had enough of romantic love? - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-10-2006, 10:20 AM   #1
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 32,366
Local Time: 01:03 PM
had enough of romantic love?

i posted this essay around last Valentine's Day, and while my world is quite different one year later, (i seem to be in serious "like" with someone ... ahem) i still think it's a good essay and worthy of some kicking around again:



[q]Love Crimes
The absurd hype of romanticism.

I know this isn't exactly the week to say it, but can we please ease up on our secular cult of romantic love?

As almost any serious person before the 19th century would have told you, the concept is a crock. To paraphrase Aristotle, it's a benighted attempt to found friendship on beauty. To quote Montaigne, it is "impetuous and fickle, a feverish flame." Shakespeare got this, too. His transcendent celebration of love, "Romeo and Juliet," begins with Romeo's obsessive infatuation with a young woman he can barely let out of his sight. That woman is called Rosalind. Then Romeo meets Juliet, and Rosalind has about the longevity of an Internet start-up. Love is like that, Shakespeare seems to imply. It comes; it goes. If taken too seriously, it kills. Remember what happened to the star-crossed lovers? Compared with true friendship or patriotism or maternal love, romance is a joke of a feeling. Yet this joke, our culture tells us, is now the secret to true and lasting happiness.

[...]

But ever wonder why divorce rates are so high? The real culprit isn't some kind of moral collapse. It's excessive expectations, driven and fueled by the civic religion of romance. For a lucky few, infatuation sometimes does lead to lasting love, and love to family, and family to all the other virtues our preachers and politicians regularly celebrate. For the other 99 percent of us, relationships are, at best, useful economic bargains and, if we're lucky, successful sexual transactions -- better than the alternative, which has long been close to social death. But thanks to the civic religion of romance, we constantly expect more and quit what we have in search of more. For the essence of romantic love is not the company of a lover but the pursuit. It's all promise with the delivery of the postal service.

O.K., so maybe I just broke up with someone, and that's why this year I feel about Valentine's Day the way some people feel about Christmas. Its main effect is not to foster warm wonderful feelings in that minuscule number of people who happen to be in love this week but to engender abiding depression, jealousy and loneliness in the rest of us who aren't.

That this cult should reach its most frenetic expression in modern democracies is no surprise. The elevation of romance into a soul-saving experience was devised by Rousseau. As Allan Bloom pointed out, Rousseau saw bourgeois love as a salve for the empty emotional center of restrained, law-bound societies. He wanted to substitute the passion of people for truth and honor and power with something just as absorbing but nowhere near as dangerous. Why not love? It flatters our narcissism. It diverts us with phony adrenaline, teases us with jealousy, hooks us with sex. It is the means by which our genes persuade our bodies to reproduce. It is so diverting that we tend to forget more pressing questions, like what to believe in or strive for. More important, in a culture in which sex is increasingly divorced from procreation, it gives copulation a new kind of purpose, apart from pleasure. It sacralizes it, dignifies it, elevates it. Love, we're told, conquers all.

The trouble is, of course, it doesn't. The love celebrated on Valentine's Day conquers nothing. It contains neither the friendship nor civility that makes marriage successful. It fulfills the way a drug fulfills -- requiring new infusions to sustain the high. It prettifies sex, but doesn't remove sex's danger or lust. And by elevating it to a personal and cultural panacea, we suffer the permanent disappointment of excessive expectations, with all of their doleful social consequences. Less -- affection, caring, friendship, the small favors of a husband for a wife after 30 years of marriage -- is far more. And by knocking romance off its Hallmark pedestal, we might go some small way to restoring the importance and dignity of these less glamorous but more fulfilling relationships. "If love were all," Noel Coward once wrote, "I should be lonely." But it isn't. And nobody else's Valentine card should persuade you that loneliness is the only alternative.
[/q]
__________________

Irvine511 is offline  
Old 02-10-2006, 10:57 AM   #2
War Child
 
Devlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 922
Local Time: 05:03 PM
Yeah, I'd giv it up for a miracle drug..

