Are You a Believer in Romantic Love… Why?

Are You a Believer in Romantic Love… Why?

The current ‘air’ of dating and relationships seems to be circulating the feeling of “I want it – but do I?”. I walk past young lovers in Paris (I’m in Paris at the moment) and see a lot of couples enjoying the energy of the city and each other – playing flirting games of “I love you” and “what more will you offer me” – and they are genuinely happy. I also walk past others who are musing with a friend on how they like this guy or that girl and what might be the prospect of being with this person and excited about it. And it started me wondering – what makes us pursue romantic love and fondness with a person.

already though I read and hear a lot of cynicism about dating, finding lasting love and marriage or commitment – I nevertheless see a lot of people pursuing, enjoying and loving romantic love. And I’m not in the online dating world. I see it on the streets, parks, bars and venues of Paris. In the couples and families in my building. On the summer vacations of those travelling in France. And in the everyday quotidian – people are nevertheless holding hands as if there was something deeply satisfying about being with someone.

One of the researchers on romantic love is Dr Helen Fisher an anthropologist who has studied the pursuit of romantic love in over 90 cultures across the globe both living today and from our past. Dr Fisher’s research has worked out the hormonal drives and personality profiles of love based on the 4 hormones of the body, oestrogen, serotonin, testosterone and dopamine.

What intrigued me about a few of Dr Fisher’s talks in that she nevertheless does not have answers for why we pursue romantic love outside the motivating factors of hormonal urges. She certainly has mapped the motivators and she honestly and sweetly says that there is nevertheless a piece not covered by her research that can explain why over thousands of years of humanity there is that current pursuit, fascination and interest in romantic love but her research does show that the obsession with romantic love is continued throughout cultures across time and the world.

On the street of Paris, I see young couples bantering and sharing their differing views as they cuddle and connect in what seems a safe place in a world that is complete of a lot of change. And I muse to myself that these lovers are in the midst of a period of history which has the most change and the most humans on the planet. In their quiet sanctuary to provide solitude for two – a quiet place where two people can include in the most simplest activity of connection, two people engaged in each other with the hope or joy that this associate provides a thoroughness of feeling they can’t find in the world. And in that connection, they can also feel the precariousness of resisting their lover, saying no I don’t like that and have their lover truly respond with a thorough need or desire to keep their lover happy or sustain their fondness. And then I think to myself, but humans have felt and thought they were caught in the worst of times throughout many periods of history. Paris itself has seen darker days as many of its museums and sites testify.

Is it that humans crave safety and security with someone in a world where there is no-one to really champion or celebrate them?

I’ve often wondered, if we crave that security as an adult, why isn’t our mother or father’s love enough (if they’re alive) – why do we go looking for a romantic love that is not the love of a dear family member. Some of us don’t like our families, so seeking out a romantic love interest is a good way to find someone who likes you, celebrates you – validates you – in spite of of your family.

Getting into a associate gives you a sense of an keep up in a place to the world and a clear position in the social structures. However, when you’re single or a free agent you could be perceived unconsciously as a possible threat to the species – because your role in the tribe is not defined or pinned down, like you could steal a partner in a associate or provide sexual competition or interest that undermines a associate’s perceived stability. As a associate you can be seen as a more stable “economic unit” that is predictable. However if you are single you could represent something that is ‘unknown’, your agenda, your ‘arrangement’ in the world isn’t clear. What is your reason for being as a single agent?

The irony is that many people will now confront being single for periods after being in a associate, because relationships don’t last lifetimes these days.

Are we at the end of thousands of years where the ‘long-term relationship equals life-term relationship’ method we are holding onto an old way of defining ‘security’ as being in a associate and we don’t know how to move beyond that?

It leaves a lot of my older friends who have left a marriage or relationship feeling they have to accept – at some point – that they are OK if they are not in a relationship. And for some they realise it is a powerful place for them to arrive: a final acceptance of they are who they are. They may be single or alone – and they are fine with that and already happy.

However, I nevertheless see people at all ages, sparkle when they meet someone who lights them up. And that’s the piece that nevertheless stirs me.

Here is my musings on why we as the human race continue to believe in romantic love (in spite of of the political climate, the air of the planet or modern dating and its pitfalls):
two humans coming together with the hope of bringing out the best of each other fulfills a thorough human need to know and experience yourself as a lovable, giving, flawed and in spite of of the flaws, permissible human being who can make someone else feel the same and already create the opportunity for that person you love to be more of who they are.

and for some, it is motivated by the desire that this person will accept you and bring out a piece of you that you just can’t find by yourself – but you speculate, sense, believe and hope this other person will find the way to manifest this hidden piece of yourself.

There are not a lot of places in our adult lives, where we play that role for each other.

Another way to put romantic love is that it is our unconscious excursion and our soul’s need to discover what is hidden from us that the hope of romantic love offers a chance to get up close and intimate with.

I for one, am a believer in romance.

However, I don’t expect romance to be ‘plain sailing’ because the best intents unless they are fueled by some good shared sense skills on how to treat a human cannot fulfil the ideals of romantic love.

I am truly interested in knowing why you may be a believer or fan of romantic love.

Let me know your motivations – comment on this blog post. Or email me [email protected]

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