Romantic Love and Social Structure of the Society

free essayLove is not only the most complicated, but also the most powerful feeling among other emotions. However, any feelings or emotions are under the influence of both personal characteristics and the environment people live in. Hence, understanding of love is predetermined by the specific social structures, which involves various approaches to how it is managed and achieved. With regard to this, one should remember that the type of the world in which people live is of a patriarchal model. It is characterized by the methodical masculine supremacy and sustentation of power, especially psychical, which is often individually enforced. Hence, love is often regarded from the perspective of the male dominance and influence on the social norms. Even though it can sometimes be regarded as a human disease, it still is to a substantial extent dependent on how the feelings correspond or not to those that are commonly represented as normal. In order to analyze this theme more precisely, it is necessary to focus on such main concepts as the construction of the patriarchal culture and love existence in it, main barriers to love and how they may be broken and the main possibilities of love and its experience.

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According to the work “About Love: Reinventing Romance for Our Times”, the romantic love is often associated with the physical passion, but it is driven and raised by thoughts the lovers have about their personalities and the society. Solomon explains the romantic love as a spiritual process that is mutual and suitable only among coequal partners (Solomon 325). A person who loves can supplement what is good in a partner, incarnate values they divide or promote ideals, for which they will struggle in the future. In any case, love stands the test of time only when it invents conceptual relations, each individual considering the other’s coexistence as needful to complete himself or herself. Solomon spills light on the necessity of couples for freedom and the significance of struggles in a wholesome bond. He has mentioned a new concept of love that favors the Plato’s concept of the fusion of two hearts over the Freud’s view of love as a sublimated amorous feeling. A simple self-centeredness is often proposed as a reasonable approach to meaningless relations. Respect, loyalty, and fulfillment are the things which should be signified most and “observation on the importance of fidelity is worth the price of admission in itself” and should be the motivating factor of a healthy relationship (Solomon 326). Even though all of the above mentioned issues originate from the inner world of a person, there must be the environment that will favor or contradict with the emotional state of people.
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There is a number of examples how social structure shapes the views and beliefs of people since the early childhood. In spite of the fact that the old patriarchal method has been widely criticized, such issues as stimulating boys to become more male, worry about the girls in the early years, the calmness as a distinguishing feature of females, the crack between the collective and mental opinions still continue to exist (Hooks 38). Patriarchy is a key term of the men’s unjust treatment of women. Usually, the head of such a system in the family is a father. Consequently, females becoming the victims of love is the characteristic peculiarity of the patriarchal model of relations. From the past experiences, very often parents were wishing to sacrifice their child in order to show the allegiance to God or to the view of a basic instinct in human beings. It shows a victim of love that requires a subordination, sacrifice that a mind is opposed to understanding, unless the cognate position has been suppressed (Hooks 42). Love may exist only in that case if the person tends to experience and understand his or her feelings. The method of the patriarchal life has taught males that manhood must be vindicated by the readiness to win fear with the help of cruelty; that it would be cowardly to talk before starting the aggression. In patriarchy, males are notably prone to understand love as something they should accept without giving anything back. When someone experiences such feeling as love, it attracts some possible happiness simultaneously with the rude awakening and suffering. Depending on the situation and values, lots of humans just turn away from a loved one (Hooks 53). Therefore, love and happiness not always go together.

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Humankind has always tried to explain why people experience so much suffering before finding happiness in love. Gilligan starts her work with a quotation: “The power of love upsets the order of things” (Gillian 7). Therefore, one should understand that love does not always exist in harmony with the society and its rules. Some rules may value love as the highest priority and encourage people to avoid any possible violence. The example of such doctrines are often associated with the religious institutions or some peculiar educational centers that are aimed to input the definite values into the human minds. Nevertheless, the view on the romantic love is completely different. It is represented from a number of perspectives and is a crucial power that can ruin or unite people’s relations (Chapman 3). History is filled with a number of examples that love can rule the society as well as the society can rule the norms related to love. The representation of love in media and the social rules regarding the behavior of those, who are in love – all these are the issues that lead people to some definite beliefs.