Sorry. Couldn't resist the sideways slapshot. To be serious, I'm agreeing with that whole statement. I roll my eyes every time someone says 'Happy Valentine's Day' to me. Last year, the church I attend handed out red roses to all the females in the church. I 'accidentally' left mine behind (now, had it been godiva or ghiradellli chocolate, however..). I don't go for romantic love. It's silly, it's not worth trying to get, because you'll always fail. I'd rather have the relationship that's based on friendship and respect. Mature love flows out of that, because then you're with that person, warty ass and all.
__________________

Devlin is offline  
Old 02-10-2006, 12:18 PM   #3
Blue Crack Addict
 
redkat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: racing to the waterside
Posts: 19,620
Local Time: 10:03 AM
This year at least, I roll my eyes at romantic love.

I'd rather have a companion that shares the same interests.

Most often romantic love fades, people grow and change and the idea that there is only one "the one" I don't buy anymore.

*curious to see if I feel the same way next year
redkat is offline  
Old 02-10-2006, 12:32 PM   #4
Blue Crack Addict
 
nbcrusader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,071
Local Time: 09:03 AM
An attempt to isolate and enjoy one aspect of love will be frustrating in the long run.

It is like chewing food to enjoy the taste, but separating that act from regular eating. Embrace the whole process, not the isolated part that purports to give us joy.
nbcrusader is offline  
Old 02-10-2006, 01:26 PM   #5
Blue Crack Addict
 
MrsSpringsteen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 26,598
Local Time: 01:03 PM
Romantic love is a bunch of BS, I don't believe in it

I believe in the rare real love that has nothing to do with "romance"
MrsSpringsteen is offline  
Old 02-10-2006, 02:26 PM   #6
Refugee
 
AliEnvy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,320
Local Time: 05:03 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
I believe in the rare real love that has nothing to do with "romance"
Are they mutually exclusive though? Or does romance just evolve in expression over the course of time in a relationship?

From wooing grand gestures to small, simple acts of kindness and sharing.

I think real love has a lot of romance but it just doesn't look like the exaggerated package that's being presented to us that warps people's expectations.
AliEnvy is offline  
Old 02-10-2006, 03:51 PM   #7
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 10,885
Local Time: 12:03 PM
Does romance come first? Or does love?
Dreadsox is offline  
Old 02-10-2006, 04:12 PM   #8
Blue Crack Addict
 
verte76's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: hoping for changes
Posts: 23,331
Local Time: 05:03 PM
Romantic love=
verte76 is offline  
Old 02-10-2006, 06:02 PM   #9
Refugee
 
BostonAnne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 2,052
Local Time: 01:03 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Does romance come first? Or does love?
I don't think romance could happen unless one of partners feels love. So I guess love is first..
BostonAnne is offline  
Old 02-10-2006, 10:10 PM   #10
Blue Crack Addict
 
nbcrusader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,071
Local Time: 09:03 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Does romance come first? Or does love?
I'd say love comes before true romance.

Lust can happen at any time.
nbcrusader is offline  
Old 02-11-2006, 08:40 AM   #11
Blue Crack Addict
 
MrsSpringsteen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 26,598
Local Time: 01:03 PM
I think romance comes first, I associate romance with initial infatuation, lust, and all that. To me that's not love, real love can be very romantic though. I know that makes no sense..

Don't ask me though, I really know nothing about all of it

By Robert Roy Britt
LiveScience managing editor
LiveScience
Updated: 8:35 p.m. ET Feb. 10, 2006

Altruism may breed better marriages, a new study suggests. Or, the data might mean that good marriages make people more altruistic.

Whatever, altruism and happiness seem to go together in the realm of love.

"Altruistic love was associated with greater happiness in general and especially with more marital happiness," Tom Smith of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago concludes in a report released Thursday.

