Romantic love has me baffled.
The way I see it, romantic love is the bait that draws us humans into creating family relationships. As social creatures, we need family; our first family can't sustain us forever, so we must form more family ties out there. Those ties and bonds are built around reproduction, and so the pattern continues for a new generation. Romantic love is what lures us to do this.
after you've done your part to ensure the survival of the species? You've made and raised your children. If the pattern held, having done this thing you would then settle in to be the comfortable wise elder, help out with grandbabies, leave this romantic stuff for the next generation.
But more often than not, it doesn't work out like this. Romantic love is too heady a substance. We still crave it like addicts.
Or worse yet, people who started out with romantic love stay together out of habit, fear or duty. And they let the romantic side of themselves go dormant, sublimate it, transfer it, repress it.
Why must we continue to play this particular game when we are no longer properly equipped, with the beauty, charm, energy and naive hope that are necessary in order to play?