We Need To Make Love ‘Cool’ Again

Painting by Susannah Martin

Painting by Susannah Martin

Have you noticed how people shy away from talking about love? It doesn’t even have to be about romantic love; the general topic has become taboo. It is not “cool” to talk about what you love and why you love anymore.

People roll their eyes when the subject is brought up as if to say, “Who has time for this? Why don’t we discuss something important?”

But when did love stop being important?

Perhaps the easiest way to recognize this is by listening to a politician talk and looking at how people react. A politician who uses racist arguments angers people, but one that talks about love tends to seem a little soft and a little bit off the line. Still, it’s dangerous when a politician seems more credible when he talks about racism than about love.

Another example is when a scientist talks about love. People tend to lose interest in intellectuals that bring it up. Some say there is no place for that in science.

This is why we need to make love cool again.

I’ve found a number of reasons why people started reacting like this when it comes to love.

First, feelings make people uncomfortable. Perhaps this is because emotions can eventually lead to being hurt or vulnerable. Some people even train themselves to become emotionally unavailable, hoping that their existence will not be perturbed by feelings. To these people, hearing others express themselves endangers their carefully built fences.

We want relationships that work, loyal friends, and happy lives, but we refuse to get emotionally involved because we are afraid we might get hurt or that we would seem weak or vulnerable (towards whom, in relation to what?).

Well, let me take some pressure off. We are weak and vulnerable as humans. There are a million things that could kill us in a split second. Among all these things, love is the least offensive. I would say that love makes us strong and gives us purpose and motivation. Van Gogh said that all that is done in love is done well.

The second reason is that when we say “love” we only think about romantic love.

While romantic love falls under the general term, there is so much more to it. As much as you think of a blue sky when you say the word “sky,” a blue sky is not the only kind of sky. The same logic can be applied to love.

Admittedly, we have to learn how to find love in concepts such as art and life, or in activities such as climbing mountains and painting. But this is also love.

Too often we find “love snobs” policing what people call “love.” You may very well know one or two. They are those who say, “X is definitely not in love with you because, if he was, he would have done what Y did when he was in love with me,” or maybe “You just think you are in love, but love is just so rare and unique that you simply cannot be.”

Very much like art and literary critics that are too cynical to appreciate the value of work that later goes on to become widely accepted as a masterpiece, these people pass judgments from a distance and refuse to accept that some people feel differently.

These are the type of people that will tell you that love is impossible, that what you feel for your family is not “love-love,” neither is what you feel towards life or creating music. Loving life does not count; loving friends does not either. That is not love-love, as though others are incapable of it just because it may look different.

I think another reason why people are touchy when discussing love is that they are embarrassed by their failed romances. We just expect perfection and do not appreciate imperfect experiences (which is all of them) for their beauty. We tend to just get defensive like somebody is there to judge us.

We need to make love “cool” again with collective voluntary action. We must stop thinking that love is something superficial or that it is something that is not important anymore.