Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Is romance only a part of new love?

"Children are incurable romantics. Brimful of romance and tragedy, we whirl through childhood hopelessly in love with our parents. In our epic imagination, we love and are loved with a passion so natural and innocent we may never know its like as adults."
Roger Gould (20th century), American writer, psychiatrist and leading authority on adult psychological development. Transformations, sec. 1, ch. 1 (1978).

"You need not attempt to shake off or to banter off Romance. It is an evil you will never get rid of to the end of your days. It is a part of yourself ... of your soul. Age will only mellow it a little, and give it a holier tone."
Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849), U.S. author. The Letters of Edgar Allan Poe, letter, September 21, 1839, to Philip P. Cooke, ed. John Ward Ostrom (1966).

According to these great minds, romance is innate. The desire for drama, tragedy, and deep love fueled our imaginations as children, sparking hundreds of “let’s pretend” games. Many times I’ve wished to play those games again. This basic desire for the excitement of romance is part of our human nature, and specific desires for it help define our individuality.

To me it seems Poe provided Gould with an answer or explanation.

Gould identified that love we give and receive as children is so natural and innocent we won’t likely know it as we mature. Thus, the consuming adventure of romance can best be realized when we are young. Does that account for why first love or love at first sight gives us a giddy feeling of being swept away?

Was Poe correct that your ability to feel or desire romance mellows with age? Is this why, as Gould said, we may never know romance as adults?

What are your thoughts? Is the thrill of romance only for youth, experiencing it for the first time? Or does it occur at any age, but only during the process of discovering another person, when the relationship is young?


Mary George said...

Great Post.

As children and Ya's the feelings are so new and raw till you ride out each emotion slack jawed, chest heaving while dialing your BFF 'cause Jack looked at you. Exausted with a rage of emotion churning through your body.

As adults we know what to expect and we sit with pen and paper ready to judge the efforts of the poor guy. We miss out on the romance being offered trying to fit the reality guy into the fantasy guys pants.

Thanks for the blog. Mary George.

Anonymous said...

What a great concept for a blog! Tying in Gould and Poe just drew me right over. I don't remember thinking about romance and love as a kid until I hit around 12. I think I was dealing with other issues, like softball. I think I'm a late bloomer. I didn't meet the love of my life until I hit 30, knew right away I wanted to marry him, and he has romanced me off my feet ever since. Those poor saps just didn't know what they were missing! Heather Haven

J. D. Brown said...

Marsha, great post. I sure hope it's wrong, though, as I get closer to pushing 30. LOL. I do think younger people are much more romantic in the dramatic sense, with all those new, raging hormones and of course when mom and dad tell them not to have sex, that's exactly what they want to do...

However, I do not think older people are incapable of romance. I think it just becomes a different kind of romance - a stronger kind that has to outlive marriage and everything that comes with it. Teens don't realize this, but someone you THINK you know can be a very different person when you live in the same house with them, when you're committed to all their strong points AND their faults. Getting a divorce is NOT like breaking up with your high school crush.

So, while young love is much more dramatic, I think old love is much more serious and stronger. And I do think sparks fly when you meet someone special for the first time at any age.

Sharon Hamilton said...

Marsha, one of the fun things of being a parent is when your kids fall in love. Planning a wedding is infectious. My husband and I kissed more. We looked at each other when we saw our kids kissing their boyfriends and "intendeds" as if to say, "remember when we used to do that?" I mean, I love the personal falling in love in my twenties and thirties, but new, young love is delicious. Why do you think all the movies usually have the lovers so young? Romance novels? It is the fantasy. And seeing young lovers is doubly great for an older person: we remember what it felt like all over again. We get the experience AND the memory.

When I was young, I couldn't see myself getting older. I lived in fear of it. But for me, great sex is between the ears or in the heart. And that is still a young nubile young thing of twenty. And probably always will be.

Great post.

Marsha A. Moore said...

Great comments. I was tied up battling my computer most of the afternoon.

Young love is exciting, as Poe, Gould, and all of you agree. But there are subtleties to enjoy later, that would be missed by the young, needing the thrill of discovering all those firsts.

I especially liked your comment, Sharon, that you and your husband relive your earlier times of burning romance when reminded by first experiences of your children. That's wonderful!