Summary of “Romantic Regimes”

Together, these forces lead to the establishment of what we can call romantic regimes: systems of emotional conduct that affect how we speak about how we feel, determine ‘normal’ behaviours, and establish who is eligible for love – and who is not.
Unlike all previous lovers who ran amok and acted like lost children, the new romantic hero approaches his emotions in a methodical, rational way.
One of the greatest payoffs of doing The Rules is that you grow to love only those who love you.
In the Regime of Choice, the no-man’s land of love – that minefield of unreturned calls, ambiguous emails, erased dating profiles and awkward silences – must be minimised.
According to the polemics that Kipnis develops in Against Love, the only suffering the Regime of Choice recognises is the supposedly productive strain of ‘working on a relationship’: tears shed in the couples therapist’s room, wretched attempts at conjugal sex, daily inspection of mutual needs, the disappointment of a break-up with someone who is ‘not good for you’.
From the perspective of the Regime of Choice, the heart-broken Emmas, Werthers and Annas of the 19th century are not simply inept lovers Рthey are psychologically illiterate, if not evolutionarily pass̩.
Show me almost any romantic movie and I’ll show you a desperate and needy character who treats themselves like dog shit for the sake of being in love with someone.
Illouz, a professor of sociology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, has argued persuasively that the individualistic appeal of the Regime of Choice tends to cast the desire for commitment as ‘loving too much’ – that is, loving against one’s own self-interest.

The orginal article.