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