The Birth of Romantic Love in Society

musical in love GIF

The idea of romantic love and falling in love before marriage started to become a popular trend and practice in Western industrialized societies only in the late eighteenth century with the rise of modernity in Europe. During the Middle Ages, virtually no one married for love. There was, in fact, a medieval saying that “To love one’s wife with one’s emotion is adultery.” People entered into marriage, during this period, primarily to keep property in the hands of the family and to raise children to work in the family farm (Giddens and Girffiths, 2006, p.205).

in love romance GIF by Hallmark Channel

The concept of courtly love, a medieval European concept of nobile and chivalrous love, generally secret and between members of the nobility, precipitated the rise of romantic love in the 19th century. “Chevaliers, or knights in the Middle Ages, engaged in what were usually non-physical and non-marital relationships with women of nobility of whom they served.”

is this really happening in love GIF by Hallmark Channel

The birth of romantic love coincided more or less with the emergence of the novel as a literary form, and the spread of romantic novels. Love stories in romantic novels played a vital role of popularizing the idea of romantic love (Radway in Giddens and Griffiths, p. 205).  The term “romantic love” is said to have been coined only in the 19th century by the literary critic Gaston Paris to denote a particular constellation of attitudes and patterns of behavior that characterized a body of literature arising in Provence in the 12th century (Paris, 1983 cited in Karandashev, 2015, p.4).

central park eric GIF by Hallmark Channel

Romantic love is a deep physical and emotional attraction. It generally involves a mix of emotional and sexual desire: emotional highs, exhilaration, passion, and elation. It is a type of feeling that is passionate, fanciful, expressive, and pleasurable from an emotional attraction towards another person (Karandashev, 2015, p.4). Lantz (1982) defined romantic love as “a love based on personal-emotional attraction, with a strong erotic component which is often repressed because of moral conflict.” Its main features include idealization of the loved one, the notion of a one and only, and the idea that true love overcomes all obstacles. This is different from conjugal love in marriage which is developed over extend periods of time and is based on feelings of appreciation, loyalty and admiration, stemming from the sharing of common experiences (Lantz, 1982, p. 349).

happy true love GIF by Fifty Shades

Love in the sense of sexual passion is a common feature of societies. But romantic love is different from sexual love. Romantic love is all about emotional communication and the attractiveness of the other. It carries with it the idea of intimacy because one falls in love specifically with the qualities of the other. It tells a forward-looking story or narrative about the lovers and creates a biography, not just for one person, but for two people (Giddens & Pierson, 1998). Sexual love is temporary and focused on physical attraction and beauty of the partners and not on the quality of the romantic relationship and  personal traits and personalities of the lovers.

 

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Can Romantic Love Become Unhealthy?

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A true romantic love is said to be a sincere and based on mutual self-giving. People must avoid a one-sided affair where one partner in a romantic relationship is just using the other to satisfy his or her own needs. Sadly, there are people who allow this type of love and allow their partners to manipulate them, most probably because of lack of options. This situation is particularly true for people who desperately look for a romantic partner despite being used by the other. A person who is single with mature age or a young person who is pressured by his or her peer group and relatives to have a boyfriend or girlfriend may cling to an unhealthy or one-sided romantic love. As the following lyrics of the song “I can’t live without you” by the Bad Company illustrate:

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The first time you deceived me, it nearly broke my heart
What hurts me most was I’m the last to know
So lately I’ve been thinking, thinking ’bout you
I know deep in my heart you had to go

Last night when I told you, you looked into my eyes
A wicked smile just spread across your face
You know I can’t resist you, no matter what you do
The way you treat me babe, it’s a disgrace [1]

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According to the great Winston Churchill, an “[i]mmature love says, I love you because I need you, mature love says, I need you because I love you.” A true and mature romantic relationship does not use the other for selfish reasons. True love allows both partners to grow as persons and does not manipulate or use the other. Here’s an example of a one-sided and an unhealthy type of romantic relationship. The lack of option is one important reason why people stay in a one-sided love affair.

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 Obviously, this type of romance is not true love as narrated by this girl:

 “I don’t really know if I can call it love, but I really care for this guy in my college. I had always been a reserved, socially awkward individual. I never really dated any guy in my school years because I couldn’t even look in the eyes of a man without blushing!… However, I am a changed person today—more confident, smart, straight forward and honest. This guy in my college was the FIRST guy who told me “I am falling for you”. He told me he thought I was beautiful. It took over a month to finally tell him a yes, because I was afraid if he would hurt my feeble heart. The thing about me is that if I love, I love unconditionally….And so we spend a lot of time together and during one of our conversations he told me about his psychological condition—he had split personality, was a socially disconnected individual and couldn’t handle relationships. He told me about how his “falling in love” phase lasted only four hours to a few days… But the more I knew about his flaws, the more I loved him.

