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.
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Love is not just found in romantic love directed at one person.
Love includes the depth of close friendships, the sense of belonging in a community, the intensity of an artistic practice or a connection to our work.
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.
Our relationship with ourself is as important as the relationships we build with other people.
Our work, our hobbies and interests, our creative projects, our day-to-day experiences can be a source of both love and meaning.
The greatest sense of fulfilment is from being stretched in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.
The ancient Greek philosopher Plato argued that the highest form of love was brotherly love or platonic love.
It refers to the idea that we all give and receive love differently. The five languages are:
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 where the marriage of reason was replaced with the marriage of feeling.
Love now unfolds against a cultural backdrop that subtly guides us as to where we should place our emotional emphases, what to value, how to approach conflicts, what to get excited about, when to tolerate, and what we can be legitimately incensed by.
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