What’s Real About Romance?


The idea of romantic love has been expressed in an infinite number of venues. When speaking of romantic love I am not talking about being romantic in your relationship; these are two different things. Let’s differentiate. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a great literary example of two star-crossed lovers whose family feuding prevents them from being together, leading to their ultimate ends. This is wonderfully romantic stuff. The movies are obsessed with the idea of romantic love and that our love for one another will conquer any adversity.

During dating and courtship, it is hard to find any flaws in the “most beautiful person on the face of this planet.” Well, we tend to ignore the flaws. It’s the whole “rose-colored glasses” syndrome. Romantic love certainly has a place in the development of relationships. One of the problems with romantic love is that it tends not to be very realistic. Romantic love typically does not allow for imperfections. This is not to say that people in romantic love are perfect, it’s just that many times neither party is willing to assess or address imperfections in the other person. We allow the relationship to run the course, believing (unrealistically) that things will get better in time. They don’t get better, and they often get much worse as your mate becomes more comfortable with you. However, since you never addressed the issue to begin with, they are baffled by your frustration with the behavior now. After all, they have been consistent.

In your opinion, what do you think is a key element in reducing surprises based on denying flaws? What reasons might you give for not opening the door to communication in dealing with some of the “red flags” in your relationship? What fears do you think drive the response to the previous question?

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

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Filed under Behavior, Emotions, Expectations, Love

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