Three stages of love, narrative, and self-understanding

In Alba Montes Sánchez & Alessandro Salice (eds.), Emotional Self-Knowledge. London: Routledge. pp. 147-167 (2023)
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The idea that love changes who we are is widely shared, and has been mostly explored from a stance in the middle stage of love (i.e., when people already love each other). But how do we get there? And what happens when love ends? In this chapter, I explore how self-understanding may be shaped in different ways at different stages of love through the notions of narrative and existential feeling. As I will argue, love gains narrative momentum at the beginning, which is maintained during the middle, and ultimately extinguished at the end. This momentum is triggered and later sustained by the existential feeling that ‘things make sense’, which keeps the lovers oriented towards each other.

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Pilar Lopez-Cantero
Tilburg University


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