If you’re someone who loves romance maybe you need to think again taking into account your mental health.
Things can turn out wrong even when you bet with the odds. Bet on the thing with a 70% chance of happening and, of course, what had a 30% chance of happening could happen instead. That’s chance.
We know this but we forget it or actively ignore it. For example, we don’t hold politicians accountable for placing their best bets but for achieving best outcomes as though chance plays no role in what happens even at the global scale. We treat political decisions as though they were crossword puzzles: There’s always already a right answer. If things don’t turn out right, the politicians failed to place the right bet. Of course, that might be the case, but we need it simpler than that. We assume a wrong outcome means a wrong bet.
Chance plays a bigger role in everything than we notice or care to notice. What gets in the way of noticing?
Romance broadly defined.
Romance wrings as much self-confirmation from events as possible. It interprets reality self-charmingly as though luck has nothing to do with our fortune or misfortune: We are the eternally blessed and good. We cause everything that happens right for us. And when things go wrong it’s because some bad person deliberately thwarted you, the hero.
We call this ego which names the motivation but not the behavior which boils down to making romantic fiction of reality as though life were purely a game of skill we’re winning because we’re skillful or we’re losing because fools and villains thwart us, much like the sore losers “you cheated,” when the dice rolls against us.
Romance glorifies and ruins relationships. It’s what gets us so high when they’re starting (the “wonder of me” phase) and mean when they fail (my ex is stupid, sick or evil). But it’s not restricted to romantic partnerships. We romance in spirituality, work, friendship,politics, everywhere.
Romance puts a thumb on the scale, rounding up or down to certainty. The 70% chance becomes a sure thing; the 30% chance a ridiculous impossibility.
Romance motivates commitment to our bets, which can be helpful, but not when the bets turn out wrong. Romance is a devil’s bargain, an addiction that digs us deeper into holes, rationalizing confidently as we make increasingly distorted bets.