One of the truly forced psychological phenomena that has emerged in history is romantic love.
Romantic love is unique in the most powerful energy system in western psyche. In our culture, it has assumed the level of religion as in an arena in which men and women seek meaning, transcendence, integrity and ecstasy.
As a mass phenomenon, romantic love is typical of the West. In fact, we are so accustomed to living with beliefs in the assumptions of a romantic “love” that can be based on romantic love or love relationship. We are convinced that this is the only “true love”. But there’s a lot to learn about this from the East. In Eastern cultures, such as Indian or Japanese, we realize that couples are reported to love with great warmth and strength in sacrificing, so that they are only capable of being rare among us. But their love is not “romantic love”, as we know it. They do not impose their own ideals as we, nor even those impossible requirements in anticipation.
Romantic love is not only a form of “love,” but a whole psychological package – a combination of beliefs, ideals, and expectations in anticipation. These common, contradictory ideas reside in our subconscious and control our behavioral reactions, without even being aware of them. We have automatic assumptions about what is a relationship with another person, what would you feel in it, what would you “get out” of it.
Romantic love does not just mean we love someone, but we are “in love” in this we are convinced that we have found the ultimate meaning of life, which he has revealed in another human language. We feel that we have finally complemented ourselves in finding the missing parts of our being. Life is suddenly seen as perfect – as if it had a supernatural intensity that raises us high and normal level of living. For such reliable signs of “true love”. The psychological package also contains an unconscious claim that our partner always exhorts the feeling of ecstasy in intensity.
With typical Western self-assurance we assume that our notion of “love” – romantic love – is certainly the best. We think that the other kind of love between our partners would be cold in vain. But if we are honest about ourselves, we must admit that our Western understanding of romantic love is not exactly the best.
Despite the feeling of ecstasy, when we are in love, we spend most of the time in a deep sense of loneliness, alienation in frustration due to their inability to create a sincere loving in a binding relationship. Usually we blame others for betraying us, we are not proud of the idea to support our expectations in the demands that we have for our love stars in other people.
This is a great wound in Western psychiatry – the primary psychological problem of our western culture. Carl Jung has already said that if we discover a psychological wound in an individual or a nation, I also find my way to consciousness there. It is precisely in the health of our psychological wounds that we know ourselves. Thus, romantic love can also become the path to consciousness – if we seriously try to understand it.
In history, romantic love existed in many cultures. It is found in the literature of ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, ancient Persia and feudal Japan. But our modern society is the only one in history that experiences romantic love as a mass phenomenon. We are a unique company that has made romance for basic weddings in love relationships and the cultural ideals of “true love”.
The ideal of romantic love appeared in Western society in the Middle Ages. It first appeared in our literature as a myth of Tristan and Isolde, then in love songs and songs of trumpeters. At that time, it was called “court love”; it’s pattern was a brave knight who honored the lovely lady as his inspiration, as a symbol of beauty in perfection, as an ideal that encouraged him to become noble, spiritual, refined and noble. Nowadays, we have incorporated courtly love into our sexual relations in marriage, we still believe in the medieval belief that the love of love should be an ecstatic adoration of a man or woman who represents an ideal perfection for us.
Once again, I emphasize that romantic love is one of the most forced psychological phenomena that has emerged in history. It took over our collective psyche and changed our view of the world forever. We have not learned how to control the power of romantic love as a society. More often than in a permanent human relationship, we change it to
Tragedy and alienation. Men and women who overlook the psychological dynamics of romantic love and knowingly learn how to cope with it will find new opportunities for more healthy relationships – both to themselves and others.
Honestly confronting the meaning of romantic love can be a heroic act not only for men, but also for women. They force us to see not only the beauty and the potential of romantic love, but also the contradictions and illusions that we carry with us on an unconscious level.
By Vesna Jarc