Embracing romantic love

Romanticizing love
The birth of courtly or romantic love marked a new phase in the development of human relationships -- the free choice of one individual for the other. The time is the twelfth century and the place is the south of France, the region called Languedoc. In this remarkable period a connected pair of developments are foreshadowed: namely, the emergence of the modern individual and the related exploration of "courtly love" between women and men. Aristocratic women became for the first time more than pawns in a political game of power played by men or a means of insuring succession. Courteous and chivalrous suitors (not husbands) courted their beloved.

Over a longer period of time romantic lvoe fundamentally changed the mores of male behaviour and of marriage in the West. Today rather than entering an arranged marriage, two adults, mature to the point of determining their own lives, select one another. It would take time for this breach with tradition to be widely adopted and there are many parts of the world where it still is not common practice. Yet the rise of the individual, and especially of the individual woman appears in history at this time.

For example, Dante's late-thirteenth century account of his immortal love for Beatrice in La Vita Nuova [The New Life] refers specifically to the model of the poetry of Languedoc as his inspiration. In his book Love in the Western World, Denis des Rougemont explores the theme of love through the myth of Tristan and Iseult and the troubadours. Rudolf Steiner wrote likewise of the change in human experience of the self that dawns in the late Middle Ages and is fully formed by the late eighteenth century. He termed it the dawning of the "consciousness soul," one of whose hallmarks is loneliness. The troubadours knew the ennui of what they termed "distant love."

1. The love letter you finally got the courage to send will be delayed in the mail long enough for you to make a fool of yourself in person.

2. Other people's romantic gestures seem novel and exciting. Your own romantic gestures seem foolish and clumsy.

3. Gravity cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. (Albert Einstein).

4. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

Romanticizing youth
Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies