mirithepuppy Posted April 16, 2019 Share Posted April 16, 2019 So I'm always really confused about what the hell romance even is, so I decided to try to find out the history behind it. And the thing is, romantic love didn’t even exist as a concept for most of history? Ancient Greeks defined seven different types of love, none of which were romantic: eros (sexual love), philia (friendship), storge (familial love), agape (universal love aka altruism or charity), ludus (casual love, flirtation and no-strings-attached), pragma (practical love, like arranged marriages), and philautia (self-love). (x) The concept of romance was first introduced only 900 years ago (x), which is pretty recent, considering marriage had been around for about 3500 years before that. (x) Obviously, by Shakespeare’s time, romance was a widely accepted concept. However, marrying “for love” like Shakespeare shows wasn’t very common until the late eighteenth century. Before the late 1700′s, love was seen as something that happens after the marriage, not before it. But as the first romance novel was written by Samuel Richardson in 1740(x), and Jane Austen normalized romance novels from 1795 to 1817 (x), romance quickly became a prerequisite for marriage by the mid-1800s. And when romance was necessary for marriage, it was suddenly deemed necessary for life. The need for romance overpowered the needs for all other types of love as more books about romance were published, and then songs about romance, and then movies about romance. I think romance became an "essential" thing as life got easier, the same way plumbing and indoor heating are now "essential." But, the thing is, it's not actually necessary, and, in my opinion, sometimes life is a lot simpler without it. What are your thoughts about this? Do you think romantic attraction has always been around, or is it a new thing? Do you think life is simpler without romance? Is romantic attraction even a real thing, or is it just a manmade concept? Disclaimer: I am white, and I’m not a historian or anything, and I only really know Western history and the Bible and whatever some quick Google searches will tell me. A lot of this is just my personal informed opinion. Please let me know if I’ve gotten anything wrong, and add any non-Western viewpoints!! tl;dr: the concept of romance didn’t exist until 900 years ago, and after people in the mid- to late 1700s started writing about it, people thought it was necessary in order to get married, and then it was "necessary" for just life in general, and it complicated things. 7 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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