"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?