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Do you believe in love?
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laura V wrote:
On the "soul-mates" thing, I don't believe it literally, but if it means meeting someone, talking to them and feeling as though you connect emotionally and really understand each other, then yes, I believe in that. I don't know about "love at first sight" but I'm sure there's attraction at first sight and you can sometimes tell quite a bit about a person by the way they move, sound, smell, dress etc, even at first sight.

Well said, Laura V.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the "soul-mates" thing, I don't believe it literally, but if it means meeting someone, talking to them and feeling as though you connect emotionally and really understand each other, then yes, I believe in that. I don't know about "love at first sight" but I'm sure there's attraction at first sight and you can sometimes tell quite a bit about a person by the way they move, sound, smell, dress etc, even at first sight.



Agree, in real life so much more goes into attraction, but the soul mates idea is nice romantic notion that can be explored in romantic fiction. It can be fun and interesting in the hands of a gifted writer.

edited to add....Also, I believe there is certainly more than one person perfect for another, so, in my mind, that debunks the soul mates angle, but if I'm reading fiction, I might be able to buy into the idea. Very Happy
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:53 am    Post subject: Re: Do you believe in love? Reply with quote

Retrograde wrote:
I've recently been wondering what attracts people to romance, and what kinds of people are attracted to the genre. Even though i'm sure my judgements are untrue, I guess I always thought of romance readers as idealists who believe in true love, happily-ever-after, and soul mates. I personally don't believe in all of that and have zero interest in commitment or intimacy of the nature we find in these books. I read romances for the same reason I'm such a fan of the paranormal/sci-fi genre (be it books, movies, or tv shows) - it's all fantasy to me. When i'm reading a romance, I know that it isn't real, and probably could never be real - I guess you could either call it cynicism or realism depending on your point of view. But the fantasy element is still there, and it becomes comforting and familiar, which probably accounts for my attraction to the genre. But i'm more interested in what your perceptions are of the "reality" of romantic love.


+IHS+

I must be the only one here who can answer the question literally.

Yes, I believe in love: I have to take it on faith, because I've never been in love! Razz

Yet I don't really believe in love at first sight. (Is this enough to make me a cynic? Laughing ) I do believe in commitment--that even people who aren't starry-eyed "soulmates" can have a good marriage with respect, affection, and enduring (if not tempestuous) love.

Will Smith was on Ellen recently and he said that any marriage will work as long as both partners refuse to let divorce be an option. (I remember he said in a Reader's Digest interview that his first marriage had been completely salvageable; he just hadn't been willing to work at it.) That's the kind of commitment I hope to show and be shown. How's that for a Hollywood HEA? Very Happy Jada is a lucky woman!

As you can see, I don't think that Romances are just fantasy. I mean, all fiction is, in a way; but if Romances didn't have some basis in reality, I wouldn't bother with them.

Addressing the rest of the question: I've been drawn to romantic stories for as long as I can remember. My mother tells me that when I was a little girl watching Mickey and Minnie Mouse cartoons, I was always asking her when they would get married. Laughing Much later on, when I was going through her Nancy Drew collection, I remember being peeved that Nancy and Ned seemed more like sister and brother than the girlfriend and boyfriend they supposedly were. Rolling Eyes
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Audrey



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 194
Location: Alberta, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that while some of the things we read about romantic love in books are a little far-fetched, basically, they're about finding someone to whom you are physically attracted, and then the more you find out about the person, the more you feel in tune with them. Any problems you have to deal with are ones you can handle and overcome. That's about it in real life, too.

I know that it sounds really romantic to say divorce is not an option, but I think Will Smith is wrong, not every marriage will work this way. You also need to have two people who think I'm in this forever, I'm going to work to make it happy for both of us. If one (or both) of them is an a-hole who thinks they can treat the other person any old which way because they're never going to leave, it doesn't work at all.
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Retrograde



Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 458

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After thinking about it some more, I guess my main thoughts on this issue are that human beings are not monogamous creatures. And if we look at the animal kingdom, sexual monogamy is almost non-existent. This is particularly interesting to me when I consider the paranormal romances that comprise the bulk of my reading - "animalistic" heroes and heroines who find their mates and are bonded to them forever. Even though their animal natures would draw them to one "social" mate, it wouldn't necessarily restrict their sexual activity with other members of the pack. Of course, paranormals are pure fantasy, but I still find it odd that authors writing about characters with animal urges would also make sexual monogamy a part of their nature.

But going back to the realistic nature of the human species, I wonder whether the institution of marriage is asking too much of some people. I know that plenty of people are faithful and and stick to their vows, but it's much harder for a majoriy of others, and it makes me wonder why we do it. When I was younger, it was always in my mind that humans aren't naturally geared towards staying with one person, but I also naively thought that if they truly "love" that person, they'd make the effort. I find myself questioning that now, and questioning the relationship between sex and love.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Audrey wrote:
I know that it sounds really romantic to say divorce is not an option, but I think Will Smith is wrong, not every marriage will work this way. You also need to have two people who think I'm in this forever, I'm going to work to make it happy for both of us. If one (or both) of them is an a-hole who thinks they can treat the other person any old which way because they're never going to leave, it doesn't work at all.


