Thursday, 2 January 2014
Love on the cheap
To my mind, love is a two-way thing, an active give and take between two people, something growing and developing, something fed by affection, empathy, understanding.
When people say they "love" Lady Gaga, or Ed Miliband, or J K Rowling, surely that's a misuse of the word? There's no two-way relationship, no give and take. They've probably not even met the person they "love". There's no giving, only taking, only consumption.
What they really mean is that they "admire" Lady Gaga, they're impressed by her, they take a close interest in her. That's something entirely different.
Or people say they "love" Italy or New York. Meaning for a week or two they consume Italy and New York. They don't give anything back except money and a few casual compliments to the locals. And I doubt if they love the mafia or the pan-handlers. The word love is a mere romantic flourish.
Love is a very serious emotion, a very serious connection between two people. It's something rich and deep and resonant. It's a communion of souls. To equate it with showbiz loyalty or tourist fads is to mock its true meaning. It's the cut-price imitation, the discount knock-off.
Okay, it shows we're passionate about something. It shows we're emotionally healthy. But passion isn't love. Passion isn't intimacy. Let's not confuse the two.