Sonya Thomas lcsw

Romantic Realism, Part 3

Continuing on in our cliff notes version of Romantic Realism, the second sorrow of love is  ‘they’re not who they at first seemed to be…”  This reality is rooted in one of the basic tenants of romantic love; that “love starts very quickly, often at first sight: with a sudden overwhelming impression of the other’s loveliness. This phenomenon – the crush – goes to the heart of the modern understanding of love.” A crush represents limited knowledge of the other, boundless hope in the future and no real knowledge, yet, of all the obstacles that will be faced.  Read on for more wisdom on this sorrow . . .

  • “We wouldn’t be able to develop crushes if we weren’t so good at allowing a few details about someone to suggest the whole of them. We have a proclivity for developing life-long certainties in an instant.  We end up paying a price for our early certainties. We are all a ‘perplexing and boundless mixture of the good and the bad.’ The primary error behind our passionate early feelings is that we overlook a central fact about people: that everyone has something very substantially wrong with them once their characters are fully known.”
  • The facts of life have deformed all of our natures in some way. No one has come through unscathed. The chances of a perfectly good human emerging from the perilous facts of life are non-existent. “Our fears and our frailties play themselves out in a thousand ways, they can make us defensive or aggressive, grandiose or hesitant, clingy or avoidant.  In our own unique ways, we are more than what we seem in the first stage of a crush.  Every human can be guaranteed to frustrate, anger, annoy, madden and disappoint us – and we will do the same to them. Choosing who to marry or commit ourselves to is therefore merely a case of identifying a kind of misery we can bear rather than miraculously escaping from this grief altogether.”
  • “If we do get in a relationship, we should never blame our one-time angel for not really being who they seemed at the start. It is just that we decided who they were without checking. They haven’t become awful. They were just always – as we all are – tricky.  The only people we can think of as amazing are those we don’t yet know very well. And yet, accepting that everyone is maddening is no reason to give up on relationships, it is simply a sign that we’re finally getting to know human nature.

Until next time, peace.