What is “romantic” anyway?
Candlelight dinner, flowers, a table with a view?
It can be. If it’s with someone I feel safe with, loved by, and close to. Someone who is available for real intimacy with me. Whom I trust. And cherish. And who cherishes me.
Do you know what the word “romance” means? Where it came from?
It is almost 1,000 years old. Hails from the times of knights in shining armor, even before they had shining armor. It comes from old French and Latin, a word that referred to the vulgarness of things Roman. Born to describe the frivolous, entertaining, fantasy tales of chivalry, adventure and, in later centuries, the painful yearning of unconsummated love suffered by these horse-riding soldiers who served the kingdom, the term romance today is still the name of the surviving literary genre, except today, it’s not knights who star in these frivolous tales; it’s US.
Based in fantasy, adventure, and most importantly, fiction, romance has been planted in our psyches as a model of love, and that is to be undone if we are to heal as a species. What we desire and base our vision of intimate relationship on – romantic love – has become a breeding ground for ego-driven craving, obsession and grasping feelings and behaviors that cause more pain in the world than almost anything else, except perhaps the matrix of governmental/political/financial dehumanization of the masses (which may come second, according to design).
Romance has come to refer to a lovely, fluttery experience of closeness, arousal (usually sexual, but includes emotional), and specialness in connection with a date – or a friend, Mother Nature, or even our own self. But mostly with a date.
When we are grounded in what makes an intimate relationship real, sustainable, and healthy – one that meets both partner’s human needs and is nourishing – then romance is fun, stimulating, nurturing and quite important, actually.
When we are not thus grounded, the idea and desire for romantic love is nothing less than crack cocaine for monkey-mind, fear-based ego. Guaranteed to lead to misery when one becomes hooked, which so many people do.
Romance is unsustainable without the ground of True Love (see previous blog post on True Love from a Buddhist View) and Conscious Relationship.
Conscious Relationship is based in each partner meeting the other person’s Human Needs.
Anthony (Tony) Robbins, the most successful Life Coach on the planet, like him or not (I do), has distilled what actually makes a happy relationship, including romance and passion. I base my work on this, because it works.
“When you love all parts of a person…when no part is wrong…That’s when a relationship becomes a love affair…like no other.” – Tony Robbins
That’s the only kind of romance I want.
The Four Elements of True Love, and how to apply them to Conscious Relationship (A Love Affair Like No Other), can be looked at in detail for deeper understanding and practice in your life.
I am giving two talks next week, in fact, on this very subject. Just in time for the mother lode of all romance-junkiedom: Valentine’s Day.
I wanted to put my two cents in for the holiday. I’m not against romance; I am against crack.