A Brief Letter on Romantic Love Versus Modern Love
NOTE: My Mother -- the world's greatest and a good friend -- knows I've been at a particularly challenging and reflective period in my life. More frequently than normal, therefore, she has been asking how I am doing and where I am at.This letter below is one of my recent responses to her. With her permission, I decided to publish this letter. It doesn't provide an exhaustive view of my perspective, but I am publishing it to help others consider their own views, and to get YOUR feedback on my perspective and what you believe about love, relationships and commitment in general. So after reading this letter, I encourage you to send an email with your response.
I have come to absolutely confirm I have an old-fashioned "romantic" view of love. I already knew I was more of a Romantic, in the Byron / Shelly/ Keats / Emerson / Thoreau sense, anyway, so this would make sense, wouldn't it?
I believe in science, and am fascinated by it, but realize it is quite limited because it will never answer the question of WHY? It can reveal the what and the how, but never why.
Why are we here at all. Why does anything exist.
In the modern love view, I believe people look at their partners as the key member of their "network." As their primary supporter, as their Vice President of Living... and they are their partner's V.P.. They look at love in the scientific "functional, flexible" sense. Not as sacred, as holy, as deeply spiritual, but as one of the key "units" in their production line.
That makes sense, but only in the brain. You DO need elements of that FOR SURE -- running a shared life is a business, no doubt, and you do also need a business partner. But it is so much more.
In the romantic view, you are two-as-one. Another heart becomes your heart, and you accept the responsibility for it as such. You treat it as your own, and perhaps even better. When that side of your heart -- your significant other's -- feels pain, you feel that pain. And you want to go to the end of the earth to make it better. And you want them to naturally treat your heart the same. Not because you said so, but because they just do.
This makes it challenging, doesn't it? Because of course virtually any woman will LIKE the sound of that. It has all the elements of the fairy tale; it sounds noble and fascinating and right and beautiful. BUT living it ... especially in the mirror of a modern-love, practical-application, go-go-go, science-oriented society ... is another story.
GETTING the attention her heart so desires and deserves -- and knowing he is willing to sacrifice (to "go to battle" for her and risk his life, in the chivalrous metaphor of it) -- is remarkably appealing, and what women wouldn't want to "believe" that is right and sign up for that? BUT giving the same attention -- NOT the same as clinging, on the contrary, instead letting him know by showing that his heart (along with the children) is first, and that she will make sacrifices that don't even necessarily feel like sacrifices per se because she is happy when he is happy, as he is when she is -- is very very hard work. This kind of love is hard work for both. It is all so old fashioned.
Even if mentally I didn't LIKE this philosophy of love I hold, it wouldn't matter anyway. It is beyond my mind. It is what my heart knows can be and is. My intuition knows it is right. My intuition knows the result of the hard work is beyond "worth it;" it is as close to God as we get on earth.
And I do like it. I do believe it is possible. Though, yes, it is mighty difficult in a go-go world where so many have their priorities screwed up. Sometimes this mis-prioritization catches me too, though less and less. But this is my life mission with IntenseExperiences.com etc., as you know. So many people these days feel empty, purposeless, lonely even if they are married, like "Isn't there something MORE?" and "Isn't love supposed to be DEEPER?" and "Why AM I here?" etc. They don't even know it is the choices they are making, and the choices they are not -- the lack of proper prioritization, to sound clinical about it -- that is holding them down, that is deadening them each day. If it's not about love ... as you taught, family ... who cares if you have the "rewarding" career, the big house, the cool car, the vast network of acquaintances, etc.?
This is one of the key places I am at, since you asked and you care. :)
Please include your first name and home town when you write, and NOTE that I may reprint all or an excerpt of what you contribute in a follow-up to this piece ... though I will only publish your first name and city/state if provided, not any personal or contact info.SEND YOUR RESPONSE TO LiveDeeper@IntenseExperiences.com with "Brian Vaszily" in the subject line, or use the "Contact Us" link to the left.