1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

How to handle the tremendous power of romantic love? February 12, 2010

As many of you have learned from my earlier posts on the awesome book of Robert A. Johnson “Understanding the psychology of Romantic Love” (here and here), romantic love however attractive and delightful it may occur, brings more destruction than happiness.  Romantic love being the single greatest energy system in the Western psyche, is a tremendous power that attracts. If we can learn how to use it in a constructive, not a destructive way… may be the make up of the modern Western society can change for the better!

Let’s see the Johnson’s implications on the channeling of romantic love, please enjoy the way the author is unfolding it, so beautifully and truly:

 Romantic love is a spiritual power

Romantic love is one of these truly overwhelming psychological phenomena that have appeared in Western history. It has overwhelmed our collective psyche and permanently altered our view of the world. As a society, we have not yet learned to handle the tremendous power of romantic love. We turn it into tragedy and alienation more often than into enduring human relationships. But, I believe, if men and women will understand the psychological dynamics behind romantic love and learn to handle them consciously, they will find a  new possibility of relationship, both to themselves and to others.

When we “fall in love” we feel completed, as though a missing part of ourselves has been returened to us; we feel uplifted, as though we were suddenly raised above the level of the ordinary world. Life has an intensity, a glory, an ecstasy and transcendence.

We seek in romantic love to be possessed by our love, to soar to the heights, to find ultimate meaning and fulfillment in our beloved. We seek the feeling of wholeness.

If we ask where else we have looked for these things, there is an answer: (more…)

 

Romantic love vs. True love and why happy marriages are rare in the West February 4, 2010

This post follows Romantic Love: A book EVERY Western man should read  and  quotes Robert A. Johnson’s bestseller “Understanding the Psychology of romantic love”  . I arranged it the way that it gives the essence of author’s investigations on the topic, but please do read the book, it’s so insightful!

Below you will find the brilliant differentiation between the so called romantic love and true love. After reading this post, be prepared for the next in which you will lean about the amazing potential of romantic love.  In the meanwhile, let’s meditate on the truthful lines below.

What is romantic love?

Romantic love is the single greatest energy system in the Western psyche. In our culture it has supplanted religion as the arena in which men and women seek meaning, transcendence, wholeness, and ecstasy…We are so accustomed to living with the beliefs and assumptions of romantic love that we think it is the only form of “love” on which marriage or love relationships can be based. We think it is the only “true love”. But there is much that we can learn from the East about this. In Eastern countries, like those of India and Japan, we find that married couples love each other with great warmth, often with a stability and devotion that puts us to shame. But their love is not “romantic love” as we know it. They don’t impose the same ideals on their relationships, nor do they impose such impossible demands and expectations on each other as we do.

Romantic love has existed throughout history in many cultures. We find it in the literature of ancient Greece, the Roman empire, ancient Persia, and feudal Japan. But our modern Western society is the only culture in history that has experienced romantic love as a mass phenomenon. We are the only society that makes romance the basis of our marriages and love relationships and the cultural ideal of “true love”.

One of the greatest paradoxes in romantic love is that it never produces human relationships as long as it stays romantic. It produces drama, daring adventures, wondrous, intense love scenes, jealousies, and betrayal; but people never seem to settle into relationship with each other as flesh-and-blood human beings until they are out of the romantic love stage, until they love each other instead of “being in love”.

Romance, in its purest form, seeks only one thing – passion. It is willing to sacrifice everything else – every duty, obligation, relationship, or commitment  – in order to have passion.

Difference between romantic love and true love

People become so wearied of the cycles and dead ends of romance that they begin to wonder if there is such a thing as “love”. There is. (more…)

 

Romantic Love = Greater Long term Happiness December 2, 2009

Contrary to popular opinion, it appears that romance doesn’t have to die a natural death in a long-term relationship. In a meta-analysis review of 25 studies with 6,070 individuals in short- and long-term relationships published last week, researchers set out to find out whether romantic love is associated with greater relationship satisfaction.

The findings?

The researchers found that those who reported greater romantic love were more satisfied in both the short- and long-term relationships.

“Many believe that romantic love is the same as passionate love,” said lead researcher Bianca P. Acevedo, Ph.D, then at Stony Brook University (currently at University of California, Santa Barbara).“It isn’t. Romantic love has the intensity, engagement and sexual chemistry that passionate love has, minus the obsessive component. Passionate or obsessive love includes feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. This kind of love helps drive the shorter relationships but not the longer ones.”

These findings appear in the March issue of Review of General Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association

Perhaps not surprising, those who reported greater passionate love in their relationships were more satisfied in the short term compared to the long term. Companion-like love, on the other hand, was only moderately associated with satisfaction in both short- and long-term relationships.

The researchers looked at 17 short-term relationship studies, which included 18- to 23-year-old college students who were single, dating or married, with the average relationship lasting less than four years.

They also looked at 10 long-term relationship studies comprising middle-aged couples who were typically married 10 years or more. Two of the studies included both long- and short-term relationships in which it was possible to distinguish the two samples.

What’s the secret?

“These people are often very relationship focused,” Acevedo told LiveScience. (more…)

 

 
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