      Over time, I empathized so much with him that I ended up mirroring his emotions and his personality… I also realized that the only reason he sticks around with me is because 1) I am regularly at work and is a good student at college. Hence, I can inform him of assignments to be submitted and college holidays. 2) He said he can’t afford a girlfriend at the moment and I am available at a ‘cheaper price’ and mostly free because I don’t demand for anything. 3) I am a girl and he is a guy and he can satisfy his ‘needs’….

      No! This is certainly not the way I wanted a man to love me. But I continued to remain in this one-sided, broken relationship in the craving and greed for the temporary happiness I gained when I was with him. I’ve lost all my self-respect; I have begun to value him more than I value myself. I know this isn’t good, but I just can’t get over him and I just don’t seem to find the true love I have been looking for my entire 19 years” [2].

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Love and intimacy go hand in hand in romantic love. But this must be felt by both partners. Love is the physical, emotional, sexual, intellectual, or social affection one person holds for another, while intimacy is the close relationship of two people where mutual acceptance, growth, and trust are shared at some level.

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But not all romantic relationships can blossom into real love. Because of some psychological issues faced by people in romantic love as well as incompatibilities in terms of personal trait and character between lovers, the initial feeling of love or infatuation can turn into an “unhealthy” romantic relationship. People who experience the following types of love are advised to leave the relationship and move on to search their true and meaningful love.   The most common types of unhealthy romantic love include obsessive love, unrequited love, and deceptive love.

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References

 [1] http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/badcompany/icantlivewithoutyou.html.

[2] “I am in Love” by Nandana96 in www.experienceproject.com.

 

4 Top Determinants in Choosing a Partner in a Date

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What do people look for when they want to choose a partner in a date?

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The factors that determine people what to look for from people they want to go out in a date are usually cultural. Each culture has its own set of expectation and criteria of what constitutes an ideal date and date partners. But the following factors seem to be popular among people living in urban societies based on some research studies.

Do you also consider some of these as significant in choosing your partner in a date?

angelina jolie love GIF

1. Physical Attractiveness

Although social factors can influence the choice of partners in a dating, physical attractiveness of the partner still remains an important determinant in dating (Spreadbury and Reeves, 1979). This idea of physical attractiveness as a determinant of dating progress is shown to be strong in both casual and serious daters (White 1980).  There is something interesting that should be noted about this study, however, because the findings suggest that it is a similarity of attractiveness that plays a larger role in how long a couple continues in a relationship.

Research supports the idea that both genders value physical attractiveness to a certain degree (especially within short-term contexts), but males may have more incentive for pursuing a woman they perceive as beautiful, even for the long-term.  According to this evolutionary imperative, men may highly value physical attractiveness in a female because it serves as a truthful indicator of health and fertility (Eastwick, 2008).

2. Financial Prospects

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Women do not only value physical attractiveness of their male partners but also their financial prospects in the long run as they are expected be better equipped to provide for both his partner and subsequent offspring.

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Females had much stronger preferences towards “financial management, ambition, and industriousness, higher education, desire for children, high intelligence and capacity for parenting” (Williamson, 1965).

3. Proximity in Age

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Age does matter in dating. Unless a person is just looking for financial support from a rich individual, the age gap between dating partners is important in society. Most research studies reveal that proximity in age between dating partners is important. One partner must not be very old or young compared to the other. Their age must either be similar or proximate. People can easily notice a gap when partners show affection in a public date. Signs of informal disapproval can be seen in their facial expressions when seeing a couple with a big age gap.

4. Social Desirability

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Individuals who are themselves very socially desirable (physically attractive, personable, or possessing great material assets) will require that an appropriate partner will possess more social desirability than will a less socially desirable individual. If couples with different social desirability in a situation, couples with similar desirability will most likely date with one another (Walster et al, 1966).

Women Want More!

money asks GIF

Women are even more demanding than men with their dating partners. Aside from social desirability, they have much stronger preferences towards partners who demonstrate “financial management, ambition, and industriousness, higher education, desire for children, high intelligence and capacity for parenting” (Williamson, 1965).

make it rain money GIFmake it rain money GIF

Because of women’s expectation of their partners’ financial security,  men tend to postpone their marriage just to achieve first a middle-class social status. Dating and Courtship Patterns, Some Explorations, by Harold E. Smith, for instance, suggests that “owing to the needs of men to achieve some economic prosperity first, males more often than females in courtship postpone matrimony.”

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4 Top Determinants in Choosing a Partner in a Date

valentines-day-3131986_640

What do people look for when they want to choose a partner in a date?

Web Hosting

The factors that determine people what to look for from people they want to go out in a date are usually cultural. Each culture has its own set of expectation and criteria of what constitutes an ideal date and date partners. But the following factors seem to be popular among people living in urban societies based on some research studies.

Do you also consider some of these as significant in choosing your partner in a date?

hat-885402_640

1. Physical Attractiveness

Although social factors can influence the choice of partners in dating, physical attractiveness of the partner still remains an important determinant in dating (Spreadbury and Reeves, 1979). This idea of physical attractiveness as a determinant of dating progress is shown to be strong in both casual and serious daters (White 1980).  There is something interesting that should be noted about this study however, because the findings suggest that it is similarity of attractiveness that plays a larger role in how long a couple continues in a relationship.