The next influential factor of the social influence on love can be regarded from the perspective of finding love. As stated by Guillian (8), there exists a period of a child’s growth (for males, it is the age of 5, and for females – 13 years old) when they are compelled to lose sight of what they know in order to be in relationships. The notion of patriarchy establishes a hierarchy that divides the father from kids and wife, making a crack in relationships and in their respective personalities. From the early years, humans substitute the understanding of the role of a father with the characteristics that are considered as masculine. Youngsters do not hesitate about their perception of the society or their psychological responses to it. They intuitionally understand how to construe and respond to how other humans are feeling. However, when they achieve a specific age, they have to discard all learned, refusing their knowledge in order to adapt to the mode of conduct the patriarchy has developed as suitable.  Hence, finding love becomes the issue of age as defined by the social rules.

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Considering the main constructional element of barriers in the relationship as dominance, power, and control, it should be stated that this knowledge helps to predict emotional outcomes and easily break free (Kemper 255). To begin with, the power behavior composing of the stressful actions, which are offending, bullying and condemnatory, is often destined to keep control over each step of the partner against his or her will. The next type is dominance, which combines in itself the actions of discretionary compliance, backing, recompense, acquiescence and worrying. It is commonly used to present many benefits that the other may want, the so-called egocentric behavior. From this perspective, relations of love and society can be defined as “manhood versus justice” that can lead to breaking the bonds and focusing on the personal demands (Hooks 42). Even so, people always wish to obtain a true love. However, in order to obtain the healthy relationship, they should be prepared for that. Selfishness and individualism are the real enemies of love. Humans’ forgiveness and readiness to forget this harmful experience will free and save them. Faithful love has the authority to save, but only in case people are ready for the liberation. Love can rescue one only if there is a will to be saved. All these characteristics demonstrate the ideas that the society should input into the human minds to make them become more open to pure and sincere relations.

In the patriarchal culture, people should lock up the real selves, especially it concerns women. Hence, the question whether one can really become self within the patriarchal rules is essential in understanding of how such a social structure denies a real life. It is necessary to understand how real the relations actually are. The point is that deeply inside, everyone is searching for real bonds. However, those details of humans have to be rejected, because the patriarchal culture considers them as wrong, often they are sensuality and originality. Humans need to correct these lost values from the early childhood in order to actually recognize and understand their personal feelings, because some of them that have been restrained can be difficult to deal with and unappealing, but even though the right things always overbalance the wrong. The aim should be holistic, including the good and bad sides, but not only the ideal ones. Hence, the society structure must be viewed as a restrictive or encouraging factor. Due to this fact, it evokes different feelings among people.

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There exist two possibilities of love, namely like and love (Kemper 257). To add more, it is not dismissed that liking is closely related to the rewards and benefits people obtain, in other words, the status others are giving. While on the opposite, love deals with the status, on which people agree with each other. These terms are different and can be related to a number of things. Even in the patriarchal system, one is more likely to like another person instead of providing a full devotion. This happens because of the virtue of searching the perfect means of the relationship, which matches only the requirement of one person. It occurs due to the fact of rewards that the other person gives. The further possibility is to be in love with another person, but liking the person who she or he is living with. It describes a specific relationship, where one has found perfect standards in someone else. Finally, there may be a total absence of love. This means that a person has found in the relationship only instrumental benefits, as in the labor cooperation, they meet only for the fulfillment of certain amount of reasons or needs (Kemper 257).  This may lead to a divorce and misunderstanding, especially when it is followed by the cruelty of the patriarch culture.

In conclusion, the patriarchal culture is highly influential for the healthy relationships and for human emotions. Love cannot survive in any family bonds that are established on the dominance and control. Humans cannot love in the patriarchal system if their definition of one’s individuality depends on the subordination to patriarchal laws. If only one side in the relationship is doing something to maintain love, provide the field of soulful interconnection, the ruling model stays in one place, and the relationship just turns into space for unceasing the authority struggle. Love may be experienced by anyone, but only with a help of the respect and understanding feelings of each other, which are not influenced by the social structure. Hence, the values that support love should be taught in the society in order to insure proper beliefs among people.