Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Adrienne Martin, Ph.D.

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Using a simple “jigsaw” analogy to explain love and its objectives, comedian Daniel Sloss had triggered 50,000 break-ups, 34 engagement cancelations, and 42 divorces. This goes to show that many people do not have a clear understanding of what is romantic love and loving relationships. This study aims to examine romantic relationships and their transformative nature. Combining the work of Professor Simon Keller and Niko Kolodny, I developed a new model that helps to address the questions raised above. I conclude that, in the short term, people are motivated by the attractive qualities of others, which contribute to the formulation of romantic relationships. The sustaining of such a relationship, however, requires the valuing of the relationship itself. Then, by examining Plato’s Ladder of Love theory, I show that long-term loving relationships are transformative tools for people to understand philosophical knowledge and the form of beauty. People who value such transformation come to value romantic relationships, whereas the existence of romance seems unnecessary to those who do not hold such value. Such a way of “climbing up the ladder” can serve as a blueprint for people to find their life’s central goals and ways to achieve them.

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Philosophy Commons