It is certainly ironic that as societies become more bureaucratic and ‘rational’, so at the heart of the system there grows an impulsive, irrational emotion which has nothing to do with making money. There is a desire for the totally overwhelming, irrational escape into romantic love.
Romantic love gives meaning in an otherwise dead and cold world. It promises that fusion with another human being which is so conspicuously lacking in the lonely crowds of autonomous individuals. It overcomes separation and gives the endlessly choice-making individual a rest, a categorical imperative which, momentarily at least, resolves all the doubts and indecisions.
The desire, to have, own, possess, fits well with those similarly irrational desires to accumulate, possess and own which are the basic drive in the economic world. In the modern world it is obvious that consumer society has harnessed the romantic passions to sell goods. The marketing of love has raised this emotion to a high cultural pinnacle. Love provides the promise of freedom, of a deeper meaning in life, perhaps even a return to the innocence of the lost paradise of Eden.