When is 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 the 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 nobility 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 the 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 in 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 extended 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.

GIF Credits: Giphy.com

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7 Top Myths on Love

1. Love is Natural.

i love you GIF by Angry Birds

Love is not natural and biological but socially-learned in society. In the sociology of emotions, sociologists believe that people’s emotions are determined by society and culture. Thus, people’s deep feelings and emotions of love are primarily a product of cultural and social conditioning. In the same manner, people’s romantic feelings and expressions are learned and shaped by the local culture and not solely by biology. In many primitive societies, for instance, where arranged marriages and betrothals are common cultural practice, romantic love between the bride and groom is not a prerequisite for marriage.

2. First Love is the Deepest Love.

in love romance GIF by Kim's Convenience

People tend to over-romanticize first love. They put lots of emotional value to their first kiss, sexual experience, and first love. And while first experiences are important milestones, they generally aren’t the most significant. Most first loves are not serious. Not many people marry their first loves. The deepest hurt people experience are usually with those they seriously consider to live a life-long partnership, probably in marriage. The person who chose to build his/her life with someone for marital commitment is infinitely more important than the first person he/she fell in love with (Harris, nd.).

3. Love Will Make You Feel Complete.

all my love heart GIF by Chibird

This is another myth. Only the person can make his/her life complete and meaningful. You’re the only one who can make yourself feel whole and fulfilled. Your partner can only assist you to achieve your life goals. If you’re waiting around for someone to complete you, you’re wasting your time. It’s not going to happen, and that’s an unfair expectation to put on someone who could otherwise make you very happy (Harris n.d.).

4. Love can Happen at First Sight

valentines day love GIF

“There’s no love at first sight, only lust at first sight. Sure, that lust can turn into love, but most people need time to get to know each other before they can be sure they want to commit (Harris, n.d.).” True love happens only when partners cohabit for a long time in marriage and accept each other’s faults. The first stage of love is infatuation where feelings of attraction are very strong. But these emotions can be fleeting. They can easily vanish when partners discover their real personalities, attitudes, and social background.

5. Love is an irrational emotion that you either are “in” or not “in.”

Not so, according to philosopher Berit Brogaard, author of On Romantic Love: Simple Truths about Complex Emotion. In fact, love admits of degrees: You can love a little, a lot, or not at all. Sometimes your feelings are quite rational; at others, they’re utterly irrational (Perry 2015).

6. You can’t make yourself fall out of love.

colin baker flirt GIF by Doctor Who

But you can. Emotions are subject to a kind of rational control. You can use strategies to help you fall out of a love that’s wrong for you (Perry 2015)

7. Love is unpredictable.

valentines day hello GIF

Don’t believe it, writes Gottman. Many replicable studies have demonstrated that love is quite predictable. In his own lab, he has been able to predict divorce over a six-year period with better than 90% accuracy. Much of that predictability is based on how couples handle conflict, and how many positive vs. negative comments they make to each other (Perry 2015).

GIFs Credit: Giphy.com

 

References

Perry, S. K. (8 Feb 2015). 10 Myths About Love, Exploded: 3 leading researchers on why old beliefs could leave you lonely. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/creating-in-flow/201502/10-myths-about-love-exploded.

Harris, H. (n.d.). 10 Myths About Love You Need To Stop Believing If You Don’t Want To Be Disappointed. Retrieved from https://www.bolde.com/10-myths-love-need-stop-believing/.

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How to Deal with Love, Romance, and Dating: A Concise Sociological and Practical Guide

 

HOW TO DEAL WITH LOVE, ROMANCE, COURTSHIP, AND DATING: A Concise Sociological and Practical Guide by [Ballano, Vivencio]

(Available at Amazon.com at USD 4.99 as Kindle eBook)

Book Description:

This book is a concise sociological and practical guide with illustrations on how to deal with love, romance, courtship, and dating. It provides some sociological and empirical insights and practical tips that can help lovers, romantics, and couples in understanding the nature of the complex realities of infatuation, romance, unhealthy relationship, courtship, dating, and true love. It has four parts. The first part explains the dynamics of falling in love, romantic attraction, and compatibility in finding a partner using the social science perspective, particularly that of sociology. It aims to distinguish true love from infatuation. It also explores the physical and cultural factors that make people fall in love. The second part examines the nature of courtship: The role of men and women in courtship, some effective strategies in courtship, and the major factors that determine compatibility in courtship. The third part examines the different forms of “unhealthy” or unconventional love and relationship. It provides some signs and indicators if the relationship is abusive or cooling off. The last part deals with the cultural and social aspect of dating. It explores some do’s and don’t’s in dating: What satisfies or turns off people on a date and how to handle them. It is hoped that through this book, the reader will become more empirical, critical, and realistic in dealing with romantic relationship, courtship, and dating, and thus become more mature individuals in society.

How to Deal with Love, Romance, and Dating

 

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.

 

GIF Credits: Giphy.com

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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.

pay me make it rain GIF by HelloGiggles

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

jim halpert love GIF

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

black tie yes GIF by T.I.

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.”

Photo credit: Pexels.com, Pixabay.com

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