Good afternoon my friends.
In popular culture, romance is generally portrayed as a struggle and a triumph over adversity. Character A wants character B but can’t have them because x stands in their way. The story is about A’s battle and ultimate victory over x. When A wins we cry and smile and laugh and feel happy for them.
This basic story idea is appealing for a number of reasons that I will not go into here. It is also sometimes truthful – sometimes one must overcome obstacles to make a connection.
But while struggles within relationships can be real, our model of romance does not need to be based on struggle. Romance is not the same as drama. Romantic love is often calm. It does not need to constantly be moving forward. It involves listening, making time, understanding, and supporting another.
I worry that sometimes we build up a notion that love is a quest, like slaying a dragon, and this can lead to a number of failings, such as:
Rushing one’s self
Rushing someone else
Seeking out conflict
Sticking it out unnecessarily in uncomfortable circumstances
Encouraging others to stick it out in uncomfortable circumstances
When such forcefulness doesn’t help anyone.
Instead, we should be at peace, and follow what feels pleasant. Or something. I haven’t worked that bit out.