The cost of being so much in love with someone is that you have to bear the suffering of being away from her. The price of nurturing the beloved's flourishing includes providing the beloved with a personal space in which she can engage in her personal intrinsic activities, some (but not all) of which are not necessarily done with her lover.
Does romantic love involve patience or impatience? There are good indications that it involves both; certain romantic circumstances require patience while there are others that require impatience. Let us consider which circumstances demand which response.
Shyness might be an initial impediment in a relationship, both for the shy person and for her potential partner, but as shyness expresses valuable moral norms, a relationship with a shy person has every chance of being rich and satisfying.
People do not want to be second best; everyone wants to be the first, even if being second means improving their objective situation. What is so bad in being second? However in many romantic circumstances, being the last expresses more profound love than being first or second.
Some people become aware on their wedding ceremony that their partner is inferior to them. This kind of awareness can prove to be disastrous for their future relationship. Can such awareness be tolerated, and can it be avoided? Can people live happily with such inequality?
The scientific dispute of whether sexual desire is closer to hunger than to emotions has considerable implications concerning our appropriate sexual and romantic behavior. In this post I examine Catherine Hakim's claim that there is no moral difference between sex and eating at a restaurant: in both cases, variation and change increase our marital happiness.
The common perception of genuine romantic love is that it involves no small measure of foolishness. Nevertheless, I will claim here that it is possible to perceive romantic wisdom in sincere and profound love.
The love paradox in current society arises from a combination of the following two seemingly opposing claims: (a) a greater percentage of intimate relationships are based on love; (b) a greater percentage of intimate relationships involve romantic compromises. Since romantic compromises are considered to run counter to love, how can these two claims co-exist?
The popularity of friendship with benefits (FWB) is increasing. A similar phenomenon within marriage (MFWB) is when the partners are friends and the sexual aspect is marginal. Both types of friendship lack romance, but while FWB is generally a most pleasurable relationship, in MFWB spouses are miserable. Why this is so, and how can MFWB can be improved?
The major reason supporting premarital cohabitation is that it enables the couple to see whether they get along well enough to embark on marriage. However, counter-intuitively, many studies have found that premarital cohabitation is associated with increased risk of divorce and a lower quality of marriage. How can we explain it?
People are often painfully aware that they are making romantic compromises. The most common of these involves giving up passionate love in exchange for companionate love. But how can we measure the two types of love? Can a relationship that was once regarded as a romantic compromise later become a profound love? The following true story provides a surprising answer.
Window shopping—that is, browsing through goods with no intent to purchase—is a popular pastime, particularly among women. Romantic window shopping involves browsing through people with no intent to initiate a profound romantic relationship and is more popular among men. Is there any value in the two types of window shopping? And how can the gender difference be explained?
Make-up sex is wild and extremely gratifying sex that people report having experienced after having had an intense fight. Why, in the wake of having had a bitter fight, is everything forgotten while the couple engage in what many say is amazingly wild and enjoyable sex? And why is breakup sex similarly so exciting?
Noises are characterized as a disturbance that interferes with the optimal operation of a system. There are, however, cases in which a disruptive noise is beneficial for the system. When such "noises" are interjected into the romantic system, do they improve or disrupt the romantic relationship?
The wish to be close to the beloved is characteristic of profound love. However, can romantic closeness be too close, causing lovers to feel as if they are in captivity without any personal space? Should we (as John Stevenson suggests) keep a loose rein on our marriage in order to keep it steady? A commuter marriage is an option worth considering.
The question "would you spend the night with me?" can be taken to be offensive and rude, suggesting a superficial pleasurable night of sin. However, the question can also express profound love, suggesting a profoundly satisfied night of tender love. When this question was put to them, many people (especially men) accept the offer. Should you do the same?
Our romantic experiences are often incomplete in the sense of being not entirely fulfilled. We are typically excited by anything that is incomplete, unfinished, unsettled, unexplained, or uncertain. Here is the true story of John, who yearned and waited forty years for his high-school sweetheart.
Recognizing the other’s emotions is a significant aspect of emotional intelligence. In romantic love this ability is considerably enhanced when you are ready to fall in love or are sexually aroused. Other people can sense your readiness or eagerness for romance, which in turn increases their attraction toward you. Can this happen after 30 years of faithful marriage?
Casual sex, which consists of sexual encounters outside committed relationships, is common in modern Western societies. Such encounters range from a one-time experience to ongoing sexual relationships. Discerning the various types of casual sex may shed light on such a prevailing experience.
Some people realize on their wedding day that they regard their partner as a compromise. When these people are asked why they did not cancel the wedding, some of them explain their behavior by saying that they did not want to cancel the wedding as the invitations had already been sent. This is the true story of Alice.
Love involves the profound wish to be with the beloved. There are, however, cases in which the lover decides, out of profound love, to leave the beloved as the lover thinks that staying with the beloved will make the beloved miserable in the long term. This is the true story of Scarlet.
The hardships of finding and maintaining profound love should not imply completely giving up on such love, as profound love is a central factor in making our life meaningful and happy. I will illustrate such hardships by considering the case of Miriam.
Is it possible to determine the right road to love? Should we prefer one over another? I will examine here such roads through the true stories of four married women who took different roads to be with the one they love. All of them believe now that they took the right road.
Humans face many choices in their lives and they take them seriously—often too seriously. For some people there is no “second best” in their romantic vocabulary; they want all or nothing. Monica, who says, “I never had a one-night stand, but I yearn for a profound extramarital affair," is such a woman.
Can we be too romantically sensitive? Is it worthwhile achieving the heights of love only to crash down, or is it better to maintain a steady level of low sensitivity? I shall examine these issues by distinguishing two types of sensitivity and considering the real case of Carol.
Are romantic compromises necessary or beneficial? The value of romantic compromises depends on the given circumstances. It is not in our hands to fully revise these circumstances, and sometimes we are condemned to compromise romantically, as there are no better alternatives.
The decision to get married or divorced is significant and should be taken after profound deliberations. But this isn't always the case: people can find themselves drifting into a certain situation without having thought deeply about it. Is drifting a proper manner in which to make important romantic decisions?
The offer of “come live in my heart, and pay no rent” seems very tempting, but is often contrary to the nature of love, which is based upon a reciprocal relationship. Being a tenant in someone’s heart has obligations that cannot be ignored.