When there has been no freedom to choose with whom to enter into a relationship, as was the case under the droit de seigneur, which gave feudal lords the right to have sexual encounters with the wives of their servants, or as happens in arranged marriages, then there is no room for choice and therefore no room for choosing non-violent relationships.

Romantic love has opened the door to the freedom to choose with whom and what kind of person to base a relationship on, and therefore the freedom to choose non-violent relationships with people we are attracted to.

When we talk about romantic love, sometimes it is referred to from a very blurred and distant image of reality in which people suffer different types of violence and are condemned to accept chaining relationships, which are unhealthy and unattractive. Along with this idea of romantic love, a series of “myths” are sold, which in reality are hoaxes, to justify that it is love that is behind such harmful relationships. With it comes the message that, if we choose to love and have a stable relationship with the person or persons we love, then we will be falling into the traps of romantic love and condemning ourselves to suffer relationships with violence, without freedom and without attractiveness. We are thus sold that whoever chooses to have a relationship based on love is giving up freedom, fun, the opportunity to live without worries and to feel happiness. But these ideas are nothing more than the result of a coercive discourse that leads us to link attractiveness with relationships in which there is no love and in which we do not stop to choose the other person or to make sure that he or she is not a violent person. And it is precisely in this type of relationship that there is more violence.

International research has already shown that it is not the type of relationship, but the person with whom we choose to have it, that determines whether or not it is violent.

People who have chosen to love in a stable relationship have fostered values together that have transformed their lives and improved them. That is what love is all about. Scientific evidence has also shown that love is, in fact, a very important protective factor against violence. Thus, the longest longitudinal study conducted by Harvard University, one of the most brilliant universities in the world, has shown, after eighty years of research, that it is both love and friendship that make us live longer and with better quality of life. This important study shows that love improves the happiness, well-being and even the health of those who love.

Romantic love relationships are relationships that promote positive aspects for our health and our lives. It is a hoax that there is violence in stable romantic relationships because between people who love each other there is no violence. In fact, it is between people who do not love each other that we see the most disdainful and violent attitudes. One does not make derogatory comments about a person they love and with whom they have a romantic relationship. Nor do people act violently towards the person they love and with whom they have a romantic relationship. It is in unloving relationships that we suffer and can be seriously harmed.

The discourse that defends that love kills is not only not based on any evidence, but deprives us of the opportunity to live with greater quality, to share experiences that bring us happiness and well-being, to create healthy relationships free of violence and, moreover, throws us into a vacuum in which the chances of suffering the consequences of a violent relationship are as high as chance.

Therefore, knowing that those who have freely decided to live a loving relationship have the opportunity to live with greater well-being, health and, ultimately, to improve their lives, it would not make sense to try to boycott these people or their relationships, would it?In spaces where love is tinged with hoaxes that taint it so much, loving is precisely the most revolutionary and transformative act we can choose, for ourselves and for others

Por Alba Crespo

Graduada en psicología en la Universitat de València y estudiante de máster en psicología general sanitaria en la Universitat Rovira i Virgili