In The Name of Love: Romantic ideology and its victims

Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, Ruhama Goussinsky

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Everyone longs for the ideal love, but as the song goes, love hurts. This book is about the romantic ideology of love and the ironic dangers that goes with it. The chapters argue that romantic ideology implies extreme behavior. Love is generally considered a moral, altruistic, and well-intentioned emotion; however, this idealized notion of love is far from realistic. People have committed the most horrific crimes in the name of the altruistic ideals of religion and love. Even if popular media depicts that love is all we need, recent statistics in the United States show a remarkable number of the victims of love. There is a reported increase in the number of sufferers depression and suicide after a bad breakup or divorce. This book includes a major case study concerning men who have murdered their wives or partners allegedly 'out of love'. It is estimated that over 30% of all female murder victims in the US die at the hands of a former or present spouse or boyfriend. Killing the one you love is not an example of 'loving too much' but of how love can go wrong when totalitarianism and extremism, rather than compromise and accommodation, are the guiding principles. The murderous dictator who proclaims that he 'loves his people too much' fits neatly into this category.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages296
ISBN (Electronic)9780191693595
ISBN (Print)9780198566496
StatePublished - 22 Mar 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press 2008.


  • Altruist
  • Crime
  • Depression
  • Divorce
  • Extremism
  • Love
  • Moral
  • Romantic ideology
  • Suicide
  • Totalitarianism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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