Romantic love versus family love (Amore vs Storge)

The Western model of romantic love prioritizes the romantic couple – mother and father (or mom and new romantic boyfriend) over the family unit. Family becomes secondary and subordinate to the romantic couple. This is one of the leading causes for why Western families have collapsed,  with romantic love acting as an agent for disintegration.

Ironically, some conservatives feel they can address the decay by adding a few romantic date nights into the marriage and thereby increase the health of the family. This remedy sounds more like drinking poison to remove the very same poison already causing the sickness.

By way of contrast we can see that in traditional cultures the parental couple were subsumed within the family nexus, taking their identity and pride from the family, and serving its needs as their own. Everyone was important: mother, father, children, relatives, and especially grandparents. Today, family is subsumed within the romantic model, if indeed the wider family is considered at all.

This situation was well described by the Twitter/X contributor below who shares his first-hand experience of Chinese and Western cultures:

Another person commented about “the ongoing fallacy of setting up ones familial foundations upon Romantic Love (of the young couple starting a family) versus the classic (now mainly Eastern world view) of having the newly weds become part of the greater familial tapestry, involving extended family.”

The above observations can be summarised by the following graphic contrasting Eastern and Western priorities, which will serve as summary to this article: