Love through Time

Finding a perfect partner, get married, have amazing sex and be super in love. That is the dream not just girly ones but in general. With some minor adjustments but we all want to be happy and being happy means having a great relationship. Funny enough, in the past, there was never any attempts in combining romantic love, sex, and marriage with one single institution as we do it today. Why? Because it is not so easy (as we can see it today).

So what were they doing in the past? In traditional societies, it was common that the parents decided and agreed on who their children will marry. Who a person is going to marry depended on their social status, health state and reputation of both families involved. Marriage was first and most importantly a union of two families and not two individuals. Getting married had nothing to do with romantic love, marriage was not about a fairytale. It was simply a way to ensure the conservation of the family name and the property, all the children were raised according to their social status and knew what to expect in life. The traditional societies weren’t concerned with the feelings of an individual, love was not a feeling that would be enough to build a strong relationship between a man and a woman. Loveless marriage so to speak, even if love could and did often develop later on.

Greek culture was combining sex and marriage between a man and a woman under one roof, but no romantic love. That one was reserved for relationships between adult men and teenage boys, a mentor, and student. Sometimes this romantic love also included sex, but never marriage. For some, it sounds like a nightmare, for others it totally looks more modern than what we have for a fairytale of today.

The ideas of romantic love as we know it today originates from 17th century—troubadours and the courtly love. Man (most commonly a knight) would declare noble love for a woman (which would usually be married to someone else) and he would do heroic deeds to win her heart. This kind of romantic love was mostly literary and had nothing to do with marriage. Both hearts were longing for the other but not doing anything.

In Victorian times of 19th century, the first marriages based on love took place. But sex was not a part of the equation. A woman who was enjoying sex or showed any sexual desires was considered sick. Sexual pleasures belonged to the brothel and had nothing to do with marriage. There was a strict line between women as homemakers, pure beings, and dirty, disposable prostitutes.

Only recently we became sure that romantic love, sex, and marriage could and should exist between just two people. We are the first ones in the history of humanity, who are trying to combine all three of them with one single agreement. We raised the stakes really high and now we are barely holding onto them. With 40 % of first marriages ending in divorce, are we fooling ourselves?

So, is there hope? Certainly. But we should say goodbye to fairy tales, waiting for the perfect person and expect to live happily ever after.

The wedding is not the end, it is the beginning. Beginning of a journey to know yourself, an opportunity to grow as a person. But this can only happen if we realize and are aware of one thing: the partner is not here to make us happy, solve our problems and give meaning to our life. The real power of love is the power of our inner change. Our partner is here to accompany and support us on our path to personal growth.

Romantic love, sex, and marriage can walk hand in hand but only when we accept that the point of is not salvation, it’s meeting. Meeting with your partner and meeting with yourself.

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