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The Arc of LoveHow Our Romantic Lives Change over Time$
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Aaron Ben-Ze'ev

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226633909

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226634067.001.0001

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The Possibility of Long-Term Romantic Love

The Possibility of Long-Term Romantic Love

(p.2) 1 The Possibility of Long-Term Romantic Love
The Arc of Love

Aaron Ben-Ze'ev

University of Chicago Press

The romantic road sets high hurdles in our path, but the journey is an intriguing, meaningful, and often pleasurable one. The challenge of our society is not that of finding love, as love is always in the air. Unfortunately, the air is too often polluted for meeting our major goal, which is enabling the development of enduring profound love. A better global romantic environment requires combining flexibility and diversity while taking into account long-term values. While change tends to generate intense, short-term emotion, familiarity tends to produce a more moderate attitude, which can endure. Sometimes love and life clash and we have to make compromises, such as living with the one you are not (yet) in love or leaving the one you love. Setting one’s mind at rest yet maintaining a certain degree of striving is often a good romantic compromise, one that has the potential to enhance both life and love. We are condemned to yearn for a constant star while knowing that the heart needs steering. The book indicates that balance holds the key. It is naïve to believe that love will always win. However, it is usually helpful to maintain the positive illusion that it will.

Keywords:   change, familiarity, infatuation, profundity, sex, society, yearning

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