What to do When Your Partner Isn’t Perfect

Ideals have an important function in our life—they inspire us to improve our situation. But often these ideals are merely unattainable: far beyond our capabilities and often lacking in practicality. What should we do when we cannot find the ideal love we have been dreaming of for most of our lives?

Should We Leave Our Romantic Doors Open?

Love is discriminatory in the sense that it focuses on one object. However, people have a natural tendency to keep their romantic (and other) options open. Can these two seemingly contradictory features coexist? Can we love while leaving our romantic doors open?  

Promise me you'll try

 A promise is a kind of declaration in which you say that you will do or refrain from doing something in the future. Can we predict the future?Is it proper to make romantic promises? Can we promise to love each other for the rest of our life? Can we promise to be faithful?

Can Money Buy You Love?

Can money buy us love? It seems that there is no simple answer to this question. If love is like religion, then it cannot be bought nor can it be negotiated. If romantic interaction is similar to a commercial transaction, then love can be bought and can be negotiated (and compromised). Love seems to be similar to both, but identical to neither. 

Unchain my heart, baby let me go

Love is often considered to be the most profound expression of freedom-you let your heart lead the way to what you really want. But often love is considered to be a kind of restrictive chain that prevents you from doing what you really want to do. Why should someone want to be unchained from love, the greatest pleasure on earth?

Romantic Compromises: The agony of the present, the victory of fear, and the persistence of hope

Romantic compromises involve dissatisfaction from the present, persistent hope for having a better alternative and fear for taking the steps for fulfilling this hope. Can people cope with such a complex mixture?  

The Cyberspace Era: The Best and Worst of Times for Lovers

The cyberspace era could be considered as the best and worst of times for lovers. This is indeed both a happy and a difficult time for lovers-happy in that available, willing potential lovers are all around; difficult in that maintaining a loving committed relationship is harder than before as alternative romantic options are easier to explore and to realize.  

Darling, Are You Upset by My Success?

Happy-for is an emotion that describes the state of happiness we feel for someone else when they achieve a success. Does such an emotion exist at all? Does my partner's success make me feel happy or does it upset me? Sadly enough, the latter is often the case among people in general and couples as well. 

Darling, Are You Disgusted by Me?

 Disgust is a strong sense of aversion to something that we perceive as capable of contaminating us: either in physical terms, referring to bodily infection, or in more symbolic terms, referring to violating the boundaries of the self. In light of its intense negativity, disgust cannot be part of love.

I Am Only Second Best

In most circumstances, it is unpleasant to be considered second best; in romantic relationship it is even more devastating. Given that we all know that it is often so hard to attain the ideal, why is it so difficult to be considered second best? Why are we so frustrated by a partner that we consider to be a second best choice?  

I Can’t Get Enough of Your Love

 What does it mean not to get enough of the beloved? Does it mean that the relationship entails a scarcity of love or an abundance of love? And if the latter, how can the spring of love be endless?

Can you excuse your extramarital affair or marrying without love?

Romantic behavior sometimes involves actions that generate negative consequences. Two major means for defending such wrong deeds are excuses and considering the action to be a compromise. I examine these by considering two types of circumstances: The extramarital affair and marrying without love.

Do you always wish to be with the one you love?

Many love songs speak about the lover's wish to be with the beloved "always" or "all the time." This wish can express two different desires: (a) wanting to be with the beloved for the rest of one's life, and (b) wanting to be with the beloved every day as much as possible.  The second wish, which underlies deep love, is more rare and profound.  

You Always Hurt the One You Love

It is easy to understand why someone who doesn't love another person might break the heart of this person-when we do not love those who love us, we are likely to hurt them. However, the above song refers to hurting the one we do love. How can one both love and hurt the same person?  

Does Love Require Having the Same or Having Enough?

The egalitarian claim that it is desirable for everyone to have the same as other people (in terms of opportunities, money, and other goods) is central to our notion of morality. In my view, in the romantic realm the value of this claim is questionable. We should speak about a good enough partner, rather than the perfect person. 

Does Love Involve Sacrifice or Compromise?

The need for sacrifices and compromises is often mentioned in discussions of romantic relationships. Are the two the same and if not, which of the two is most needed in romantic relationships? According to Romantic Ideology, love is frequently described as involving sacrifices and resisting compromises. In reality, the situation is typically the opposite-relationships require fewer sacrifices and more compromises. 

