Love Needs Something To Conquer, If It’s To Conquer All.

Posted on October 23, 2011


I’ve been thinking about my past romantic relationships and I think I see a pattern.

In all my serious relationships, there always seems to be an insurmountable obstacle to overcome — like she wants something out of life I’m pretty sure I don’t or vice versa.

At first, I thought this pattern might be symptomatic of some kind of latent self-sabotaging commitment-phobia on my part. Maybe, I hypothesized, I only allow myself to get serious in a relationship if it seems like it has little chance of long term survival or, perhaps, once serious, I invent an insurmountable obstacle to sabotage it.

Then, I thought, wait a minute, the narratives of fictional romances always involve a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to overcome. Love needs something to conquer, if it’s to conquer all. Maybe, I hypothesized again, the tried and true story arc of our fictional romances reflects an essential feature of all our real life romances.

In fact, it might even be the case that a couple needs to confront and overcome a major obstacle together in order to create the kind of attachment necessary for long term pair bonding. If this is the case, it might also be the case that the couple will go out of its way to create an insurmountable obstacle to overcome — to test and, in some cases, secure the relationship.

What do you think?

Do most humans need — or, at least, really, really want — their romances to involve an insurmountable obstacle to overcome?

And for those of you who are in a long-term, happy, and healthy relationship, when you tell the story of your romance, does it feature a major obstacle that you had to overcome together. As a result, do you feel more sure in your relationship?

And last but not least: does anyone know of any couples who met, fell in love, and lived happily ever after, without any real conflict at all.