The search for love is a very important phenomenon in our modern society. It seems strange to think that arranged marriages existed not so long ago (okay... it still does exist in some countries). People married people from the same neighborhood. Today the paradigm is different. We have to find that soul mate that resists us. To live happily ever after. But is love really for life? Some say that monogamy is a myth. I found it interesting to reflect on the matter.
There is a Long Tradition Of Romantic Love
However, the romantic movement begins to have a lot of strength from the XIX century. After the industrial revolution, western society modernized, cinema appears, and romantic films become a very important genre. Even within other genres, there is usually a romantic subplot between the leads.
From Arranged Marriage For Life To Love For Life
With the modernization of society, the role of love gained strength. In the last decades, it is clear that the main reason to form a couple is to be in love with the other person. And, since society became more open, it no longer matters if that love is between two heterosexual people or between people of the same sex. The important thing is love.
In the past, the concept of marriage for life prevailed, a rather practical idea reinforced by dogmatic values of religion. The curious thing is that it has gone from marriage to love for life. I say that it is curious, because, since the concept of arranged marriage was renounced to give priority to love marriage, the duration could also have been changed. However, the concept of love for life was emphasized.
It is also true that the concept of divorce was introduced in Western societies, a tool that has been widely used ever since. But, in my opinion, divorce has always been considered as a way out in case things did not go well. I mean, the idea has always been that normal couples should last a long time.
Is Love Really For Life?
How many times have you heard someone say we both loved each other, but we had to split up? Honestly, I think it is a much less frequent situation than the opposite. I mean all those couples who are still together even though they no longer love each other. They stay together for their children, for not giving a bad image, for laziness, for comfort, for economic reasons, etc.
Falling In Love Was An Evolutionary Necessity
If you want your relationship to last a lifetime, you have to fight against the routine to rekindle the flame, the love can always be there but in some people, the passion disappears and is there when it's time to work on it.
What If Love Doesn't Naturally Last a Lifetime?
However, it also means that love does not last a lifetime. At least not naturally. If we have to work and make an effort to make it last, it is because it is not something natural.
From there to think that monogamy is a myth there is only one step. Well, first we should define the concept. Let's just say, if your definition of monogamy is being with the same person your entire life, then yes, I think it's a myth. It is not something that happens naturally to everyone nowadays.
Just look at what happens when you allow people to separate and divorce. They do. And if they do, it's because it suits them. No one forces them to divorce. Moreover, there are usually more obstacles to separating than to getting married.
We are not monogamous for life. But at the same time, I think that in the short term monogamy is not a myth. During the infatuation phase, we want to be alone with one person. We even thought at that time that love is for life. I believe that our love life is a succession of monogamous relationships of varying duration.
The Deception Of Romantic Movies
But I think the biggest deception is not the above. The biggest lie is to sell the idea of love for life when, in general, they only show us the story of the encounter and falling in love.
In other words, they tell us the story of two people who fall in love, have some obstacles, and end up together and that's where it ends. It is clear that the infatuation phase is the climax of a relationship, and it sells much more. Recounting the difficulties of a couple after several years of living together is not so sexy.
I also don't want to say that neither movie addresses the difficulties of maintaining a long-term relationship. Many directors have done it. But it's another genre of film, more realistic, and it doesn't sell as much. Comparatively, there are many more "Notting Hill" than "Kramer vs Kramer".
Is It Bad To Believe In Love For Life?
Suppose you are aware that falling in love passes and that continuing to love each other for a long time involves efforts and the risk of not working out. In this case, it's okay to have the goal of a lifelong relationship. Because you know it's not something magical.
If you think that all the relationships you have had so far have not worked out because the right person has not arrived, I think I have bad news. Actually, we are compatible with many people. If you share the core values of a person you can have a partner that works. The ideal partner does not exist, and “the” person with whom you are going to spend your whole life eating partridges will not appear.
In my opinion, the romantic myths of a soul mate and love for life can be dangerous, because they create excessive expectations for people. Or they make one partner with someone who is not compatible at all, just because there is attraction.