Over the years, Romanticism has taught us that there is someone out there who will be the perfect yin to our yang, the light to our darkness, the missing part of our lives that will come to make us complete. However, in reality, romantic love is a whole different story.
How Romanticism Shaped Our Views On Romantic Love
The ideology of Romanticism emerged in Europe in the mid-18th century, expressed by poets, artists, and philosophers, and it has since taken over the world, powerfully (yet very quietly) determining the ending of all Hollywood rom-coms, or how a Chinese woman will be proposed to and an Argentinian guy will bring his date roses. However, as with all prevailing ideologies, it has quite a few pitfalls.
To begin with, there is the notion of a soulmate, the notion that you don’t even have to speak to the other person in order for him or her to understand you. This rarely works, as communication is, in fact, absolutely necessary for a relationship. The lack of it is, indeed, one of the greatest relationship killers.
Linking Love And Sex
Another false idea about romantic love is that love and sex are inextricably united. In reality, while sex might be infinitely better when there are strong romantic feelings present, it does not mean that two people who love each other will always be sexually compatible, and vice versa.
Dividing Romantic Love And Practical Life
A third mistaken concept of Romanticism is that it has fostered a division between romantic love and practical life. In romantic novels, for instance, we hardly ever read about the mundane realities of the protagonists, how they get bored when they go to work or how they agonize about paying the electricity bills. These elements of everyday life are best forgotten, giving us the impression that romantic love is only present as we take strolls on the beach at sunset or go on romantic picnics in the forest.
Thinking That Passion Is Unfaltering
A fourth false expectation regarding romantic love has to do with the unwavering existence of passion. Anyone who has ever been in a long-term relationship (be it in a marriage or outside of it) can attest to the fact that passion is really hard to maintain and it hardly ever stays the same. In reality, passion comes and goes. You may feel too tired of upset with your partner to feel passionate about them, but then a romantic escape or a new tight dress might revive the feeling all of a sudden.
All in all, even though romantic love is a beautiful and noble idea, it is one we should take with a pinch of salt, as explained by a famous philosopher Alain De Botton. Relationships are beautiful as they are complicated, and we should always remind ourselves that they are hard work instead of magically waiting for our partner to read our mind or feeling disappointed when she is too tired to take that stroll in the sunset.