Addicted to Romance

Posted by on 11 04 11 in Love Addiction News, Romance Addiction | Comments Off on Addicted to Romance

The celluloid and paperback media trounce out an illusory world of romance designed to entertain, but which may make real-life relationships feel devoid of spark. Unfortunately, some people are more keen on the idea of romance than love. The craving for romance is impacting our lives in a number of ways.

In the old days, marriage was less about romance and more a matter of financial security and family stability. It is interesting to see where a heavy emphasis on romance has taken us, because folks are still looking to discover an intimate companion even if it isn’t for the purpose of family and finances. To begin with, young Americans not overly concerned with propagating the species or seeking financial stability are marrying later – usually not until their mid-30s. While they wait to marry and reproduce, young Americans often pass through a couple of serious relationships and consequent break-ups.

Current statistics tell us that one in three 25- to 29-year-olds live alone or perhaps with a roommate. Actually, in a few cities, inhabitants will spend greater than half of their lives alone. And, while at the moment more men than women are single in America, the loneliness which can lead to depression and anxiety is not gender-particular. Lastly, the idea of casual sex or romance apart from commitment is proving to be emotionally exhausting.

People may have in mind that they are just enjoying the romance or are able to keep their sexual relationships casual, but they may be working against the way people are designed. Repeated sexual encounters actually create an attachment bond not dissimilar to the parent/infant bond. Sex includes cooing and cuddling and holding which mirror the behaviors useful in developing the parent-child bond.

When the bond is broken, grief ensues. Even persons for whom emotional closeness does not come naturally experience this grief over the breaking of the attachment bond. Humans are hardwired to develop an emotional/physical bond with repeated sexual partners and overriding that system is nearly impossible.

None of which is to say that bonding is the same thing as love, though broken bonds can feel as painful. One author has described the transition from romance to love as “travelling through an often bleak landscape.” The bleak landscape is the learning needed to appreciate the other person’s flaws while also owning all your own stuff. It paints the picture of relationships which move beyond romance by dint of sheer hard work and determination until you are no longer afraid that the other person will short-change your expectations from life but you feel sincere gratitude for all you have learned through them.

Romance may be the seedbed of modern relationships, but it isn’t proving to be particularly fertile soil for growing love. Whether or not Hollywood or book publishers can grasp it and market it, the commitment of relationships where each seeks the good of the other and appreciates the learning process actually provides the greatest satisfaction