Romantic: someone guided more by ideals than by practical considerations. Responsive to the appeal of what is idealized, heroic, or adventurous.
What girl doesn’t, on some level, want to be swept off her feet?
Isn’t the idea of being taken to a romantic place, ideal and lovely, away from the practical, just breathtaking?
Now, grown-up girls may know that place isn’t somewhere you can life a whole life, but we have been there and want to go back; a dinner out of time with concentration and connection, a romp in a bedroom, a vacation by the sea or in the mountains.
That time-out-of-time experience where we can be one with the pounding of our heart, feeling safe and loved in a place that values ideals, well, that’s something to crave.
And we don’t just crave it in relationships. Harry Truman found the romantic in music, where a great work could take him to a world where things were right and he didn’t need to be pragmatic. Men often find the romantic in video games, where they can be the heroic warrior fighting an idealized fight, and the only practical consideration is having to resume a saved game after death. Many find the romantic in following a leader; won’t Obama be the heroic savior, much more romantic than the pragmatic, lawyerly Clinton?
The quest for romance — idealized, heroic, adventurous life out of practical considerations — is the quest for a humanity where we don’t have to think & struggle all the time, a humanity of satisfying “hot” emotions as Dan Areily speaks of in Predictably Irrational Ariely’s research finds that when we are in a hot mode, in the throes of passion, we will often make choices we would not make in a “cold” mode, choices that are risky, less than well thought through, and compromising.
Odd, that, isn’t it — when we are in the romantic trance, chasing the ideal, we are more likely to make choices that we could know are not ideal if we were more in a practical state. It is romance itself that often sets up choices that are less than ideal, our emotions chasing a hot state while we believe we are chasing perfection, and that chase of emotional heat actually pushes balance out of the way, moving us farther from perfection.
But still, that romantic heat, where everything feels perfect, even if the morning shows otherwise, well, could humanity exist without that passion? Then again, could humanity survive without cool, rational and pragmatic vision?
Athena & Aphrodite.
I miss the romance.