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Members Login You are not currently logged in. Read the Cookie policy here. I hope you find the site useful! Thanks - Joanna. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Thank you. Ok Read more. An attractive woman might want to be loved not merely for her beauty but also for her actions and personal traits. A less attractive woman might wish the reverse: that her beloved values her external appearance as much as he does her kindness or wisdom.

Reenacting a Romance

In her book Survival of the Prettiest , Nancy Etcoff, a cognitive scientist at Harvard Medical School, clearly shows that attractiveness significantly influences ratings of intelligence, sociality, and morality. Thus, attractive people are more successful in job interviews and get higher salaries.

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Thus, the rich, famous or powerful evoke more intense sexual desire. Attraction has more weight in the short term while praiseworthiness is more important later on. E ven when love has been profound, the sense of too much compromise can entice us to pursue something new. But the rest of us maintain our relationships through compromise. We give up a romantic value, such as romantic freedom and intense passionate love, in exchange for a nonromantic value, such as living comfortably without financial concerns.

Nevertheless, the more the combined score of attraction and praiseworthiness decreases, the greater the compromise, and the more we yearn for the road not taken — the one with romantic freedom or a different romantic partner. Romantic compromise poses two major hurdles to enduring love. The second hurdle — forgoing the chance to find a better partner — is often harder to resist because it appears more within our control.

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The doubters went on to divorce 2. Such doubts should not always prevent us from getting married because absolute certainty is unrealistic. However, we should take into account their nature and extent: at the beginning of a relationship, doubts revolve around romantic intensity, attractiveness and sexual desire. Over the years, the focus of compromise shifts to those qualities such as kindness and wisdom that help us thrive.

In the geography of love, the landscape is always rugged. After every take-off, turbulence throttles down. Part of the concept comes from Plato, who pictured love as the process of seeking our missing half.

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Yet this Siamese-twin model of love implies a loss of personal freedom and a loss of self — the two essentials necessary for profound love to thrive. It is dialogical. Lovers share what is important for flourishing in their emotional and practical lives. The affinity between such lovers creates a functional harmony in which personal identities do not just thrive but evolve.

Lovers might develop similar preferences for music or theatre, or even begin to wear similar clothes. Such lovers often testify that they frequently have similar thoughts or that they understand each other even before words are spoken. But even here, identities are not fused — they are shared. Profound romantic satisfaction is not about possession but about flourishing; the other person is not an extension of you, but a partner for a dynamic fulfilling way of life.

Anna is so tormented by her unhappy love for Vronsky that she throws herself under a train.

But the contrasting characters Levin and Kitty manage to flourish and thrive in their love. It was she. It was Kitty. After Kitty and Levin finally get together, they squabble. The message is clear: even when romantic ideology wins the day, in fiction as in life, it is always on the verge of losing. Winning requires people who are honest and compassionate, yet so totally themselves that they would not ever want to dominate the other. Their complex love is profound and open; their shared life and passion lead to the flourishing of both. Despite so much cynicism in recent years, romantic love can soar on the wings of profundity.

When the fit is there, passion can be fanned by profundity instead of intensity so that the romance endures.

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Superficial activities, such as casual sex, gossiping, and watching television, might be enjoyable even though they do not contribute much to our long-term flourishing As an engine of eudaimonic well-being, the benefits of profound love run deep. Family life Gender and identity Love and friendship.