Stir the Oatmeal: Romance vs. Love
In his book We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love, Robert A. Johnson distinguishes human love from romantic love. When we yearn for a forbidden, passionate romance like in “The English Patient” or "The Bridges of Madison County," we are often blinded to the beautiful, committed love that is with us in every day life, the "stirring-the-oatmeal" love. As Johnson writes:
"Stirring oatmeal is a humble act--not exciting or thrilling. But it symbolizes a relatedness that brings love down to earth. It represents a willingness to share ordinary human life, to find meaning in the simple, unromantic tasks: earning a living, living within a budget, putting out the garbage, feeding the baby in the middle of the night."