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'Romantic realism': the seven rules to help you avoid divorce

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https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jan/10/romantic-realism-the-seven-rules-to-help-you-avoid-divorce

theguardian.com

'Romantic realism': the seven rules to help you avoid divorce
We expect love to be the source of our greatest joys. But, in practice, it is one of the most reliable routes to misery. Few forms of suffering are ever as intense as those we experience in relationships. An estimated 42% of marriages in Britain end in divorce; 30% of people in couples describe themselves as "actively unhappy but unable to leave".

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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...

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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 t...

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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...

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Striving to love

We start out knowing only about being loved. To the child, it feels as if the parent is spontaneously on hand to comfort, guide, entertain, feed and clear up while remaining almost always warm and...

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Relationships require administration

What a couple gets up to over a lifetime has much more in common with the workings of a small business. They must draw up work rosters, clean, cook, fix, throw away, mind, hire, fire, reconc...

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Sex and love

The general view expects that love and sex will be aligned. But in truth, they won’t stay so beyond a few months or, at best, one or two years.
This is not anyone’s fault. Relationships in the ...

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We’re not that compatible

The right person is expected to be someone who shares our tastes, interests and general attitudes to life. This might be true in the short term. Over an extended period of time, t...

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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...

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 believed that choosing a partner should be about letting oneself be guided by feelings, rather than practical considerations.
  • Romanticism believes that true love is synonymous with accepting everything about someone.

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 understand one another intuitively
  • we don’t need an education in love
  • we should have no secrets and spend constant time together
  • we should raise a family without any loss of intensity
  • our lover must be our soulmate, best friend, co-parent, co-chauffeur, accountant, household manager and spiritual guide

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We Don't Understand Ourselves

We don't realize that we are a bundle of contradictions and are trying to look for someone who can understand us, while we haven't been able to understand ourselves yet.

We think we are a gre...

We Don't Understand Others

Like us, other people are stuck in the same low-level self-realization: we try to gauge the other person by their looks or family or social status, which is a futile exercise in most cases.

We Don't Know Happiness

We aren't accustomed to being happy or have a misguided idea of what happiness is.

We find the ones who would be right for us, to be wrong for us, because of our lack of experience in what good is, and the fact that we don't associate love with being happy and fulfilled.

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