The School of Life has a lot of interesting material that we have looked into as we created the lovers-app. One of them being the book Relationships. In this book they add a new perspective to the existing Romantic norm of relationships which they call the Classical.

The current Romantic script is both normative and delusional. Because in order for us to feel normal in our relationship, many of the following things are meant to happen.

  • We should meet a person of extraordinary inner and outer beauty and immediately feel a special attraction to them, and they to us.
  • We should have highly satisfying sex, not only at the start, but forever.
  • We should never be attracted to anyone else.
  • We should understand each other intuitively.
  • We don´t need an education in love. We may need to train to become a pilot or a brain surgeon, but not a lover. We will pick that up along the way, by following our feelings.
  • We should have no secrets and spend constant time together (work shouldn’t get in the way).
  • We should raise a family without any loss of sexual or emotional intensity.
  • Our lover must be our soulmate, best friend, co-parent, co-chauffeur, accountant, household manager and spiritual guide.

So, what if this norm, this Romantic norm would be replaced fully or at least challenged into a new norm that fits into your relationship with your partner. A norm that you have discussed, talked about, agreed upon and again and again revise to adjust it as you grow and learn more in life.

Let me give you the suggested Classical norm as described by The school of life. Maybe these attitudes can encourage you to set your norm with your partner with the intention that you want, and maybe break free from the intention that culture and society uses to keep you in the Romantic norm.

  • It is normal that love and sex may not always belong together.
  • Discussing money early on, upfront, in a serious way, is not a betrayal of love.
  • Realising, that we are rather flawed, and our partner is too, is of huge benefit to a couple in increasing the amount of tolerance and generosity in circulation.
  • We will never find everything in another person, nor they in us, not because of some unique flaw, but because of the way human nature works.
  • We need to make immense and often rather artificial-sounding efforts to understand one another; that intuition can’t get us to where we need to go.
  • Spending two hours discussing whether bathroom towels should be hung up or can be left on the floor is neither trivial nor unserious, and there is a special dignity around laundry and time-keeping.

Remember – these “norms”, the Romantic and the Classical, are just one way of describing different kinds of assumptions that we bring into a relationship.


Take your time to explore what other assumptions you and your partner are bringing into your relationship. Which assumptions you have inherited from your upbringing, your family, what messages you receive from media, etc.
Take your time to be curious what “norms” you want to keep in your relationship. You can always try one, and later discard it.

Remember that this is a never ending conversation and work. As you grow and learn in life, so does your partner. Let your relationship grow and evolve consciously with the both of you.


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