Rewriting romance

Against the dominant script of love

Romantic love is still put on a pedestal as the exemplar of relationships. This is damaging not only to individuals but to society at large. It discriminates against people who find deep love in non-traditional relationships, it weakens our sense of connection to those beyond our romantic partners. What we need is more and different stories about what love might look like, argues Carrie Jenkins.

 

When well-meaning family members ask when we’re going to “settle down,” they’re alluding to romantic partnerships. The same goes when friends ask if we’re bringing a “plus-one” to an event. Questions like these might seem trivial, but they’re a ubiquitous low-level reminder of what philosopher Elizabeth Brake calls amatonormativity: the expectation that everyone either is or wants to be in a romantic relationship. And specifically, in a relationship of the monogamous, permanent, sexual kind. In other words, a “normal” re

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