“Killing the romantic couple could save our society, here’s why”

Aline Laurent-Mayard, journalist and author of the book “Post-Romantique” calls for an end to injunctions and to desecrate the romantic couple. According to her, other avenues of love exist.

Every year, Valentine’s Day is usually synonymous with red roses, candlelit dinners and fiery declarations. However, according to Aline Laurent-Mayard, journalist and author, the romantic myth which weighs on romantic relationships (and which becomes all the more pressurizing on February 14), could in reality be more harmful than anything else.

In his new book Post-Romantic, how less romance could save love, published in January 2024 by Lattès, the expert dissects the injunctions and obsessions that exist with regard to couples (particularly heterosexual) in our society and our culture. The solution, she explains, would be to combat them in order to better appreciate other relationships and possibilities in life.

The rest after this ad

The couple: a patriarchal vision?

In his eyes, we do not choose the couple, it is he who imposes himself on us. “We are taught from a very young age that the solution to being happy is to live as a couple. The whole of society is built around this model: financial and tax advantages, inheritances, housing…” , she says. People, especially women, don’t really have the option of being single. “They are trapped: they live as a couple because they have no other solutions that do not put them in a precarious situation”analyzes the creator of the podcast Free from desire.

The rest after this ad

The conventional (and heterosexual) couple would therefore benefit men more today. If society now aspires to deconstruct men, “They have no interest in this changing. Toxic, narcissistic or violent men, in particular, will always remain so”, assures Aline Laurent-Mayard. Unless we completely deconstruct the myth of romantic love…

Desecralize romantic love

The specialist would first like to point out that the ideal vision of true love is very recent. “The romantic myth, that is to say the idea according to which living as a couple until the end of one’s life would be the most fulfilling way of life, dates from the romantic movement”, she reveals. A movement that was born when women were becoming more and more independent. “This made it possible to justify and put back at the center of minds the romantic, patriarchal and unequal vision of the couple”she adds.

The rest after this ad

The current definition of romanticism, which we associate with seduction, bouquets of flowers, big marriage proposals, having children and a house but also with monogamy, refers to the American vision of the term. “A very normative system”says the author. “Many of these standards are very recent: all this folklore, driven by the advent of romantic comedies, dates from the 1990s”she specifies.

Value (and put love back at the center of) our other relationships

“We human beings are of great diversity”declares Aline Laurent-Mayard. “Yet we live according to a single pattern: the conventional romantic couple. “It erases the beauty of the nuances of intimacy between two people and prevents us from expressing our love in different ways,” she regrets. When we meet someone, the journalist recommends listening to ourselves and giving ourselves time to explore all the relational possibilities that present themselves to us: they can be a romantic partner, but also a friend, a mentor , a professional collaborator or a simple life partner.

The rest after this ad

“Even when it comes to love, you have to discuss what you want when creating the relationship: to live together or not, to be monogamous or not, to have sexual relations or not (and if so, with penetration or not), have children or not (and if so, raise them with other people or not)”, she cites for example. For the expert, it is important (and urgent) to get rid of the very toxic, even violent, romantic and passionate norms associated with the couple (with which we have been cradled for millennia) to find what love really is for us. .

The rest after this ad

What alternatives to the traditional couple?

But Aline Laurent-Mayard agrees, it is difficult today to find alternatives to the traditional romantic couple. “We should think collectively to find solutions but, for the moment, social standards are not adapted”, she laments. What she advises is therefore to think and find what works for us, to learn to listen to ourselves and to listen to others, to talk about it around us but also to communicate within our relationship. … “You have to dare !”she summarizes, recommending reading or even social networks to those who would like to find other relational models.

The rest after this ad

Raising your child with other parents, living with your best friend or sister, not having sex or, on the contrary, having sex with several people, not sleeping together, etc., are all unusual lifestyles. but possible. “We need to rethink love, family and friendship patterns”she insists.

For the author, herself a single parent of a child, this could change (and save) our vision of love, couples, relationships and, ultimately, society. But be careful, she tempers, “my book is not an injunction and should not provoke a feeling of failure”. Not being able to live other than as a couple and being afraid or ashamed of being single is not a defect, it is even completely normal. “It remains very difficult not to follow the injunctions linked to the patriarchal couple”concludes the specialist.

Section head Society / Psychology / Couple /

Rights of women and children, violence, feminism, gender, discrimination, parenthood, education, psychology, health, sexuality…. Joséphine loves deciphering all the social issues that drive our world today. She you …

source site-56