Romantic love is a poor basis for marriage.

Better Essays
The decline of marriage in the West has been extensively researched over the last three decades (Carmichael and Whittaker; de Vaus; Coontz; Beck-Gernshein). Indeed, it was fears that the institution would be further eroded by the legalisation of same sex unions internationally that provided the impetus for the Australian government to amend the Marriage Act (1961). These amendments in 2004 sought to strengthen marriage by explicitly defining, for the first time, marriage as a legal partnership between one man and one woman. The subsequent heated debates over the discriminatory nature of this definition have been illuminating, particularly in the way they have highlighted the ongoing social significance of marriage, even at a
…show more content…
Courtly love, according to Marilyn Yalom, was seen as an "irresistible and inexhaustible passion; a fatal love that overcomes suffering and even death" (66). Feudal social structures had grounded marriage in property, while the Catholic Church had declared marriage a sacrament and a ceremony through which God 's grace could be obtained. In this context courtly love emerged as a way of dealing with the conflict between the individual and family choices over the martial partner. Courtly love is about a pure ideal of love in which the knight serves his unattainable lady, and, by carrying out feats in her honour, reaches spiritual perfection. The focus on the aesthetic ideal was a way to fulfil male and female emotional needs outside of marriage, while avoiding adultery.
Romantic love re-appeared again in the mid-eighteenth century, but this time it was associated with marriage. Intellectuals and writers led the trend normalising romantic love in marriage as a reaction to the Enlightenment 's valorisation of reason, science and materialism over emotion. Romantics objected to the pragmatism and functionality induced by industrialisation, which they felt destroyed the idea of the mysterious and transcendental nature of love, which could operate as a form of
Get Access