Romance is Killing Love
Romanticism was an era of love that started in the mid 1700s and has prevailed through to modern times. What started off as a way to rebel against “strategic marriages” has now conquered the world and weaved its way through every mainstream representation of love ever. And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, perhaps it’s our obsession with it that’s ruining the way we love. So without further ado, here are some ways romanticism is killing love...
It makes us stubbornly picky
Romanticism tells us that the moment we meet the one, we’re supposed to feel butterflies; we’re meant to have tunnel vision and only see that person (preferably with an angelic glow surrounding them). It is because of this that way too many of us don’t give people the chance they deserve. We think if we don’t have butterflies the moment they look at us, they’re not worth our time. Truth be told, that feeling we’re supposed to have can grow over time, we’re just not patient enough to wait for it.
It gives us unrealistic expectations
In the era we live in, we’re expected to live out our full lives, with jobs, families, friends, and hobbies, and still somehow keep the romance within our relationships alive indefinitely. We’re expected to have the same initial passion, adoration, and affection for our partner years on, even though familiarity and monotony set us up to fail.
It suggests only one way to love
We live in an immensely diverse world with an infinite amount of cultures, personalities, and even definitions of love, yet we all seem to subscribe to one view of how love should be. We’re all blindly guided by this “universal” romantic blueprint of what emotions to have, what aspects of a relationship to value, what to tolerate, and when to leave. All this despite the fact that we all live our lives in various, sometimes non-coherent ways.
It’s overly optimistic and leaves no room for error
According to romanticism, long term relationships are supposed to have the excitement and passion of a new romance and it should be easy to keep that spark alive. It leaves no room for reality and no room for disappointment, even though the ultimate truth is that love is messy. Romanticism tells us that we don’t have to learn how to love, that it should come to us instinctively if we just follow our feelings. As a matter of fact however, love is a language; a crazy science project filled with hypotheses and trial and error.
For the sake of love, we need to loosen our grip on Romanticism and realise that finding love, getting love and being in love are all very messy things that cannot possibly live up to our crazy expectations. Once we acknowledge this, we will learn to love better and be loved better.