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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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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 May 2022

Romantic Experiences

Romantic Experiences

(p.32) 3 Romantic Experiences
The Arc of Love

Aaron Ben-Ze'ev

University of Chicago Press

In falling and staying in love, both attractiveness and praiseworthiness of traits and achievements are important. Regarding attraction, most people would be happy to be regarded as both beautiful and sexy. However, if choice must be made, they will probably choose beautiful, as it is broader. Profound romantic love consists of both attraction (often sexual) to be with the partner and positive evaluations of traits underlying friendship. The intensity-profundity distinction is key to understanding enduring love. Romantic intensity decreases over time, while romantic profundity increases. In the heart-head conflict, the heart has been given the first vote, while the head is often given a veto power. Generally, this makes sense. However, should the head maintain this power in the romantic realm? Although the answer depends on circumstances, it seems that the loving heart ought to be in the driver’s seat. The two major models of romantic love—the care and the dialogue models—refer to two major aspects in an enduring profound loving relationship. In the care model, we promote our partners well-being through attentiveness to their needs. In the dialogue model, we focus on our mutual interactions, allowing individual autonomy and mutuality to take center stage.

Keywords:   attractiveness, beauty, care, dialogue, intensity, head vs heart, praiseworthiness, profundity, sex

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