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RE: Psychology Addict # 64 | The Romantic Love Delusion.

in #psychologylast year

Here's what I think after having read this post:
When you said that our soul mate is here but just needs to be recognized, I thought of a friend of mine, a woman, and neither of us is playing on that team. But we just jive, ya know? She can criticize me brutally, and I know she still loves me. By contrast, when my husband of 27 years did so, I felt devalued, demeaned, and disliked. It is never difficult to recover from learning a great truth about myself, and is very productive instead. Being her friend is a tremendous growth opportunity for me. I think she feels the same. A Platonic Relationship, we improve each other by disclosing "secrets" and finding out what the other thinks. It probably helps that she is a psychologist, and that I have had a gazillion years of therapy.

It's interesting to me that Platonic Love has come to mean something very different than what you tell us here. But a "good" marriage, as I understand what you've said, would be much like my relationship with my friend and include breeding activity. That many of us marry in order to breed is only briefly mentioned here biologists argue that romantic love is just a trick of nature to ensure our species is perpetuated.

That our youth think true love feels like a relationship they might see in a romantic comedy disturbs me! My marriage eventually fell apart due to unkindnesses on both of our parts, but it lasted for 27 years. Was it a good marriage? For many years, yes. We grew, we learned, we bred, we earned, we acquired property and money, we had all the trappings of a successful life together. It was a good marriage until it wasn't. I think the notion that a good marriage lasts a lifetime is the error. There was a time when we had little choice but to stay in a marriage, each partner doing his or her traditional duties in it, and thought very little about acheiving a heightened sense of self worth. Perhaps we have come to expect too much from ourselves.

Thanks for the every other Thursday food for thought!

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That's intriguing, @owasco! And sad, and inspiring, all at the same time. @abigail-dantes, this sounds right: "Plato argues that when we fall in love what is truly happening is the identification of qualities in the other individual which are lacking in ourselves," so my husband's math brains, musical and artistic talent, and all-around competence would compensate for my own deficits. Kinda, sorta. Yeah. (And I was hoping osmosis would impart to me some of his virtues.) This cute, smart, lovable guy just stole my heart and I knew life was better with him than without him. We lived an hour apart when we first met. A sign of falling in love, for me, was how often you think of the person--not "out of sight, out of mind," but ever on your mind. Something funny or interesting happens and you wish he was here to enjoy it too... you go somewhere and think "He would LOVE this; if only he were here with me now!" - and then you're hooked. And you're very very lucky if this person feels the same way about you. :)

This is a wonderful comment @owasco (as usual!) :)

The way you refer to your marriage is a very mature one. I agree very much with you when you observe that the forever happily married idea is a mistaken one. People get married, conquer things and achieve great goals. Through that journey they transform. Sometimes that transformation means negotiations can still be made and the two lives can still go on together productively, lovingly. Sometimes not. And I suppose the secret is to be able to wisely identify which path to take.

How reassuring it must be to have a friend like your psychologist friend. A soul-mate friend! It's very difficult to obtain that sort of confidence and openness with a romantic partner, I think. There is too much at stake. It seems to me that in romantic relationships it's either about being completely honest or being completely accepted. Not sure. I will think a bit more about that one :)

As for the current meaning of platonic love. Although its original meaning has changed over the centuries, I don't think it's Ref. far from the concept put forward here.

Thank you very much dear @owasco for your support and for always meaningfully engaging with my work here.

All the best to you.
<3

It's always my pleasure. I look forward to Thursdays, er, alternate Thursdays! You always give us something meaty to chew on and toss about.

Where O where is @Abigail-dantes today? I hope all is well.

Hello my dear @owasco, how sweet of you to ask about me :) Everything is fine over here. I’m just struggling to juggle around all the commitments this time of the year brings to my (work) schedule. 😅 Hopefully, I will be able to finish the article I have on the go by next Thursday.

I hope you are fine over there as well. Healthy and with no knee problems <3

Much love from cold Portugal.

Oh good. Glad to hear you are OK. I am as well.