What is Love?

I can offer a few thoughts that might help, but it depends how you’re listening. What’s love? It isn’t so much that nobody knows; more a matter of everybody knowing without realising they do.
     A lot of people asking questions about love are looking to confirm something they already believe, or feel strongly about, without realising it. Tell them something about love they disagree with and they’ll dismiss you out of hand, or shoot whatever you’re saying down before it barely gets off the ground. Love is a hell of a feeling.
     If you don’t love yourself at least as much as someone you feel you’re falling in love with your relationship is probably already heading for the rocks. Some people fall in love mainly so they can be told that they’re lovely. If they don’t get something back from their relationship which makes them feel good about themselves, they can’t feel good about themselves. So their partner becomes a kind of Duracell battery, and in the end even those go flat.
     It isn’t sex. That’s very different. Love and sex together are an extraordinary combination, but extraordinary things are rare. I think it’s worth holding out for something rare but you may not.
     Love can be what you want it to be, but others may not understand, and if you can’t say what your idea of love is that can feel awful. Love can make people angry.
     Love can very much be a drug.
     Love can be contempt.
     Read Plato about love, read poetry, watch some French New Wave films … or not: maybe you won’t love them as much as I do.
     Thanks to Chris John for the inspiration. He came to speak at Charter yesterday and left us with a lot to think about.


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