Study participants were asked whether they agreed with statements that define altruism, such as, "I'd rather suffer myself than let the one I love suffer," and "I'm willing to sacrifice my own wishes to let the one I love achieve his or hers."

Those who agreed with the statements tended to also report happiness with their spouses.

Among the more altruistic, 67 percent rated their own marriage as "very happy." Among those who were profiled as the least altruistic, only 50 percent said they were very happy in marriage.

And here's one for those of you who are still waiting for your partner to commit: Forty percent of the married people ranked near the top for altruistic responses, while only 20 percent of those who had never married did so. The divorced and separated came in at around 25 percent.

The study asked dozens of questions to gauge both altruistic intentions and behaviors. How often do you give blood? Do you return money when a cashier makes a mistake in your favor?

Rising altruism
In a separate finding, Smith looked at a similar study from 2002 and found that altruistic feelings are on the rise. The number of people having "tender, concerned feelings toward the less fortunate" rose 5 percent, to 75 percent.

Smith speculated why:

"People have been suffering more negative life events than in the past, and as such there is greater need for caring and assistance," he said. "Likewise, there is greater disparity between the rich and the poor with the lot of the former, but not of the latter, improving in recent years."

It's not known if altruism begets a good marriage or vice versa.

But Smith said connection between romantic love and altruistic behavior probably comes from an appreciation of love developed in a healthy marriage and reflects the connection between marriage and love in general, which is part of the teachings of many religions.

The study found that people who pray every day performed, on average, 77 acts of altruism a year vs. 60 for those who never pray.

Men vs. women
Altruistic love scores were higher for women who are homemakers than women who work outside the home. Men scored higher than women. "This may be because there is an element of heroic stoicism and being a protector," Smith writes in the report.

Altruism runs higher among older people and those with college educations.

Smith also analyzed empathy, described as feeling protective of others or concerned for the less fortunate. Some of the findings:
# Women have a greater feeling of empathy than men.
# Children from two-parent homes are more empathetic.
# Girls raised by a single father are the least likely to develop empathy.
# Financial status bears little on altruism or empathy.
# People who vote are more empathetic and altruistic.
# Empathy is higher among those who fear crime.
# Empathy is higher among those who support increased spending on social programs.

The research was based on data from in-home surveys conducted every two years with support from the National Science Foundation. Smith used data from the 2004 survey, of 1,329 adults, and compared it with the 2002 result

..........................................................

I don't buy so many of the results/conclusions in this survey but I do think true love and altruism are closely associated.
MrsSpringsteen is offline  
Old 02-11-2006, 12:07 PM   #12
Blue Crack Addict
 
nbcrusader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,071
Local Time: 09:03 AM
I would say altruism is a subset or byproduct of true love - the volitional decision to love another.
nbcrusader is offline  
Old 02-11-2006, 01:04 PM   #13
Refugee
 
AliEnvy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,320
Local Time: 05:03 PM
Hmmm, isn't the article suggesting that real love is a by-product of altruism?

What kinds of gestures does everyone think are truly romantic?
AliEnvy is offline  
Old 02-11-2006, 01:24 PM   #14
Blue Crack Addict
 
nbcrusader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,071
Local Time: 09:03 AM
Quote:
Altruism may breed better marriages, a new study suggests. Or, the data might mean that good marriages make people more altruistic.

Looks like a chicken and egg question
nbcrusader is offline  
Old 02-11-2006, 05:17 PM   #15
Refugee
 
AliEnvy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,320
Local Time: 05:03 PM
On the surface it does, but I'm thinking it comes down to give and you shall receive.
AliEnvy is offline  
Old 02-11-2006, 06:29 PM   #16
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 06:03 PM
Perhaps a more honest title would have been Man, I Really Really Need to Get Laid. After all that fire-and-brimstone vitriol about the soulsucking evils of narcissistic bourgeois romance, his halfhearted props to the less-is-more, small-favors civility of longterm marriage make it sound like some kind of masochistic ashes-and-sackcloth routine.