Research supports the idea that both genders value physical attractiveness to a certain degree (especially within short-term contexts), but males may have more incentive for pursuing a woman they perceive as beautiful, even for the long-term.  According to this evolutionary imperative, men may highly value physical attractiveness in a female because it serves as a truthful indicator of health and fertility (Eastwick, 2008).

2. Financial Prospects

adolescent-bag-beautiful-919436

Women do not only value physical attractiveness of their male partners but also their financial prospects in the long run as they are expected be better equipped to provide for both his partner and subsequent offspring.

Females had much stronger preferences towards “financial management, ambition and industriousness, higher education, desire for children, high intelligence and capacity for parenting” (Williamson, 1965).

3. Proximity in Age

engagement-2268947_640

Age does matter in dating. Unless a person is just looking for financial support from a rich individual, the age gap between dating partners is important in society. Most research studies reveal that proximity in age between dating partners is important. One partner must not be very old or young compared to the other. Their age must either be similar or proximate. People can easily notice a gap  when partners show affection in a public date. Signs of informal disapproval can be seen in their facial expressions when seeing a couple with big age gap.

affection-alley-architecture-307791

4. Social Desirability

Individuals who are themselves very socially desirable (physically attractive, personable, or possessing great material assets) will require that an appropriate partner will possess more social desirability than will a less socially desirable individual. If couples with different social desirability in a situation, couples with similar desirability will most likely date with one another (Walster et al, 1966).

Women Want More!

businessman-3417761_640 (1)

Women are even more demanding than men with their dating partners. Aside from social desirability, they have much stronger preferences towards partners who demonstrate “financial management, ambition and industriousness, higher education, desire for children, high intelligence and capacity for parenting” (Williamson, 1965).

Because of women’s expectation of their partners’ financial security,  men tend to postpone their marriage just to achieve first a middle class social status. Dating and Courtship Patterns, Some Explorations, by Harold E. Smith, for instance, suggests that “owing to the needs of men to achieve some economic prosperity first, males more often than females in courtship postpone matrimony.”

Photo credit: Pexels.com, Pixabay.com

Thank you for reading this post. Sign up with our newsletter or follow this blog via email for more updates.

The Birth of Romantic Love in Society

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The idea of romantic love and falling in love before marriage started to become a popular trend and practice in Western industrialized societies only in the late eighteenth century with the rise of modernity in Europe. During the Middle Ages, virtually no one married for love. There was, in fact, a medieval saying that “To love one’s wife with one’s emotion is adultery.” People entered into marriage, during this period, primarily to keep property in the hands of the family and to raise children to work in the family farm (Giddens and Girffiths, 2006, p.205).

pexels-photo-123285.jpeg

The concept of courtly love, a medieval European concept of nobile and chivalrous love, generally secret and between members of the nobility, precipitated the rise of romantic love in the 19th century. “Chevaliers, or knights in the Middle Ages, engaged in what were usually non-physical and non-marital relationships with women of nobility of whom they served.”

pexels-photo-268416.jpeg

The birth of romantic love coincided more or less with the emergence of the novel as a literary form, and the spread of romantic novels. Love stories in romantic novels played a vital role of popularizing the idea of romantic love (Radway in Giddens and Griffiths, p. 205).  The term “romantic love” is said to have been coined only in the 19th century by the literary critic Gaston Paris to denote a particular constellation of attitudes and patterns of behavior that characterized a body of literature arising in Provence in the 12th century (Paris, 1983 cited in Karandashev, 2015, p.4).

pexels-photo-341520.jpeg

Romantic love is a deep physical and emotional attraction. It generally involves a mix of emotional and sexual desire: emotional highs, exhilaration, passion, and elation. It is a type of feeling that is passionate, fanciful, expressive, and pleasurable from an emotional attraction towards another person (Karandashev, 2015, p.4). Lantz (1982) defined romantic love as “a love based on personal-emotional attraction, with a strong erotic component which is often repressed because of moral conflict.” Its main features include idealization of the loved one, the notion of a one and only, and the idea that true love overcomes all obstacles. This is different from conjugal love in marriage which is developed over extend periods of time and is based on feelings of appreciation, loyalty and admiration, stemming from the sharing of common experiences (Lantz, 1982, p. 349).

beautiful-couple-fashion-262008.jpg

Love in the sense of sexual passion is a common feature of societies. But romantic love is different from sexual love. Romantic love is all about emotional communication and the attractiveness of the other. It carries with it the idea of intimacy because one falls in love specifically with the qualities of the other. It tells a forward-looking story or narrative about the lovers and creates a biography, not just for one person, but for two people (Giddens & Pierson, 1998). Sexual love is temporary and focused on physical attraction and beauty of the partners and not on the quality of the romantic relationship and  personal traits and personalities of the lovers.

12 signs to move on

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Thank you for reading this post. Feel free to comment, like, and share it. Sign up for our newsletter or follow this blog via email. No spam please. cheers and God bless!