How can we
our romantic delusions and fantasy feelings
and build our loving relationships on reality?
Romantic love may
the most pervasive myth of Western culture.
Romance is a cultural invention, not a natural phenomenon.
We have been so deeply indoctrinated into the romantic myth
that we have no awareness of the process of emotional programming
that created our romantic responses.
Popular culture is the main way we learn how to 'fall in love'.
Movies, television, popular songs, novels, and magazines
all train our feelings into the wonderful delusion of romance.
Our romantic games
would be harmless if everyone knew
that romantic love is a fantasy feeling.
But while still under the influence of romantic illusions,
some people make the life-altering mistake of getting married.
We may be wary of every form of political or religious mythology,
but what about the most potentially harmful myth—romantic love?
demonstrates emotional programming.
Is 'being saved' the religious equivalent of 'falling in love'?
We are taught what emotions to expect—then we try to create them.
If romantic love is
a hoax, what should we do?
Real information can replace romantic illusions.
We can love on the basis of who we choose to be
rather than trying to reproduce romance as seen on television.
I. Romantic Love was Invented 800 Years Ago by the French Troubadours.
II. 'Falling in Love' as Temporary Insanity.
III. Love & Marriage: Fantasy & Facts.
IV. How Did We Learn the Romantic Response?
V. Emotional Programming: Romantic & Religious.
VI. Good-bye to Illusions, Hello to Reality.
James Park is an
with a deep interest in the dynamics of love.
The first chapter of his most popular book
—New Ways of Loving: How Authenticity Transforms Relationships—
is called "Romantic Love is a Hoax! Emotional Programming to 'Fall in Love'".
This chapter forms the background for this talk.
Ways of Loving will appear
if you click this title:
New Ways of Loving: How Authenticity Transforms Relationships
If you would like
measure your own level of romance,
you might want to take
The Romantic Love Test: How Do We Know If We Are in Love?
This 180-question test divides the phenomenon of romantic love
into 26 manifestations (the A-Z of romantic love).
If you want to read
more books critical of romantic love,
see the Romantic Love Bibliography.
Return to the LOVE PAGE.
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An Existential Philosopher's Museum