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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

romance versus love

"In real love, you want the other person's good. In romantic love you want the other person." —MARGARET ANDERSON

I first came upon this quote in Gloria Steinem's Revolution From Within, specifically in Chapter Six, Romance versus Love. I liked the quote, and the rest of the chapter as well. It made sense, and her argument that romance has its source in incompleteness of self while characteristics of real love are similar to marks of high self-esteem, was one I could see. She outlined those characteristics (p. 275-6) and I think they're worthwhile listing:

* Each partner feels loved for an authentic self. Romance, on the other hand, is about possessing and changing another person.

* Each one knows she or he could get along without the other—but doesn't wish to. Free choice is essential to love. We can't say yes to anyone unless we can also say no.

* There is plenty of room for playfulness, lightness and humor. When two realities bump up against each other in intimacy, romance views the contradictions with anger or disillusionment, but love acknowledges them with humor.

* Each partner feels empathy for the other. Each partner maintains a strong internal center, yet can also see life through the other's eyes.

* Love is not about power. If we love someone, we want them to continue being the essence of themselves. If so, then we can't own, absorb, or change them. We can only help them to become what they already are.

Right on Gloria! And as she also aptly states, "There are many more people trying to meet the right person than to become the right person."

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!


Anonymous krisa said...

That is a good post and I agree with all the statements. Not that anything needs to be added to it, but I am adding by way of comments that before anyone can love another, one must first love oneself. ... Hope all your readers had a Happy Valentine's Day. :)

February 15, 2007 12:28 p.m.

Blogger KJ's muse said...

before anyone can love another, one must first love oneself.

Absolutely true Krissa!

February 15, 2007 6:33 p.m.


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