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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: 29 June 2022

The Romantic Connection

The Romantic Connection

(p.82) 6 The Romantic Connection
The Arc of Love

Aaron Ben-Ze'ev

University of Chicago Press

Romantic belonging does not imply one partner possessing another, but rather a natural part of the couple’s interactions and development. The connection between love and marriage has become more complex in contemporary society. Marriage was primarily designed to fulfill pragmatic goals. Once love, and then personal fulfillment, were introduced as ideals in marriage, the quality of marriages rose, but so did the failures to achieve love and personal fulfillment. This has led to an increase in marriage breakdown. Two senses of a perfect partner are being flawless and most suitable. Accordingly, two major approaches assessing the nature of the partner are the comparative and uniqueness approaches. While both are common in romantic choices, the uniqueness approach is more significant in enduring romantic relationships. Although partners can be replaced, love is not like a library book; you cannot replace your partner every week. Romantic drifting is often unable to provide romantic stability and depth. In other circumstances, drifting enables a slow but steady process of cooking to deepen romantic profundity. Slowly comes, slowly (if at all) goes. Profound love involves autonomy and equality. When people perceive their partner as unequal to them, envy and extramarital affairs are more likely to emerge.

Keywords:   autonomy, drifting, envy, inequality, marriage, replaceability

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