By Robert C. Solomon

Romantic love may perhaps start with sexual ardour, however it is guided and nurtured via rules the fans have approximately their selves and the realm, in keeping with this college of Texas philosophy professor. Solomon defines romantic love as an emotional technique that's reciprocal and acceptable simply among equals. A lover could supplement what's top in us, embrace values we percentage or inspire beliefs we try after. In any occasion, love endures in basic terms while it forges a conceptual bond, everybody viewing the other's life as essential to whole one's self. during this clever, witty, adventurous essay, Solomon sheds gentle on love at the start sight, no matter if opposites allure, counterfeit emotion, the euphemism (and act) of ""sleeping together,'' possessiveness, the necessity of enthusiasts for privateness and the significance of fights in a fit dating. His re-visioning of affection favors Plato's suggestion of the merger of 2 souls over Freud's view of affection as sublimated erotic feeling.

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Extra resources for About Love: Reinventing Romance for our Times

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It is not, as Erich Fromm argues in The Art of Loving, the love of humanity or a generally loving attitude. That noble emotion (sometimes called "agape") may in fact be the passion that can THE ELUSIVE EMOTION 39 save the planet, as religious leaders often tell us, but it is not at all the same or even related to romantic love, which is wholly particular and aimed just at one special person. Romantic love is also exclusive. A mother with several children may love them all equally and without any sense of conflict, but if one can love more than one person romantically, it will certainly be a source of conflict, even in the most enlightened circles.

No excuses THE ELUSIVE EMOTION 37 are appropriate. One cannot say "How interesting" or "How curious, I'm in love with someone too. " "You'll get over it" is outright cruelty, and silence isn't much better. But from that moment on, nothing will ever be the same. From that moment on, there is no going back. (Imagine saying "I love you" to someone by mistake, and then trying to explain how it was that you "didn't mean it. ") From that moment on, there will be the need to keep saying it, day after day, year after year.

THE HISTORY OF LOVE The Western concept of love (in its heterosexual and humanistic aspects) was-if not "invented" or "discovered"-at least developed in the twelfth century as never before. Only at that late date was man able to begin thinking consecutively about ways of harmonizing sexual impulses with idealistic motives, of justifying amorous intimacy not as a means of preserving the race, or glorifying God, or attaining some ulterior metaphysical object but rather as an end in itself that made life worth living.

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