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Is It Possible To Maintain Your Individuality If You Are In Love? What Does "Individuality" Mean Here, And How Might The Concept Of "Romantic Love" Relate To That Meaning? (Discuss With Reference To Nozick And Solomon.)

1196 words - 5 pages

Philosophers have argued the ability of a person to fully sustain their uniqueness and independence in their full extent whilst being in love. By entering into a relationship, both parties will do so for personal gain and pleasure, but simultaneously the union of two people results. Romantic love causes the limitation of one’s individuality in important decisions that pertain to both of them, yet, regular decisions that don’t affect them simultaneously can still able to be made individually. While choices throughout life are constantly influenced by a person’s surroundings, the person with whom you are in love will ultimately be the one who has the greatest impact on your autonomy.
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Union has been explained in many ways according to philosophers, Solomon and Nozick. Solomon describes romantic love as a “shared determination of self” which results from the confirmation or rejection on the views on oneself in conjunction with how the beloved views them (Halwani, 2010). It is both of these assessments that enable an opinion of self to be formed. People of significance within your life have a larger impact on how you view yourself, which is why the intimacy within romantic love has an immense impact on one’s individuality. Nonetheless, it is important to retain individuality and autonomy so that one is able to accept or reject another’s opinion. Without a personal opinion and internal view, the outlook of others will be insignificant. Furthermore, in reality, it is not possible that the same needs, opinions, feelings, experience or tastes will be exactly the same for both parties involved regardless of the significant time spent together (Halwani, 2010). Since, a complete merge of all of the above traits for both of the people in love, therefore a complete loss of sense of self would be very unlikely.
Individuality is a necessary component for being able to love. In order to love others and be concerned for them, which is a feature of romantic love, you need to be able to have a sense of self and be able to love yourself. If you give up everything that defines you as an individual and lose your integrity you will not be capable of love or be able to form a relationship. Furthermore, seeking romance or a relationship is a selfish act. Initially, being in love is about what one can get out of the relationship for themself and what needs and wishes they can achieve. As Halwani says, the desire to be in love can be out of personal happiness, which is often how relationships begin (Halwani, 2010). Simultaneously, within the relationship, personal gain remains, for example, in the situation where the purchase of a gift for your beloved has dual benefit; their happiness increases yours (Halwani, 2010).
Nozick defines romantic love as the “wanting to form a we with that particular person.” From this, he believes a limit is placed on autonomy with regards to individual decision making. By being in love and entering a relationship means that you “limit or curtail.. own decision making power and rights; some decisions can no longer be made alone” (Halwani, 2010). This makes sense, as when two people are in a healthy relationship they both choose and desire to consider the other person in things that will affect them both. An example of this, is a place to live or whether to have children...

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