Romeo and Juliet: The Worst Love Story Ever Told

Romeo and Juliet: The Worst Love Story Ever Told is partly based on Chapter 11 of my book, It’s Not You, It’s Us: A Guide for Living Together Without Growing Apart. Available on Amazon. 

 

Romeo and Juliet: The Worst Love Story Ever Told

 

Romeo and Juliet

Juliet’s balcony. It is rumoured (and highly possible) that the balcony was made from an ancient sarcophagus (stone coffin).

As I write this post on the train from Italy to Austria I can’t help but reflect on one of my favourite cities in Italy: Verona. Many tourists come to Verona to see the homes of Romeo and Juliet. For them, Shakespeare’s play is impossibly romantic.

To summarize Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet meet at a party on Sunday night.

It’s “love” at first sight and they marry Monday.

On Tuesday, Juliet drinks a potion to feign death.

On Wednesday, Juliet’s body is discovered.

On Thursday, Romeo kills himself in grief.

Juliet awakes, sees her dead lover beside her, and stabs herself.

Basically, the star-crossed lovers were married in a day, and dead in four.

They were only truly together for a handful of hours.

Not enough time to really get to know each other.

And this is considered one of the greatest love stories of all time.

As a relationship guide, I see romance and love a little differently than most people. I’m a pragmatic romantic, if such a thing exists.

As a relationship guide, I see romance and love a little differently than most people. I’m a pragmatic romantic, if such a thing exists.

For me, Romeo and Juliet is the tragic tale of two immature lovers who, like many of us in the throes of infatuation, confuse lust with love. Here’s an example:

 

Britney Spears Elopes

Remember Britney Spears’s 55 hour marriage? “I went with my feelings,” Alexander said. “I was in love with her. … I feel like she felt the same way.” Oops.

 

My Chemical Romance

What if love is really a chemical addiction between two people? It doesn’t sound very romantic, but that’s what scientists are discovering. According to researchers, the chemicals responsible for love, lust and bonding are driven by testosterone, estrogen, oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine. When one of these chemicals hijacks your brain, you are putty in its hands. Romeo and Juliet are the perfect example of this.

 

Romeo isn't home.

Romeo’s home. Ain’t nobody home.

 

Think about your own relationship. When you first fell in love, you probably felt a lot of passion for one another. You could make out for hours, and a day didn’t go by where you didn’t want to jump each other’s bones. After about six months of living together, you probably experienced a cooling-off period. That insane need for sex all the time just sort of faded away and you moved into a comfortable period where cuddling became the norm and sex less frequent.

Basically – you get your brain back in six to twelve months. (Which is why a lot of relationships end in six months.) It’s also why it’s best to not marry until at least a year has passed. You need to come down to earth. You also need time to really get to know your partner. What are they like under stress? Do their values mesh with yours? Do you share similar goals for the future (kids, careers, lifestyle)? Are you compatible?

 

Lovers Locks at Juliets Balcony

The local shops sell love locks to tourists to sign and clip to a grill near Juliet’s balcony. They soon get cut off to make room for more love locks. There is some irony to that.

Romeo and Juliet so completely lost their minds for each other – were so drunk on love chemicals – that they failed to think through their actions or come up with a plan for a future together. Would they have even made it through the first five years of marriage? My guess is, probably not. The hotter a fire burns, the faster it gets extinguished, and these two lovebirds went up like an inferno.

 

Love graffiti . Tourists vandalize Juliet's home to declare their love for someone else. All attempts to clean the area up are met with more graffiti. I guess they can't fight the feeling....

Love graffiti. Tourists vandalize Juliet’s home to publicly declare their love for someone else. All attempts to clean the area up are met with more graffiti. I guess they just can’t fight that loving feeling….

 

When we’re in the throes of lust, it’s easy to think our relationship is somehow special, unique, and we’re destined to be together forever — only time will tell.

What do you think? Do you think Romeo and Juliet felt real love for one another? Do you think love at first sight is possible? Comment below and let’s start a conversation.

 

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Author Adele Frizzell/Sophie Winters

Sophie Winters is the author of two books on dating and relationships. Sophie’s real name is Adele Frizzell. She enjoys travel, hiking, and lifting heavy weights. She is a competitive bench presser, certified yoga teacher, and mountain addict. She loves inspiring people to get more out of life.

Her first book, The Cha Cha Club Dating Man-ifesto is written for all the single ladies, while her second relationship advice book, It’s Not You, It’s Us: A Guide for Living Together Without Growing Apart is for couples who want more joy, intimacy and respect in their relationship. She is working on her third book.

 


3 Comments

  1. I think when you talk to people who were ‘together from day one’ and still are years later, they started with lust and were lucky enough to also be compatible, which was discovered over time. But it’s a nicer story for them to say it was ‘love at first sight’!

    From personal experience, I agree with “The hotter a fire burns, the faster it gets extinguished…”. Ouch!

    Slow burn, add more fuel and oxygen as you go = longer lasting, hotter fire in the end! That’s just good science. Relationships are so emotional that maybe we need to turn to stats more.

    Is there data around one year, marriage longevity correlation?
    I guess I’m a romantic statistician!

  2. Hi Jess,

    Thanks for your comment. I totally agree with you on this,”I think when you talk to people who were ‘together from day one’ and still are years later, they started with lust and were lucky enough to also be compatible, which was discovered over time. But it’s a nicer story for them to say it was ‘love at first sight’!”

    Is there data around one year, marriage longevity correlation? Great question. I found this fascinating article: “Marriage Success Related To How Long You Dated”. The impulsive ones have the highest divorce rates, the sweet spot seems to be dating for 2 years and 4 months. Also, “Huston has found that the slowest to marry are often the quickest to divorce. Couples who have experienced long courtships filled with heavy drama are the most likely to divorce within only a few years of marriage. Couples who lived together for a long time prior to marriage are increasingly likely to be facing a doomed marriage. It is theorized that living together creates the perfect template for a relationship that is lacking in commitment.” Huston is a professor at the University of Texas. He has spent the past 15 years studying the significance of courtship in relation to marital success. More here – http://www.sandiegodivorcecenter.com/marriage-success-related-to-how-long-you-dated

  3. Very interesting, thanks for doing the research. I know several couples who dated for around 7 years, finally got married, and were separated within a year.
    The ‘party and travel’ personality type equating to longer courtships (less commitment) makes some sense too.

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