I'm sure Will Smith was assuming that marriage would involve two of those "Reasonable Persons" we've discussed in the last ATBF column. He would agree that in extreme cases (e.g. spousal abuse) there is just no room for compromise. Yet when two regular people love each other and are capable of making a mature commitment, I'll have to agree with his assessment.

Retrograde wrote:
I guess my main thoughts on this issue are that human beings are not monogamous creatures. And if we look at the animal kingdom, sexual monogamy is almost non-existent.


I'm going to take heart from the sexual lives of swans and penguins! Laughing (They mate for life!)

While I see where you're coming from, I would hesitate before applying to people what is true for the rest of the animal kingdom. We're obviously head and shoulders above even our closest relatives in intellect and emotions, so it's reasonable to think that the same would go for, uh, our "mating habits." Very Happy

Retrograde wrote:
This is particularly interesting to me when I consider the paranormal romances that comprise the bulk of my reading - "animalistic" heroes and heroines who find their mates and are bonded to them forever. Even though their animal natures would draw them to one "social" mate, it wouldn't necessarily restrict their sexual activity with other members of the pack. Of course, paranormals are pure fantasy, but I still find it odd that authors writing about characters with animal urges would also make sexual monogamy a part of their nature.


That is fascinating, Retrograde! I've never seen it from that angle before!
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"To be in a romance is to be in uncongenial surroundings. To be born into this earth is to be born into uncongenial surroundings, hence to be born into a romance." (G.K. Chesterton)
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to take heart from the sexual lives of swans and penguins! Laughing (They mate for life!)



As do wolves and the Canadian Goose. That is why I hate to see a dead goose on the side of the road. I know that that one was mated with another. I heard a story of a hunter who shot one and the mate flew down and put it's wing over the dead mate. The guy never hunted again after seeing that.
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Maggie AAR
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love monogamous relationships because there is so much room to truly get to know the other person. When I was younger and dating many different people there was a sense of excitement but never that sense of closeness and of true knowledge. The rewards are so rich when that knowledge and closeness are in place. And a large part of me loves knowing that the person beside me is with me no matter what. My life can be pretty much a roller coaster and the people around me are how I stay grounded. I also love having friendships that are really rich and grounded in a real knowledge of each other and love for each other.

In romances, I love books about bonded mates but I also love those about people choosing to stay together. Nora Roberts in her Chesapeake Bay series really convinced me that the brothers had all found women they would love for life and that is what I am really looking for in a love story -- that feeling I could drop in on these characters in 20 yrs. and see them still happily together.

The only love I don't believe in is the kind Maeve Binchy often speaks of -- the characters are absolutely awful for each other and you can see they are a force of self-destruction in each others lives but can't leave because they are "in love". That's hormones people. Get a grip on them and move on!

maggie b.
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never had any desire to be in anything other than a monogamous relationship, for me it's not a struggle at all, it's quite natural.

Linda
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Laura V



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 302
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linda in sw va wrote:
I've never had any desire to be in anything other than a monogamous relationship, for me it's not a struggle at all, it's quite natural.


I feel the same way, Linda. It's non-monogamy that sounds like hard work.
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Sissy



Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 55
Location: SW Louisiana

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Linda in sw va"]Yes, I absolutely believe in love and happily ever after! My parents have been married going on 50 years now so I had great role models growing up.

I've been married 51 years and can't picture myself with anyone else. Even when he's not home, I feel him in the house. Of course it hasn't all been a romance novel. It's been reality...dirty dishes, meals to cook, house to clean and at times working outside the home. I'm an RN but I stayed home long enough to raise our three children.
My brother and sister-in-law were together 50 years (counting the time they dated before they married). She remarried over a year after he died. That marriage didn't last but a little over a year. My brother was still her love.
So yes, I believe in love ever after. My children must too. Our older son has been married 25 years and our daughter 24 years, so marriage for them must be love forever too.
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MarianneM



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 374
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:06 pm    Post subject: Does love last? Reply with quote

I'm pretty much in agreement with most of you about romantic love. But I recently found a quote on the Internet which pretty much sums it up for me.

Louis De Bernieres said it in his novel "Corelli's Mandolin:"

"Love is not breathless, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of every day ... That is just being 'in love,' which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident... we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two."

From the promontory of my 80th year, with my blessed husband still at my side, I know that this is the truest kind of wisdom.

MarianneM
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 4708

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Does love last? Reply with quote

MarianneM wrote:
I'm pretty much in agreement with most of you about romantic love. But I recently found a quote on the Internet which pretty much sums it up for me.

Louis De Bernieres said it in his novel "Corelli's Mandolin:"

"Love is not breathless, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of every day ... That is just being 'in love,' which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident... we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two."

From the promontory of my 80th year, with my blessed husband still at my side, I know that this is the truest kind of wisdom.

MarianneM


Awww Marianne, that's so wise and beautiful! *sniff*

Linda
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