True romance is what happens when two people turn and face each other and decide at the same time to pour everything they’ve got into growing more and more intimate with each other in more and more ways, every single day, for as long as life allows them to.

To grow more and more intimate with someone means continually finding new parts of each other to fall in love with. Normally people hide huge parts of themselves from themselves and from other people. True romance means continually finding new ways to coax those hidden bits out of hiding so that they can be loved.

There is no limit to how far this can go, because there is no limit to any human being. A human being is vast. A human being is backless. A human being is bottomless. There is no limit to how far and how deep we can go in exploring another person and loving everything we discover. This means that it’s possible to continue falling in love forever.

Falling in love isn’t something you do once and then it’s done, and then you say later on “Oh we fell in love 20 years ago and now we’re married and we’ve got two kids and someday our mortgage will be paid off if we’re still alive” or whatever. Saying you “fell in love” at one particular time is just saying that you experienced the invitation to true romance at one point in time, but one or both of you chickened out. True romance means falling, and falling, and falling, and falling. There’s no reason for it to stop other than someone slamming on the brakes for some reason.

Most people slam on the brakes at the earliest sign of true romance. This is perfectly understandable. True romance is terrifying.

True romance is terrifying because humans fought their way to the top of the food chain by becoming the most successful apex predators in the history of terrestrial life, only to look around and find ourselves surrounded by a bunch of big, scary apex predator humans. We’ve got all kinds of defenses up against other humans because we’re all a little bit worried we might start biting each other at any second, and now here’s this other human who wants you to take off all your armor so that you can get as close to each other as possible.

True romance is terrifying because you are giving everything you have to an impermanent being that will someday be wiped off the face of the earth, and that is going to hurt so much. That’s going to hurt more than ripping your own limbs off. That’s a for sure thing, and every step towards your loved one, every time you remove some armor, every time you get more vulnerable, it’s just setting you up for it to hurt even worse in the future.

True romance is terrifying because if you don’t give your everything now, and one day the witness of your being is ripped from your arms and disappears into the void forever, then you will always regret not giving your everything while you had the chance. You will always regret not getting more naked and falling more in love while they were here to receive that and reflect it back to you. You will wish you’d loved them more.

True romance is for suckers, because suckers are gullible, suckers are trusting. When two suckers get together, they innocently and enthusiastically hand over everything they probably shouldn’t without guile and without manipulation, and that’s when the magic happens. Two people throwing everything they have at each other creates a kind of free energy system, a toroidal current of joy that feeds off itself and increases itself and courses through the both of them, inspiring them and uplifting them to greater and greater heights.

True romance is when someone gets really curious about someone and they want to know everything, while at the same time, that someone gets really curious about them and they want to know everything too. Even the bad stuff, even the ick, even the cringey secret shameful critters that hide in our mind caves and cause mischief without ever being seen. The idea is that one day, that someone will somehow find his way through your forest of defenses and walk right in, and stand right inside your mind cave and have a really good look around and say, “Yes, I like what you’ve done with the place,” and you will say “Gosh, really? I never let anyone in here, it’s such a mess!” and they will say “It’s messy but it’s beautiful,” and then they will pick you up and lay you gently on a pile of your broken dreams and kiss you softly and you will relax for the very first time since maybe you were a baby or something.

True romance is terrifying because it means not just allowing your most hidden parts to be loved, but having to love them yourself. Because you quickly find that if you try to allow someone to love a part of yourself that you’re still rejecting, that’s just more armor, more invulnerability, more separation. You’re trying to hold them at arm’s length and say, “Oh well it’s fine for you to love that disgusting, shameful part of me if you want to do that on your own time I guess,” which is just a rejection of their love, a rejection of true romance. It stalls the whole thing out unless you learn to love yourself how your other loves you.

True romance is terrifying. It’s also the best thing in the world. People try to replicate it with fake imitations which allow them to feel loved without any of the risk or vulnerability, but nothing comes close to the genuine article. Nothing.

You can’t force true romance to happen in your life; the seed will land when it’s ready to land, and you have no control over when and if that happens. The only thing you have control over is making sure that when the seed lands, it lands on fertile soil. This means exorcising your inner demons, healing your inner wounds, overcoming your fears and illusions and that sense of unworthiness we all struggle with on some level and learning to love yourself as deeply as possible, so that when your other finally meets your gaze and you stare at each other into the bottomless depths of an infinite adventure, you can keep your gaze unbroken and say, “Oh! It’s you. I’m ready. Let’s go.”

Nothing can make true romance happen, but once it’s happening there’s nothing in the world that can stop it. There is no more powerful force on this earth. If just a few more people plunged into true romance with reckless abandon, it could very easily save the world.

Humans are bottomless, and we’ve got so much potential that hardly any of us have even begun to explore yet. We keep vast tracts of our own consciousness hidden from ourselves. All it takes is one intrepid explorer willing to love everything they find before your long-forgotten treasures start revealing themselves to the astonishment of both of you. And if you do that for them, too, then you have yourselves an astonishment factory where miracles can happen. And miracles do happen. I swear on my life they do.




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24 responses to “True Romance”

  1. This article is about what life is really meant to be, as opposed to all the words we have to use to deconstruct the lies our culture has taught us to live by. Thank you Caitlin for daring to speak of real love in a world that has forgotten it’s crucial importance for underlying and guiding all our affairs.

    1. Caitlin, you are amazing! For those of us who read your essays you are already famous. And yet you are completely unknown.

      I do have a feeling you will go mainstream one day and the world will discover you as we did. And it will be so deserving!