I would define romance as an eroticized sense of wonderment and mystery at another person's uniqueness. In some ways this is stronger at the beginning of a relationship (because of the thrill of discovery), in other ways it's stronger later on (because the more you get to know someone, the more you realize how unknowable they really are--which is a beautiful and alluring thing, not alienating at all). I don't think there's anything devious or sinister about the former variety, though--so long as it's appreciated as one particular piece of the whole big picture, like nb said.

Of course longterm relationships do require a lot of unglamorous, unexciting, and at times unpleasant negotiations and compromise and sacrifices. But at the same time, that's your rock, your cushion, your foothold in life, and it really does smoothe the road and make the tough times a lot easier to bear. At least for me it does.

In India, where arranged marriages are the standard, you will often hear elders of both sexes assuring nervous betrothed young people, full of hopes and fears and questions about the spouses-to-be they barely know: "Don't worry--be patient, and let love come with time; because it will." While I can't really see this precise philosophy ever flying in America, I think there is a lot of truth to it. Love can give rise to intimacy, yes, but to a large extent the process works in reverse just as well. Either way, it takes a lot of mutual respect, mutual commitment to running a household, and mutual commitment to maintaining (and passing on to your children, should you have them) whichever shared legacies are important to you, to make it all work.
yolland is offline  
Old 02-12-2006, 01:55 PM   #17
Refugee
 
AliEnvy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,320
Local Time: 05:03 PM
For all his vitrol and cynicism, he basically nailed it talking about excessive expectations. But it's not just due to romanticized love in literature, movies and cheesy Valentine's marketing.

Combine it with a general cultural shift toward self-serving, instant gratification, convenience and disposible everything. What have you done for me lately?

In general no one addresses the real sacrifice and compromise it takes to build a life together happily in a concrete, actionable and altruistic way.
AliEnvy is offline  
Old 02-12-2006, 03:20 PM   #18
Blue Crack Addict
 
MrsSpringsteen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 26,598
Local Time: 01:03 PM
here's a love story..

Trapped in her body,she touches his heart

February 12, 2006

They met in Virginia in 1946. They were in their 20s. She was a Navy nurse, and he was a Navy doctor. He noticed her in the cafeteria, then on the dance floor. ''All the fly boys liked to dance with her."

He liked how she walked -- ''Lily had her own kind of gait." And how ''she could recite poetry like mad." And how, at the age of 16, ''all on her own she decided to become a Catholic."

There wasn't anything that Dr. Jack Manning didn't like about Lily Sharpe Fields.

They married at the US Naval Chapel in Portsmouth, Va., and a year later Jack Manning brought his new bride and infant son home to Taunton.

''They looked like a Hollywood couple," says Manning's niece, Mary Driscoll. ''I have strong memories of them going out one evening, Aunt Lily looking gorgeous, then splashing perfume on herself including her tongue. I asked her why, and she said she wanted to smell nice even when she was talking."

Life was good for the Mannings. They bought a small house in Fall River, where Jack worked as a pediatrician. Then they had another son. Then they bought a bigger house where Jack opened his own practice. Then Lily got polio.

It's just a word now, but in the mid-1950s polio was an epidemic. Some cases were mild -- chills, fever, muscle aches and then recovery. But Lily contracted paralytic polio. She was 33 years old the last time she walked, fed herself, brushed her teeth, hugged her boys.

''That was the toughest time, the beginning," says her husband. All the iron lungs, rows and rows of them, ''people dying left and right." He's 85 now. Lily's 83. They have been married for 59 years, and for 51 of them Lily has been unable to move.

Iron lungs were big steel drums in which polio victims lay. The ''lung" mimicked breathing for those whose muscles and nerves were paralyzed. Only a person's head and neck jutted out.

Lily was in an iron lung for six months.

Then she was moved to a rocking bed for short periods of time.

