Most see romantic love as the essential basis for marriage and long-term partnerships. Yet this is a relatively new phenomenon originating in the mid to late 18th century. There is a danger this romantic ideal hides the reality that love is often not enough to sustain long-term commitment and carries with it risks to our own well-being. A 2014 psychiatric study found those in love were more likely to experience depression and anxiety. While a recent BBC study found those who emphasised love were more likely to have shorter relationships and exit them cruelly.

Should we give up the idea that romance is the key to long-term relationships and instead see it, as it was once seen, as a threat to those relationships? Would we be better to focus on compatability, economics and children? Or should we see romantic love not only as the most vivid and exciting experience in our lives but also the most important?     

Philosopher of emotion Simon May, journalist and broadcaster Jenny Kleeman, and filmmaker and activist Myriam François, debate our attachment to romantic love. 

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