The myth of romantic love
A friend of mine recently introduced her new boyfriend to her family. The meeting went well and upon leaving her mother said ‘I am so glad to see you happy now – you deserve someone nice’. Her reply was ‘But I am happy already – how come you are saying ‘it’s nice to see me happy now”. Didn’t you experience me as happy before?’ The mother admonished her daughter for being too sensitive, saying ‘you know what I mean – I just want you to be happy’.
This conversation highlights some very powerful myths about romantic love. Presumably (if I dare do this in a discussion on myths), some deeply held beliefs exist in the mother’s statement e.g. it is preferable to be in a committed relationship, a woman (or person) is better off not being single, it is good to ‘end up’ with someone after being alone etc. These are all deeply held social and cultural myths of a preferable state of being. It objectifies individuals (in this case my friend) and potentially influences partners ‘in – relationship’ to relate through a stereotypical lens of their perceptions of what a ‘committed relationship is’. It ignores our phenomenal state of being and co-construction with the ‘other’.