• Published 2009-04-27

Romantic love appears in many ways to be a deeply ingrained fantasy that cannot be fulfilled.

Looking closely at ideas of romantic love one gets a sense of a dream-like quality, and of something unattainable, which only happens to other people (and in the movies).

It it tinged with tragedy, feeling loss, sadness or disappointment (which we try to ignore because it won’t happen to us).

We create this ideal of romantic love and the perfect lover, experience these in the haze of new relationships, and then sink into a range of painful emotions when the romance ends and we conclude the lover isn’t living up to our lover-blueprint.

The fantasy is perpetuated due to our inherent belief in its truth and hope that it will make us happy (for ever and ever after!) and to the temporary high we experience during the romantic love bliss state at the beginning of new relationships.

The challenge is to not outright dismiss the notion of romantic love.

It is to meet it fully when the fantasy begins to crack; to go through the pain and loss of our shattered illusions, hand-in-hand with our lover.

As we start to see the lover beyond the limited reflection of our small desire, perhaps then there is an opportunity to love honestly.

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