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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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Romantic Compromises

Romantic Compromises

(p.108) 7 Romantic Compromises
The Arc of Love

Aaron Ben-Ze'ev

University of Chicago Press

Romantic compromises are sometimes viewed as a pitfall of the romantic experience—distracting us from what should be an all-inclusive love that only gives and never takes. However, romantic compromises that involve giving up a romantic value for a deeper nonromantic aspect of life are often good for love as well. Good compromises are intrinsically valuable: they set the mind at rest by solving most of the pressing problems that are disturbing the relationship, and they leave room for striving. A romantic sacrifice involves giving up time spent doing something you value personally, like work or a hobby, to make room for activities that deepen the romantic connection. In the case of profound love, these sacrifices are often made willingly and happily, as they benefit both partners and the relationship. Once we embrace the seemingly unfavorable circumstances of a relationship and show a willingness to devote ourselves to an imperfect but good-enough partner, then love can flourish. Profundity requires partners who are committed to each other and who, instead of constantly comparing their partner to past and potential lovers, try to be present for one another.

Keywords:   alternative, comparison, compromise, good-enough, imperfection, profundity, sacrifice

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