Is Love Egalitarian?

 Romantic love is not egalitarian; rather, it is discriminatory because it entails the following aspects: (a) the beloved is accorded a unique status, and (b) certain people, such as the handsome and the rich, who enjoy a privileged status. Cyberspace is more egalitarian in both senses; it enables each person to maintain several relationships at the same time and it reduces the advantages of the handsome and the rich.

Do Not Pity Me

Pity expresses a negative evaluation of the bad situation of others. Nevertheless people do not like to be pitied. What is wrong with pity and is pity still a virtue? 

Why Does Greater Freedom Increase the Need for Romantic Compromises?

 In what follows, I will argue in support of the following seemingly non-intuitive claims: (1)Compromises are mainly concerned with what one does not have and not with what one has; (2)Greater freedom increases the need for romantic compromises;(3)Modern lovers experience both greater frustration and greater love. All these claims make the life of modern lovers much more complex.

Are We Responsible for Our Emotions?

The spontaneous nature of emotions leads people to argue that we are not responsible for them and hence emotions are irrelevant to the moral domain. This view is flawed as it assumes an overly simplistic view of both responsibility and emotions. 

Are Negative Emotions More Important than Positive Emotions?

In order to explain and understand emotions, we can divide them into two groups: The emotions we term 'positive' and those that we term 'negative'. On this issue, there are two major claims that appear to be contradictory: (a) that negative emotions are more noticeable, and (b) that, because people typically consider themselves to be happy, the average person considers herself to be happier than the average person. How can this apparent paradox explained?

"No White Flag Above My Door": The Value of Romantic Persistence

 What are we supposed to do when our beloved seems to reject our love? The simple and unequivocal reply of Romantic Ideology is: We should never give up-we should persist in fighting for our love. Persistence, however, can easily turn into romantic harassment that does not respect the other.

Darling, My Sunshine, Is Love All I Need?

Ideal love is often described as providing us with the meaning of life. Thus, Stevie Wonder sings that "you are the sunshine of my life... You are the apple of my eye." In their song, The Beatles go one step further and say that: "All you need is love." Is the shift from the subjective meaning (in Stevie Wonder's song) to the more objective description (expressed by the Beatles) justified?  

Darling, Do You Need Greater Freedom of Choice?

Nowadays, there is a greater freedom of romantic choice. The freedom to choose the beloved is regarded a hallmark of romantic love. The ideal of free romantic choice is not without difficulties-and the main difficulty is that excessive romantic freedom may lead to abandoning some of our significant values, and most of all our romantic commitment. Can we speak then about an optimal freedom?  

Darling, do you love me because we met when you were lonely?

Does loving someone depend upon the circumstances of the initial meeting? If a sense of loneliness is a crucial factor in choosing a partner, does this mean that the relationship is a compromise? Can love that is generated in this manner endure for a long time?  

Should Love Be Unconditional?

According to the Romantic Ideology, love is unconditional in the sense that reality is almost irrelevant to love and has scant impact upon it. I believe that although there is some grain of truth in this claim, love is not totally unconditional. It is unconditional in the moderate sense: That it can endure despite external unfavorable circumstances. 

Darling, Please Be More Insensitive to Other Women

The call for emotions to play a greater role in our life is generally understood as a demand for greater sensitivity toward other people. But such a call should not be understood as a call for overall greater sensitivity. In fact, love requires both greater sensitivity and a measure of insensitivity (or indifference) toward other people. 

Can Profound Love be Routine?

 It is easy to be excited by novel events, which opens up new horizons and experiences for us. However, our life mainly consists of routine activities that we have done many times. Similarly, although loving relationships often involve new experiences, most of the time lovers engage in routine activities. Long-term happiness and loving relationships depends on our ability to enjoy routine activities. How can we do this?

Darling, Do You Admire Me as Much as I Desire You?

 Professor Yehshieo Leibovitz, the great scientist and scholar, who was married to his wife for over 60 years, was once asked for the secret of a long term love. He replied: "The woman should desire the man and the man should admire the woman's characteristics." I was surprised at his reply as I felt sure that the opposite is true.

Are Love and Sexual Desire Moral?

 Love is valuable morally because it increases attachment between people, and this is of the utmost importance in maintaining social and personal relationships. The great importance of care and attachment in human affairs makes it understandable that we consider those who are unable to love as morally delinquent. The position of sexual desire is less clear in this regard.