      1. Yes, Los’ this is good stuff.

  2. Looooove this piece on multiple levels. I would amend the opening sentence to include “two (or more) people.” This is not just keeping my poly friends in mind, as I understand that this isn’t exclusively about romantic/sexual relationships. A group of two, three, or more humans with a common goal can pledge to each other the all-in level of commitment that you describe so beautifully.

  3. On top of everything else, you’re a poet.

  4. Normand Drolet Avatar
    Normand Drolet

    This is so beautiful, brought-me-to-tears beautiful. Thank you, Caitlin Johnstone, for this beautiful, wonderful gift.

  5. Lovely Caitlin.
    If only it happened that way …
    The saddest thing is when one of the couple believes in true romance and gives their all, and the other party doesn’t, or doesn’t value what is being given.
    I’ve experienced it, and seen it over and over in my friends.
    It’s a devastating experience, and hard to recover and to dive in again at the deep end.
    Life teaches us not to trust, not to fall, not to reveal or give all, and not to be vulnerable.

  6. Michel Bélisle Avatar
    Michel Bélisle

    As I wrote in my last comment, romance must have been something wonderful for the people who were living during the Romantic era, beautiful women well dressed and elegant gentlemen during the 1800’s.

    It could still be a wonderful thing today but it seems it doesn’t happen as often as in the previous centuries. The actual “Bullshit era” make romance more difficult than it was for example in the “Romantic era”.

    And it is not just romance that is affected. The weather seems to also be affected by our present era:


    We have to pray more than ever, especially the Holy Rosary.

  7. Oh if all could put aside their holy book religious or secular and read this every morning.

    My wife died six months ago after 50 odd years of lots of romance. I now see were we both settled and it would have been better not to.

    If we’d read this once a week to each other I know I would have removed those decisions to settle.

    Where we settle there may lie hidden gems

    Thanks caitlin

  8. When two people start a relationship by what they call “falling in love,”
    I mention that I have never fallen in love.
    I’ve fallen in like, three times that resulted in intimacy. It started with infatuation then GREW in love.
    First marriage ended in divorce (16 years). One relationship didn’t work out and we parted mutually. The last one was a marriage that changed due to the death of my spouse after 31 years.. But the love is lasting. That’s why it’s so hard to put behind.

    The part you wrote about coaxing out those little things, sharing each others privacy that’s share only between the couple. We call them a couple when really they’re one.

  9. Hi Caitlin, I too, have been on a painful journey to find what true love is. I wrote a book called “Love and the Three Levels of Consciousness”. Understanding the human mind from its three different levels of functioning also explains why the human race is behaving like it is.
    Gilbert Bates Melbourne Australia.

  10. what i thought was “true romance” never worked out for me.
    whatever relationship i have is an ongoing project. it grows on patience, humility, and real serious efforts.

  11. Michel Bélisle Avatar
    Michel Bélisle

    Sadly enough, we are no more in the Romantic era, which was in the 19th century. Men and women were so well dressed in those days. It makes you nostalgic.

    I do not know how they will call our era. Maybe the bullshit era. I rather believe our era is the return of the days of Noah just before Final Judgement of mankind.

    Keeping my Rosary close.

  12. Communication is the key–and I must say–that I have found few women who are willing to speak their truth. Recently I asked a very intelligent young woman why that was–and told me that it was a power play. What I suggested to her–given our common precarious position here on the planet–that perhaps it’s time for them to step forward and open-up. And then of course– 99% of the women I meet– proudly proclaim that they don’t do politics—I wonder what those moms were thinking as they sent their children off to be butchered in some foreign war of occupation?
    I am not denigrating women–just talking of my experience and hoping that more and more will come out and join the fray–it literally doubles our numbers by 100%. I use people like Caitlin and Cathryn Austin Fitts as examples of the potential of women to speak-out and take hard positions in the world at large. I would ask everyone will view this very insight interview with Cathryn Fitts and Daniel Liszt of the Dark Journalist. It literally is a work of love–as Fitts has risked her life to get this information out to the public–because she does not want to see her fellow citizens become slaves–or worse [trans-humanism]: Knowledge is Power!

  13. You are incredible, I try not to miss anything you write. But this is you best by far.


  14. Charles Robinson Avatar
    Charles Robinson


  15. Leonard Michael Ross Avatar
    Leonard Michael Ross

    Very good article especially since the idea of true love is considered by many people to be naive in the face of the “real” world. The very same real world that has killed millions in countless wars of aggression. Perhaps a bit of “naivety” is needed to forestall further slaughter.

  16. Come for the epic and essential political commentary and analysis, stay for the unexpectedly profound and enlightening observations on life’s paths and potentials.

    As one who has recently found and embraced the miracle of love… Yet again… This piece is both timely and prophetic. Bless you! ❤️

  17. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of truth to the lyric, ‘some people want to be used by you’.

  18. I don’t believe you will read this due to volumes etc. But I’m saying it anyway. You are probably my only source of real truth (information) right now. Thank you for the sanity.
    I know that anything I play musically resonates in other universes and far beyond now. Same with your stuff I think. So no need to worry about what happen next in a sense.
    And the recapcha on this site sucks 🙂

  19. Ah, the Buddha Ms Caitlin speaks the truth! In this world so chock full of hatred, envy, etc.; love can, and does, still exist. True love is extremely beautiful; but it is also very, very rare. Every single day there are multitudes of stories all over this world of relationships that have turned very badly for everyone involved. Such is the state of our humanity. Love is a blessing; Ms Johnstone is a fine example of its reach and its unlimited potential!

  20. You pierced my well-shielded heart with that, Caitlin. Your words should be the mandatory receipt for every engagement ring. I feel emboldened to open up more with my spouse, cuz the clock is certainly ticking.

  21. Brilliant, thank you.

  22. I love you back. We love you back.
    Michael Fish
    Longueuil Canada

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