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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, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 October 2021

Romantic Relationships

Romantic Relationships

(p.144) 9 Romantic Relationships
The Arc of Love

Aaron Ben-Ze'ev

University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on the issue of time in ongoing romantic relationships. Among the issues discussed are unfinished romantic business; romantic curiosity; addiction to love; loving too much; the nature of the wish to be with the one you love; loving longer or loving more; and deciding on the best time to say, “I love you.” Romantic knowledge and curiosity are useful in moderation but dangerous in excess. We should aim to know our partner; however, when curiosity pushes the boundaries toward adultery, and even in less extreme cases like romantic window-shopping, the superficial benefits are sometimes outweighed by the profound costs. Superficial intrinsically valuable activities are enjoyable and are an important aspect of the good life, but they can be harmful when they become addictive. Whereas we would hardly ever speak about excessive romantic profundity, we do speak about excessive romantic intensity. Profound love is the ideal to aim for because it offers deep and meaningful reciprocity, which is intrinsically valuable. While such profundity does not mean experiencing intense love at every moment, it does entail constant appreciation and respect for one’s partner, who is viewed as a valuable, essential part of one’s life.

Keywords:   abundance, addiction, curiosity, knowledge, shopping, unfinished business, "I love you"

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