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The Romantic Notion: Time To Let Go of Romanticism

Romance. Romantic love. How beautiful are these notions? I have already spoken about what is labeled as “romantic love” on…

Romance. Romantic love. How beautiful are these notions? I have already spoken about what is labeled as “romantic love” on more than one occasion. But this time I shall escalate it and speak about love for what it really is or should be. This time, I shall demonstrate that this notion that we all love, and desperately wish to have and to experience, is faulty, and does more wrong than it does us any good. I shall show that we all have been tricked by this romanticism into believing that something such s romantic love exists, when it really doesn’t–at least not in the sense it is portrayed.

So what is romantic love? Surely we all know it. It’s that thing that happens when two people fall in love with one another. Well, it could be wise to  know first that this notion hasn’t been here forever. It’s fairly recent, and brought to us with the blessings of poets and artists of the 18th century. Before that, unions and marriages were not based on a falling in love. Before that, unions and marriages were not based on falling in love. Unions before the 18th century were based on specific economic and social advantages. A man had a big farm and a woman had a number of sheep, so they would decide to form a union and get married.

Then Romanticism came along and promised us something different. Romanticism said hey: “you don’t have to think rationally about marriage anymore. Listen to your heart, to your feelings.” Romanticism tells us we will find someone, we will have a special feeling, we will fall in love, and it’ll be forever.

We all think this is exciting. We all patiently await this. We are deeply convinced by it, and we don’t doubt it for one minute.

Romanticism says we all have soulmates. There is exactly that one person (the soulmate) who is meant to be with exactly one person, and when it happens everything will be complete, and it’ll be forever, and eternity, and sunsets and beautiful days are what lies ahead.

But hey, what is wrong with this notion? This notion that we see in movies, hear in music, and real in novels. The answer is everything. But I will mention only two points which are very prevalent and fundamentally in romantic love.

Romanticism says that you will find our soulmate, and that person will love you for who you are. Wrong. That person fights with you exactly because he/she is beginning to use who you really are. Someone once said that the people who ov us end up leaving for the same reasons that brought them to us in the first place. Because who you really are is crazy. It’s insane and sometimes bad. Romanticism further says that we should show our partner the whole of us, the complete us. But no one really wants to see that. Certainly not the soulmate.”

The other thing romanticism urges is that when we are hurt we shouldn’t have to tell the person we love. Because he/she should already know how we feel. He/she loves us, so we keep silent, or we slam the door.

But why should we expect anybody at all to know how we feel without telling them how we feel? This is crazy. When someone is hurt, it’s not like a broken arm. The mere sight of an arm cast implies an injury in the body, but what about an injury in the soul? How are we to see that? How are we to fix that. The answer is: communication.

We should abandon the idea of fully exposing oneself to the other. If you expose yourself fully, then you show your partner how ugly you truly are. How dysfunctional and intolerant you are. Nobody wants to see that. You should never wait for the beloved to know or notice that you’re hurt. He/she is not a psychic, nor is it his/her job to be one. Communicate. Articulate your feelings. Show your partner that behind all that confidence and serious gaze there exists a baby who just wants a hug.

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Faela