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Are Humans Naturally Romantic?


A.M
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Now, Humans are naturally socially monogamous but are we naturally romantic or is it more of a learned behaviour? Turns out the idea of romance in relationships/marriages were popularized in the 18th century/1700s. Before, marriage was treated more like a business deal(little to no romance). So, do you think that romance is more of a learned behaviour or is it more natural. Not saying Aromantics are not "natural" just odd and uncommon( I ID as Aromantic). I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

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not sure humans are naturally socially monogamous to be honest. Like historically there was a lot of polygamy going on, for example have a look at how many wives a lot of the guys in the old testament had, I would guess they were also living together.

the idea of marriage being treated like a business deal is likely true for a lot of history's well of, but whenever I hear that idea of historical marriages being for personal gain it often seems to default to a tiny portion of wealthy european population. I'm not sure how true it would be that the majority of history's peasant farmers were marrying in the style of a business deal, especially when you have a strict feudal system where you literally can't marry too far above your station.

I also think it is important to remember that there is no need to enforce something if there is no desired alternative. While society might have pushed a lot of the population into a business deal type marriage they would not have needed to arrange it for the couple if they trusted people to marry for business anyway, to me this suggests that a lot of people at least desired a different sort of relationship. 

So I suspect it is a bit of both, on the one hand what we think of as romantic is learned, as you point out a lot of it was popularised in the 18th century or later. I don't think it is innate that, for example, giving flowers as a gift is seen as romantic, or the idea of going to a restaurant as a date. That sounds a bit odd to me.

But I suspect there is something that a lot of people experience which may be innate to large parts of the population, not sure how I would describe it but a sort of desire which forms a part of what we now think of as romance.

Edited by roboticanary
Changed political to personal as that better fits what I wanted to point out
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I think of most romantic or romance-coded behaviour as cultural, not natural. Dating, courting, wooing etc. are all things that society have deemed as 'romantic' and they are always laden with cultural norms and expectations. This includes marriage as a social institution. Marriage is not natural and @roboticanary you make some good points on that.

What I do think is natural or innate is attraction, including romantic attraction that can be strong and enduring enough between two people to motivate a life-long committed relationship. And marriage or not, I think people do recognise that there are benefits to a committed long-term relationship if two people really love each other. 

The problem with romance in society is that it's assumed to be compulsory for everyone, it is restricted to monogamy, and it has become the only acceptable model for relationships.

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  • 2 months later...

I think variety and existence on a spectrum is simply part of animal behaviour. so, I suppose if you take the average/mean of every human being on the planet, you might find that it's skewed towards monogamy. but I don't think that necessarily means that everyone is monogamous. Rather, it might mean that there is an equal amount of monogamous to poly people on the planet.

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