When it comes to my philosophy on love, I use the term ‘imperialism’ to refer to foreign/external interference. I believe that when a person intervenes in something or someone that is beyond their control and it is not their business, they are necessarily being imperialistic. For example, if someone who does not have authority over you asks you to pick a different hat than what you have chosen to wear, they are showing imperialism towards you because they are wishing to intervene in something which is technically beyond their reach.
Romantic relationships in general are of an imperialistic nature due to the deep intimacy that they include between the couple. This intimacy is so strong that it penetrates the privacy of each partner, and allegedly blurs the distinction between them as independent and distinct individuals. This is because romantic relationships are more than just based on strong emotion, but also on possessiveness, of making your loved one “yours”, as if they are your property.
I believe that it is important to maintain a healthy balance between intimacy and independence in a romantic relationship. On the one hand, it is important to be close to your partner and share your thoughts and feelings with them. On the other hand, it is also important to respect your partner's privacy and independence, and to allow them to be their own person. If you can find a way to strike this balance, you will be more likely to have a happy and fulfilling romantic relationship.
The problem I find with popular opinion is that it does not separate the relationship between feeling something and creating something. In other words, feeling deep love for someone does not necessarily mean that those who feel this emotion would necessarily desire to create a romantic relationship with the subject whom they love.
The same logic can apply to any emotion and act: someone that makes me happy won't necessarily be my friend, and someone whom I hate won't necessarily become my enemy. The connection between emotion and act, if seen as necessary, is a result of the social norms attempting to limit our independent thinking.
Imagine yourself in a jewelry store finding a most beautiful necklace, placed in the center and shining with its glamour. You find this necklace very beautiful to look at. However, you may also be convinced that you “must” have that necklace.
This is where the line between mere emotion and imperialism is drawn: to have something that you don't have under your authority and possession, and want it to belong to you, for you to be its owner. This is the deceptive nature of emotions: telling you that you “must” have something just because the power of emotion as you experience it is very dominant in your consciousness.
The same can be applied to human beings. Surely someone is very attractive to you; does it mean that you must own it, as in the form of having a romantic relationship with them? Why, the person can be attractive, and you can still enjoy their presence, without them to belong to you and only to you. I believe that it is important to be able to appreciate beauty and love without feeling the need to possess it. When we can do this, we are free to experience the world in a much richer and more fulfilling way.
Romantic love is a continuous conflict of two people trying to dominate or be dominated by each other. It is an interactive dance to seek the optimal power over the loved one. The same could be in sex, where the active partner seeks to dominate, and the passive partner seeks to be dominated, regardless of their gender.
It is known in psychology that humans seek in romantic relationships what they had as children from their parents or guardians. An offspring who was rejected by their parent would continue to love them no matter how much they are rejected, and a kid who was able to surpass their parent's authority and make them weak would probably seek a partner whom they could dominate and have them under their control.
Romance is therefore an attempt to return to our childhoods and to preserve a state that existed in our childhood. It is a will to return to the womb that preserved us and kept us warm, and to seek to repeat the experience of warmth that we had. It is therefore an escapism from the Great Void, where the values, experiences, and concepts that were strong in the period of childhood are non-existent.
Indeed, a person who chooses to live with and to accept the inevitability of the Great Void and the lack of illusions and fantasy that it contains is a person that has reached true maturity. They do not escape from the present by trying to mimic their initial experiences as children. Romance is not even necessary, as new offsprings can be born without the love of their parents and still be loved and nurtured by their parents.