He (or she, in the case of Romiette) is the ultimate romantic. You begin dating Romeo and he is attentive, sweet, and devoted. He spends time learning all about you and assures you that he is in love with you. You are the most amazing woman he has ever met — the only one for him. You can’t help but to be swept into the fantastic web of romance he has created around and about you, and picture yourself with Romeo forever.
Then, after a few weeks or months, Romeo becomes less and less available. He doesn’t come around as often, doesn’t call, and responds to your calls at the last possible moment. He becomes more distant, that is, if he doesn’t disappear completely. You may later discover he has been seeing someone new. You are devastated.
Say hello to Romeo
Romeo, or Romiette, is a person who loves the romance –and nothing else– of relationships. The term was first used by psychologist Bryn Collins in her book Emotionally Unavailable. Romeos begin relationships strong, stronger than most, but lose steam as time goes on. Romeo is one of the most dangerous types of emotionally unavailable partners because everyone believes his love is sincere. Including him.
Put simply, Romeo is a romance junkie. He loves the excitement and thrill of romance, which is more likely to occur at the beginning of a relationship. But what he doesn’t like is the steady, stable affection of a long-term relationship. He is hooked on is luv — that exciting, passionate feeling that comes with a new romance, not Love — the deeper and truer feelings that arise with time. Unlike luv, Love is not always exciting and grand, and is way too emotionally complex for Romeo.
Say goodbye to Romeo
The minute Romeo senses the familiarity and regularity of mature, realistic Love, he begins to look for an exit. And, often, a new romance that will bring those feelings of luv back.
Romeo doesn’t mean to be cruel. But he doesn’t really love you or anyone else. What he loves is the intensity of luv; its highs and lows and constant fireworks. No matter how romantic and sweet he may be, Romeo is emotionally unavailable and doesn’t build true, long-lasting connections.
Romeo behaves the way he does because he doesn’t feel more subtle emotions. He is at a numbed, sufficient state of being most of the time. The only emotions Romeo feels are the large, shocking emotions, such as the emotion of luv which occurs at the outset of a new relationship.
When luv transforms into Love –which it inevitably must– Romeo begins to lose the connection. Since Love is more subtle and intricate, not dramatic and sparkly like luv, he can’t really feel it. Although his feelings are evolving, he thinks his feelings are disappearing. So he looks for opportunities to bring the intensity and excitement back. Often times that involves finding a new luv, and leaving you, the old luv, behind.
If you can bring intensity into your relationship with Romeo, it may be able to last longer. Mystery, drama, deep despair, all captivate Romeo because they give something to figure out and conquer; the thrill of the chase. But eventually, when you are too familiar, you are no longer exciting to Romeo. He might stay in the relationship with you, physically, but he is not there emotionally.
Romeo’s behavior hurts but it has nothing to do with you. It has to do with his emotional disconnect with himself which prevents him from ever truly emotionally connecting with anyone else. There is nothing you can do to change Romeo. Romeo has to reconnect with those lost emotions or he will drift forever, always searching for the next, exciting luv to wake him up.
Have you ever been involved with a Romeo or Romiette? Are you a Romeo?
- Profiles of the Emotionally Unavailable: