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This existential study of romantic loving draws on five existential philosophers to offer insights into what is wrong with our everyday ideas about romantic loving, why reality often falls short of the ideal, what can be done to overcome frustrations and disappointments, and possibilities for creating authentically meaningful relationships.


Skye Cleary argues that existential philosophies reveal to us the notion that once lovers free themselves from preconceived ideals about how romantic lovers ought to behave, and free themselves from being slaves to their passions, they will be free to create relationships that complement and enhance their personal authentic endeavors.


Existential thinking lends itself well to the problems of love, since it turns abstract thought into dealing with concrete human experiences and relationship dilemmas. It provides the narrative to explore the space between the ideals of romantic loving and the compromises and sacrifices lovers make in order to try to achieve those ideals. Moreover, the issues that the existential thinkers deal with – choice, responsibility, anxiety, authenticity, freedom, and power – are timeless.

Existentialism and Romantic Love

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