With the birth of Romanticism, came the creation of so many beautiful and gracious ideas. These ideas preached individualism, emotions, spontinaiety and it led to the creation of a holy being – The Romantic.
The Romantic is a creature beset on finding another individual know as ‘The One”. The Romantic toils to find this person, taking on what appears like a noble quest equal challenge and nobility of that of the Crusades.
But this led to the creation of the ideal of monogamy, which in previous centuries was considered quite odd. Although some would argue that monogamy serves a grand purpose, and under Christian thinking it is a necessary element to combat the deadly sin of Lust. But I would argue that it has led to the welding of two ideas that should’ve remained seperate. The idea of Romantic Attraction and that of Sexual Attraction.
Under romanticism, intercourse is the epitomal representation of romantic attraction. The act represents the granddeur of one’s own emotions. Creating an equation where Romantic Attraction + Sexual Attraction = Love. But this leads to many potential problems, aptly, that it’s unsustainable. Romantic Attraction can last for decades, but sexual attraction can, at best, last only a few years. The nature of sexuality, is that it is an internal drive to procreate. If someone is no longer deemed a suitable individual for the creation of life, then sexual attraction diminishes. This can lead to, and often does, the break up of marriages, and relationships.
But what if the two were not synonmous? What if you could love one person, yet be sexually attracted to any number of individuals. That was the overbearing belief of many people from the classical period. Kings and Emporers were known for having concubines, or mistresses, but although these are old examples, we have more modern examples of relationships which are polysexual, polyamorous, or open. These recognise that Romantic Attraction + Sexual Attraction ≠ Love, rather opting for the better interpretation that Romantic Attraction = Love.
This methodology of thinking creates more sustainable relationships, by removing the social norm that one must be indefinietly sexually attracted to their romantic partner, admitting the flaws, and nature of mankind.
With a small, but existing shift towards more open relationships in western society, we are seeing not a reversal of romantic thinking, but an evolution towards a thinking that considers some of the more human values of mankind. This growth is leading to the creation of a new Neo-Romantic societal norm, which hopefully will begin to counteract some of the flaws that classic romantic thought has created.