Seventh Fact: For most of human history, romantic love was looked upon as a kind of sickness. Trust me. One time when I was 21, I skipped class, bought a bus ticket, and rode across three states to surprise a girl I was in love with. She freaked out and I was soon back on a bus heading home, just as single as when I came. What an idiot.
That bus ride seemed like a great idea at the time because it seemed like such a romantic idea. My emotions were going crazy the whole time. I was lost in a fantasy world and loving it. Instead, many cultures treated it as some sort of unfortunate disease we all have to go through and get over in our lives, kind of like chickenpox.
They were warnings against the potential negative consequences of love, of how romantic love can potentially ruin everything.
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Because fuck feelings , there are fields to plow and cows to feed and holy crap Attila the Hun just massacred your entire extended family the next village over. There was no time for romance. And certainly no tolerance for the risky behaviors it encouraged among people.
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There was too much life-or-death work to be accomplished. Marriage was meant for baby-making and sound finances. Romantic love, if permitted at all, was reserved for the heady realm of mistresses and fuckboys. For most of human history, for the majority of humanity, their sustenance and survival hung by a tiny thread. Everything you did had to be done for the simple sake of survival. Marriages were arranged by families not because they liked each other, and especially not because they loved each other, but because their farms went together nicely, and the families could share some wheat or barley when the next flood or drought hit.
Marriages were a purely economic arrangement designed to promote the survival and prosperity of both extended families. And it was treated as such. People began to take up work in city centers and factories.
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Their income, and thus their economic future, became untied to the land and they were able to make money independent of their family. The new economic realities of the 19th century then cross-pollinated with the ideas that emerged from the Enlightenment about individual rights and the pursuit of happiness, and the result was a full-blown Age of Romanticism. The new ideal was not only to marry for love but that that love was to live on in bliss for all of the eternity.
Romance is an easy sell. We all enjoy seeing the hero get the girl. We enjoy seeing the happy ending. And so the commercial forces that arose in the 20th century took it and ran with it.
Nowhere do we hear that love can be unsexy drudgery. Or that love requires self-discipline and a certain amount of sustained effort over the course of years, decades, a lifetime. The painful truth about love is that the real work of a relationship begins after the curtain closes and the credits roll.
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The real work of a relationship is all the boring, dreary, unsexy things that nobody else sees or appreciates. Like most things in the media, the portrayal of love in pop culture is limited to the highlight reel. Most of us have been so inundated by these messages throughout our entire lives that we have come to mistake the excitement and drama of romance for the whole relationship itself.
This is why throughout most of human history, marriage was arranged by the parents.
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Because they were the ones with some objective perspective on whether their kid was marrying a fuckface or not. Ultimately, the convicts did no physical harm to the hostages, and on the night of August 28, after more than hours, the police pumped teargas into the vault, and the perpetrators quickly surrendered. The police called for the hostages to come out first, but the four captives, protecting their abductors to the very end, refused. In the doorway of the vault, the convicts and hostages embraced, kissed and shook hands.
The captives were confused, too. Psychiatrists compared the behavior to the wartime shell shock exhibited by soldiers and explained that the hostages became emotionally indebted to their abductors, and not the police, for being spared death. Even after Olofsson and Olsson returned to prison, the hostages made jailhouse visits to their former captors. Once freed, he married one of the many women who sent him admiring letters while incarcerated, moved to Thailand and in released his autobiography, entitled Stockholm Syndrome.
But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. This Day In History. How a six-day hostage drama inside a Swedish bank christened the psychological phenomenon known as "Stockholm Syndrome.