Romantic Love – An Alternative View
edited: Tuesday, May 20, 2003
By David J Knight
Posted: Tuesday, May 20, 2003
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I have just read an article by Rev. Cheril Goodrich with which I feel I must disagree.
I have just read an article by Rev. Cheril Goodrich with which I feel I must disagree. The good Reverend believes that Romantic Love comes from her god.
I have no god, nor any desire to find one. This, to me, is a private matter and I make no effort to convince others that my view is the correct one so why do many feel the need to convert me to their belief, for belief is all gods live on. The author Terry Pratchett expresses this well in his Disc World novels where he states that that world’s various gods are created and maintained purely by belief. The power of any individual god is based, not on his nature but, solely on the number of his followers.
So, because I don’t believe in any god’s existence does that mean I cannot feel or even comprehend Romantic Love?
I know from experience exactly what love and romance are about. I’ll ignore love in it’s many other forms (parental and sibling to name but two) and concentrate on Romance. I have been lucky enough to love two women deeply and this puts me in a, far from unique, position to judge. The poetic, and to some extent religious, view is this love is from the ‘heart’. If there is an organ connected to love I would have to suggest that it is the stomach, let’s face it we’ve all had butterflies before a special date or momentous occasion like a proposal, just as we’ve all felt sick and lost all appetite at the end of a relationship. This, though, is said tongue in cheek for I believe that all love, including Romantic, stems from the mind. The mind, of course, is not an organ that we can yet identify, so it is easy to put some magic and mystery around it and call it something like a gift from god. I remember reading a Science Fiction writer say that the magic of today is the science of tomorrow (apologies for not recalling who originally coined the phrase). I concur, wholeheartedly with this.
If I am able to feel love do I really comprehend the romantic side of it? Those of you who have read my poetry will, hopefully, agree that I am very much the romantic. To me romance is nothing to do with the spiritual, it is about caring about the other person, being prepared to sacrifice your own needs and desires for those of your partner, not only being prepared to but actually wanting to. One of the greatest pleasures I get is pleasing my partner. When romance is coupled with love then those pleasures grow exponentially, when even just a gentle touch sends shivers through both of you. This is because, that touch means the same to both of you, your intimate knowledge of each other’s thoughts and desires enriches the moment. Do not confuse these feelings as sexual, for although some may be just that, they are sensual, more pleasing to the mind that the body.
I respect your right to believe in the god of your choice, so, please respect mine to believe in none, nor should you credit your god with such things as Romantic Love when it is the pinnacle of humanity and owes it’s beauty to no unproven entity.