Is self-fulfillment essential for romantic love? The self-other tension in romantic love

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two major features of emotions are their personal, interested nature and the centrality of the self-other relation. There seems to be a built-in tension between the two: this is evident, for example, in negative emotions such as envy and hate, where one person has a significant negative attitude toward another. This tension is also obvious in positive emotions, such as schadenfreude, where an individual is pleased about the other's misfortune. Such tension may even be greater in romantic love, where the lover should give special attention and status to the beloved. The tension gains further momentum when we assume that self-fulfillment is an essential feature of romantic relationships. Indeed, it seems that in many low-quality romantic relations, the tension between self-fulfillment and the needs of the beloved is real and toxic. However, in enduring profound love, which involves the personal growth of each partner, self-fulfillment is not egoistic, and the tension drives mutual thriving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)864-885
Number of pages22
JournalRevista de Filosofia: Aurora
Issue number54
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Parana.


  • Romantic love
  • Romantic love
  • Self-fulfillment
  • Self-other tension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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