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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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Fostering Enduring Romantic Love

Fostering Enduring Romantic Love

(p.50) 4 Fostering Enduring Romantic Love
The Arc of Love

Aaron Ben-Ze'ev

University of Chicago Press

Enduring romantic activities spotlight promoting the beloved’s well-being rather than merely preventing harm. This includes increasing joint intrinsic activities between the lovers instead of simply sharing instrumental tasks, and creating a process of intrinsic development rather than only being influenced by external changes. While it can be tempting to give in to preventing behaviors, which often block the heart, it is more useful to go for promoting behaviors, which aim to cultivate the right environment for nurturing the loving heart. Intrinsic development, rather than external changes, is at the heart of profound meaningful love. Such love involves synchrony, i.e., the coordination in time between two (or more) people, positive responsiveness, namely, interactions between lovers that strengthen both the relationship and its partners, and romantic resonance, which is a high-level type of synchrony and responsivity that might be described as an ongoing dynamic reciprocity. Having conflicting emotions toward the beloved is natural in complex, partial romantic experiences. A common way to cope with this ambivalence is to assign different emotions a different weight. Thus, we can see our always-tardy partner as wonderful overall but still acknowledge her lack of punctuality.

Keywords:   ambivalence, consistency, development, intrinsic, preventing vs promoting, resonance, responsiveness, synchrony

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