A Brief History of Love
By Railey Molinario, the Love Educator
Why are relationships so difficult? These days, social media is overflowing with "hashtag couplegoals", but are these self proclaimed power couples truly as happy as they want everyone to believe? Often full of fights about the same issues weekly or even daily, couples are having difficulty understanding each other's needs, behaviours, and desires. We are lacking enthusiasm and excitement. Constantly suffering from mistrust, lack of appreciation, and boredom. And since the start of Covid-19, it's only gotten worse.
Leading British law firm Stewarts logged a 122% increase in enquiries about divorce between July and October, 2020 compared to 2019. With divorce at an all time high and individuals changing partners more often than ever, the question remains, why are we finding it more and more difficult to find happiness in our Love lives?
To understand our difficulties in the present, we must first take a look at our past. Within the past 50 years, relationships and marriages have changed more than in the last 5,000. Today, about 90% of Americans reported Love as the number one reason to get married. But it hasn't always been this way.
Relationships Prior to Religion
Prior to the Christian religion, relationship complexity was low. Relationships were not based on Love but primarily arrangements for economical survival and a way to preserve power. The first marriage dates back to Mesopotamia about 2,350 years ago. Having little to do with Love or religion, this arrangement continued over the next hundreds of years by the Greeks and Romans.
Relationships After the Introduction of Christianity
About 2,000 years ago with the introduction of Christianity, marriage was injected with certain types of values and accountability from both partners. This put new pressure on men to remain sexually faithful but they remained the head of households.
Relationships After the Women's Right Movement
Fast-forward to 1893 in New Zeland when women first won the right to vote, giving them a sense of equality. Then in the late 1960's in the United States, women started fighting for their inclusion in politics and the workplace. Alongside this came the questioning of traditional sexual roles. The sexual revolution was about female sexual empowerment. By the 1970s, marital rape became a crime which was a giant step for feminist. Before this crime was realized, men had legally owned their wives.
Relationships After Interracial Marriage
Couples of different races were legally permitted to marry in the United States in 1967. South Africa's Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, passed in 1949 that forbade marriages between whites and non-whites wasn't repealed until 1985.
Relationships After the Gay Rights Movement
Same sex marriage was legalized in 2001 in The Netherlands and later in 2015 in the United States. This gave individuals a helping hand in coming out and normalising same sex couples.
As laws and social structures changed across the globe throughout generations, so did relationship dynamics and the institution of marriage. As we gained more freedoms both individually and as a society, we began to move away from the idea that marriage was an administrative transaction and towards the notion that it is an agreement freely made by two people who are in Love. As modern day couples, we believe that relationships are entered into for the psychological fulfilment of both individuals.
With more freedom comes a greater need to educate ourselves and communicate greatly with our partner. Failure to do so affectively results in relationship difficulties. Miscommunication, criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling and contempt can all result from not having the right tools to build a happy and healthy relationship.
These unions are now centred around a journey towards self-actualisation. Studies show that in order to reach this self-actualisation, we must invest significant amounts of time and energy into one another. It's not enough to make relationship goals our hashtags. We must put the time and energy required to perfect our relationship management, turning difficult relationships into thriving ones.
Ready to take your relationship to the next level and create the thriving life and relationship you deserve? Start with your Consultation so we can analyse your relationship goals.