Love. As in those horrid soppy love songs. It’s all a lot of b*llocks, really. The most ridiculous argument I’ve heard recently is whether a woman should be disappointed if her man hasn’t said “I love you” after six months. I pretty much figured he should know after a few weeks – but know what, exactly? Is there even really any such thing?
Let’s not beat around the bush here: most of what we call “love” is not wanting to die alone and be eaten by cats. All those fluttery, heart-skippy feelings are chemical dictators imploring us to find a friend we like the idea of f***ing and tactfully overlooking everything we find annoying about them for long enough that we can entice them into a legally-binding contract not to skip town if offspring arrive, and of putting up with their s*** until you’re old and grey and get to be eaten by cats together.
The first time you say “I love you” is the moment when you realise that all their irritating habits are just endearing little quirks. If you wait to say “I love you” until you mean it in the grown up sense – when you find yourself doing some tedious household chore that you think is pointless and doesn’t need to be done but you’ll do it because he wants you to do it and he hasn’t even asked but you’ll do it anyway just to see him smile – hell, that s*** takes years. That’s the kind of love that develops after you’ve been married five years. Love is a verb. It’s not really a feeling at all. It’s the kind actions that come naturally when you’re putting someone else’s needs above your own. Still wanting to sleep with the guy after a decade isn’t “love”, that’s just “good taste”.
“I only stick with you because there’s no-one else” isn’t love. That’s a lyric by Radiohead from the song All I Need, and whether or not romantic love (as opposed to deep friendship + lust + family-type bonding) actually exists, there really isn’t any sense in which you can really love someone just because you couldn’t find anyone better. That’s not the kind of love that’s going to make you want to do nice things for each other. Love is sticking with someone because “you complete me” and “you had me at hello”.
Yikes! Now I’m being soppy! Shoot me now …
1. My Funny Valentine – Ella Fitzgerald
“Your looks are laughable/unphotographable/yet you’re my favourite work of art”
2. You And Me Song – The Wannadies
“You tell me I’m a real man/and try to look impressed/Not very convincing/But you know I love it”
3. Lovesong – The Cure
“Whenever I’m alone with you/You make me feel like I am home again”
5. Stand by Me – Ben E King
“If the sky that we look upon/Should tumble and fall/And the mountains should crumble to the sea/I won’t cry, I won’t cry, no I won’t shed a tear/Just as long as you stand, stand by me”
5. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Heath Ledger
From 10 Things I Hate About You