As the Four Weddings and a Funeral chapter of my life comes to a close, as does my brief hiatus from writing.
Today I reignite the flame between pen and paper, returning to my ever-evolving fascination with the subject of l’amour and reviewing one of my all-time favourite books – Why Him? Why Her? by Helen Fisher.
I spent a long weekend bearing witness to the beauty of love in all its forms.
I saw long-lasting love, old love, tainted love, unrequited love, new love and renewed love. I saw flirting and frolicking and fun. I saw some eyes wander and others never once stray.
I listened to heartfelt promises that brought tears to my eyes and watched on as doting couples looked after each other in the chaos of social surrounds while others bickered over silly-little-nothings they no doubt wouldn’t remember the next day.
I saw all of the complexities and intricacies that make every single instance of it so unique. It was all right there in front of me. I saw it, I felt it and I marvelled at it – every microscopic moment of love.
My somewhat controversial views on the subject of the L word have often had me branded an Ice Queen – someone whose frosty words can dampen any spark, but I beg to differ…
Because while I may not believe in marriage and I definitely don’t believe in “the one”, my mind is always open, my views are subject to change and I completely understand the meaning it brings to others. And most importantly, I do believe in love and lust and romance.
I know how strong the magnetic force of love can be and I know how lust can creep inside your head and take over your thoughts. I know what it’s like when romance makes you feel sick with excitement and there’s nothing you can do to hide your smile.
I know that society has a habit of putting love into boxes and maybe this is what I struggle with most. It can sometimes blind us to reality, making us see love only for what we wish it could be rather than what it actually is.
But I also know that no matter how hard we try to take control of love, love ends up taking control of us. It plays a huge role in our thoughts and behaviours and I nod my head to the reasoning that Helen Fisher articulates clearly in the findings of her research.
There are algorithms to attraction.
Evolution has programmed us to seek a mate and to seek a pair bond, but neither of them are guaranteed to last forever. We magnetise towards some people over others because of the “Love Maps” we’ve created throughout the course of our lives. We can love one person and be infatuated with another at the same time. We make vows and we break vows.
Love in undeniably a powerful force.
People live for love. They kill for love. They die for love. They have songs, poems, novels, sculptures, paintings, myths and legends. It’s one of the strongest brain systems on Earth for both great joy and great sorrow.
And in the words of Fisher, a world without love would be a deadly place.