rather insulting - to suggest that something else (we might call it society or culture) may be playing a covert, critical role in governing our relationships in their most intimate moment

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The cultural backdrop

For most of recorded history, people got married for logical pragmatic sorts of reasons.

Since around 1750, we have been living in an era in the history of love that we can call Romanticism w...

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The Romantic template

  • Romanticism tells us that a long-term marriage can have all the excitement of a love affair.
  • Romanticism proposed that true love must mean an end to all loneliness.
  • Romanticism...

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The Romantic script is delusional

It's normative points include:

  • we should meet a person of extraordinary inner and outer beauty and immediately feel a special attraction to them, and they to us
  • we should underst...

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The post-Romantic attitude

Knowing the history of Romanticism should be consoling because it suggests that the problems we have with relationships don’t stem from our ineptitude, inadequacy or choice of a partner. ...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Our ideas of love

The differences in how people have loved throughout history suggest that our style of loving is to a significant extent determined by what the prevailing environment dictates.

It is through ...

What is lacking in art

... are crucial elements of wisdom, realism and maturity. Our love stories excite us to expect things of love that are neither very possible nor very practical.

We learn to judge ourselves by the hopes and expectations fostered by a misleading artistic medium.

How love stories affect us

Emma Bovary in Madame Bovary (1856) spent her childhood immersed in Romantic fiction. As a result, she’s expecting that her husband will be someone who understands her soul perfectly.

When she does get married to the kind, thoughtful but human. But she is quickly bored by the routines of married life. She is convinced that her life has gone profoundly wrong for one central reason: because it’s so different from what the novels she knows told her it would be.

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Romanticism

Romanticism emerged as an ideology in Europe in the mid-18th century in the minds of poets, artists and philosophers, and it has now conquered the world. 

It has permeated our culture wi...

Romanticism is deeply hopeful

It tells us that marriage can have all the excitement of a love affair and the feelings of love should prevail over a life-time. 

Romanticism proposes 

... that true love end loneliness. It promised that the right partner would understand us fully without words.

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Perfection is unrealistic

Whomever we get together with will be radically imperfect in a host of deeply serious ways. We must kill the idea that things would be ideal with any other creature in this galaxy. Ther...

Learn to blame love

When difficulties strike in relationships, we often fall prey to the idea that we are going out with a foolish human. The sadness must be someone’s fault: and we conclude that the blame has to lie with the partner. At an extreme, we exit the relationship far too early. 

We blame our lover in order not to blame love itself, the truer but more elusive target.

Love makes irrational demands

The person we love becomes involved in some of the grandest and most complex matters we ever undertake: we ask them to be our lover, our best friend, our confidant, our nurse, our financial adviser, our social partner, and our sex mate.
The job description is so long and so demanding, that no one in the standard employment market could conceivably deliver perfectly on even a fraction of the demands

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