I was once an anti-romance. I hated all things that depict it, like romantic movies, TV shows and songs. Now, I am quite certain that my I share my old aversion with people who are dissatisfied with their romantic relationships. Many of them might have undergone the sweetest romantic episodes in their lives, only to be halted by bitter ends. The prospect of romance triggers nothing but painful emotions that buried all happy memories in oblivion.
Romance is a common culprit. It enchants anyone into its magic that binds two strangers as if they were separated bodies being united again. Romance is the magnetic force that allows two different people to attract each other, as all of their differences begin to dissolve. Romance is the energy that sustains the power of lovers to endure all hardships of mundane existence. But like all ironies, Romance also does the opposite. It is the same force that separates husbands and wives, fails lovers to continue a lasting connection, and keeps hopeless romantics stagnant for life.
Romance is so universal that you can find its blend of positive and negative messages in many art forms. Romance is ingrained in every happy and sad story of many couples. Why, of all human experiences, does Romance bear these stark contrasts? Why does Romance bring so much ironies in our lives? Romance makes us desire all possible pleasure, as natural as an infant seeking for a mother. Romance also makes us suffer with all possible misery. This suffering pushes us to reject Romance.
Romance is a unique experience that translates Love’s inexplainable truth. Love is beyond all definitions, opinions, and explanations. This is why Romance symbolizes Love. Romance and Love have an equal footing in how we treat them. We often call “love life” to refer to romantic relationships, and “lovemaking ” to refer to sexual union. These are aspects of Love, but not entirely Love. What Romance does is to allow Love to be more real, so we can easily discern Love in the romantic embrace of the lover and the beloved.
Romance is an expression of our inner experience of Love.
Romance is at best an impermanent symbol exhibited in words, gestures, actions, and art forms. We often wish that the joys Romance brings may last. But all in life moves in cycles and we encounter difficulties and obstacles in relationships. Being an anti-romance is often an abrupt reaction, a gradual adjustment of our attention, or a wake-up call that we want to Love and be Loved. The irony sets in again. We resist Romance as a silent clamor to be more connected to another human being who can Love us for who we are.
Romance is an expression of our inner experience of Love. It is one among the many expressions, and even if it is universal, it is not always absolute. To believe, act and speak about Romance as the only source of happiness, comfort and joy is to miss the entire truth of Love. As a result, we allow a generation of anti-romance people. To see distinctions between Romance and Love poses a challenging task for many, but the clarity it brings has a tremendous impact. WE must see how Romance and Love becomes equal, not equal, and either and/or neither. They are ambiguous, complementary, integrated and interrelated. We must move towards this understanding.
Being an anti-romance is somewhat a response to a nobody-can-love-me belief, a frustration that has grown up from seeking and expecting. This is not just an isolated feeling. I have heard similar stories, and perhaps there are thousands unheard of. In understanding the difference between Love and Romance, stories of romantic pains can be radically changed. Romance can bring us hope that Love is just around us and within us. Because everything Romantic by definition is Love taking transformation, a powerful evidence of how Love can infinitely become.
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