There is something real and true in romantic love, regardless of how we misunderstand it or misapply the ideal of our ancestors. There is a truth in the high tales of romantic love that thrills us. There is a truth in the noble deeds of the knight, the beauty and goodness of the lady, the sacrifices, the reverence, the quests, and the faithfulness unto death. In the aspirations of romantic love there is a deep psychological truth that reverberates in our souls, that awakens us to what we are at our best, what we are when we are whole. No one can hear these ancient romances and be unmoved, unless he be made of ice, for in these loves, adventures, and acts of devotion, there is revealed all that is noble, loving, faithful, and most high within our own selves.
If we must look at what has gone wrong with romantic love, let us also see what is right about it. In its purest form it is an ideal of great power, and contained within every such ideal is profound reality. They are not only ideals, they are windows on our souls that tell of a practical and living reality within us, something we can live and be. We may misunderstand the truth behind the ideal; we may try to live it on the wrong level or to put it in the wrong place; but the truth is there to enrich us and move us closer to wholeness. Our task is to find the truth in romantic love and the level on which this truth can live.– Robert A. Johnson