Rules from Love Poetry

Will I perish without the love of my life?

“So dear I Love him that with him, all deaths I could endure. Without him, live no Life.”~William Shakespeare from Romeo & Juliet

It’s three hours into my five-hour flight to Hawaii with my sisters for our annual getaway. We just finished watching the movie Letters to Juliet about a young writer, Sophie, who travels to Italy with her fiancé. He turns out to be extremely passionate about his restaurant business but not so attentive to her. While they’re in this beautiful, romantic town of Verona, the place of Romeo and Juliet’s ill-fated love, Sophie’s fiancé immerses himself in work and leaves her alone most of the trip. Sophie finally decides that she didn’t miss him that much (the cute guy she met influenced her a tad too). She dreamily concludes that any woman who believes a man is the love of her life would want to spend “every moment with him”. I flinched.

It reminded me of my younger years during which time I, too, thought I’d want to spend every moment with the man I love.

Now, here’s a reality check. On your honeymoon or a romantic weekend, spending most of your time together makes sense to me. But in my opinion, the love of my life and I are not attached at the hip, nor do we function on the same heartbeat. If we go on a week’s vacation, we enjoy doing some things alone or perhaps with others vacationing with us. Maybe it’s my Baby Boomer age range (40s-60s) and life experience, but spending every moment together feels rather suffocating, needy, and potentially…well, dull. I’m just saying.

Who made up the rules of love that suggest couples should want to spend all or most of their free time together?

Could it come from our enchantment with love poetry? Like the Shakespeare lines above, let me share a few quotes about love that represent romantic emotions and guidelines throughout history:

Perhaps the feelings that we experience when we are in love represent a normal state. Being in love shows a person who he should be. ~Chekhov, Anton

Love is not enough. It must be the foundation, the cornerstone – but not the complete structure. It is much too pliable, too yielding. ~Davis, Bette

Women know what men have long forgotten. The ultimate economic and spiritual unit of any civilization is still the family. ~Luce, Clare Booth

A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.~Austen, Jane

In the true married relationship, the independence of husband and wife will be equal, their dependence mutual, and their obligations reciprocal.~Mott, Lucretia

I imagine some of my readers would agree with some of these quotes and disagree with others. I believe love poetry changes over time along with the rules of romance and relationships. I’m not sure which is the chicken or the egg. Does love poetry change the rules of romance or do the rules change love poetry?

…to be continued in my next post:

“Rules For the Man of My Dreams”

I’m interested to know if you have any rules or expectations for your relationship that are based on love poetry, movies, books, etc.? Please comment below.

Leave a Reply


email* (will not be published)