If you walk into any bookstore, you’ll find an enormous section called “romance,” full of steamy love affairs. Even if you shop in the “mystery” or “adventure” sections, nearly every story will have a “love interest” as a subplot. It seems like no story can be told without it. How will the lonely hero find a soul mate and live happily ever after?
Our culture prioritizes finding romantic love, assuming that “living happily ever after” is the key to life well-lived. Until you discover your one true love, you’re filled with anxiety and self-questioning. So our culture resonates emotionally with this “redemption story of loneliness.”