Rocking beds were like seesaws. The continuous up and down motion forced air in and out of a paralyzed diaphragm. The rocking bed made Lily seasick.

Two years of this, and Lily still couldn't move. But she could talk if she saved up her air.

''I was a physician. I had seen a lot of things. Life is all not sweetness and light," he said. ''But in the beginning, I was always hoping that she'd improve."

He brought Lily home and accommodated the house for her. He set up mirrors around her rocking bed so that she could see around her. He hired housekeepers and nurses and therapists because she could never be left alone. And every night he slept on a cot that folded into a wall so that he could be with her.

His niece shares these things, because he talks about Lily, not himself.

''Lily did a lot with the house," he said. ''She took care of the insurance. She took care of the boys. She was really active on the telephone. And then there were her prayers. She prayed for everyone. She was home 48 years, and everything went pretty well."

Nearly three years ago Lily went to a hospital to have her medical equipment updated. She hasn't been home since. What polio didn't take from her, pneumonia did. She has a tracheotomy now and can no longer speak. ''She's slipping, little by little."

You say to Jack Manning: How did you do all this? Take care of a wife and raise two boys? Make a living and a difference? How do you continue to do this for more than half a century?

And he says, ''I love her. When you take your vows, you take your vows. I enjoy being with Lily even though it's not an ideal situation. And I know Lily would do the same thing for me."

He doesn't complain. He doesn't believe he has anything to complain about. He will tell you that life has been challenging -- getting help, getting things done.

He will tell you that he drives 100 miles every day to be with her. ''I have 91,000 miles on my car and it's just two years old and I only drive here. But it's highway driving, so it's not bad."

And he will tell you that Lily is more difficult now. She hates when he leaves.

And she hates when he pays attention to someone else when he's with her.

''Right now we're reduced to where we don't have much conversation anymore. I put my head on her shoulder and hold her hand. That's all I can do."

He is a man still in love. ''What is it, honey? I'm right here. I can hear you. Are you cool enough? Are you feeling the fan?"

And he talks about her with love, too. ''This isn't what I would recommend but I have no bitterness at all. I really find her to be still a good companion."

No self-pity. No why her, why me, why us?

''I have someone stay with her every night until 11 so she won't be alone."

A woman trapped in her body for half a century, she can't reach across the bed and touch his hand. But she doesn't have to. She touches his heart.

What is the ideal Valentine's gift, people are asking?

A love like Lily and Jack's.
MrsSpringsteen is offline  
Old 02-14-2006, 03:30 PM   #19
Blue Crack Addict
 
MrsSpringsteen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 26,598
Local Time: 01:03 PM
AFP

Mon Feb 13

Most single Americans are playing hard to get and are happy to dodge Cupid's arrow, new research says, despite the annual Valentine's Day splurge on chocolates and flowers.

Forty-three percent of adult Americans, or 87 million people, describe themselves as single -- but only 16 percent are looking for love, the survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found.

Fifty-five percent of US singles say they have no interest in looking for a romantic partner. That feeling is especially pronounced among women, or those who have been divorced or widowed.

Surprisingly, and despite the dominance of dating images in popular culture, younger singles aged between 18-29 seem to be able to take romance or leave it: 51 percent said they were not in the market for a soulmate.

The survey also lifts the lid on the barren dating scene even for those Americans singles who are playing the field.

Thirty-six percent of those "active" on the dating scene said they had not had a date in three months, 13 percent had one. Twenty-two percent had been on between two and four dates, while a lucky quarter had been on five or more.

Where is the best place to meet a partner? : according to the survey, which sampled Internet users on the question, 38 percent of those in committed relationships hooked up at work or school.

A third met through family and friends, and 13 percent met their match at a nightclub, bar or cafe.

Surprisingly, given the proliferation of online dating agencies and matchmakers, only three percent of happy couples who are also online met through the Internet.

The study, part of larger research on online matchmaking yet to be published, was conducted late last year.
__________________

MrsSpringsteen is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com
×