Part of the desire to write about love stems from wanting to understand it. What is love anyway? What should we want from a relationship? What should we expect? Why does it happen, and why does it fall apart? These are tricky questions to answer.
Love is difficult to define, but descriptors for it abound. Love is patient. Love will guide and support you through the tough times. Love is enduring. It’ll catch you when you fall. These are lofty promises, but they can be met when we’re surrounded by caring people. And if a person finds themselves alone in times of trouble, someone with a loving heart may see that pain in their fellow man and lend a helping hand. This is love at its best. This is how beautiful love can be. It can enrich our lives and imbue our daily routines with a sense of meaning and purpose.
Love also has a dark side.
Cupid’s arrow doesn’t care whether it’s welcome or not. The uncontrollable nature of love can be a bloody nuisance, or worse, utterly devastating. “All’s fair in love and war,” an oft quoted proverb proclaims. “Love is a battlefield,” says Pat Benatar. These nuggets of pop wisdom touch on that darkness. Love can be inconvenient. It can even be dangerous to fall in love if society deems it to be wrong. At certain places and times (even today), it’s been frowned upon or outright illegal to be with someone of a different race, a different religion, or the same sex. The consequences for embracing that love can be devastating. Nevertheless, people have gone through all kinds of personal hardships and taken grave risks to be with the one they love.
Writers everywhere incorporate love into their tales, and that’s wonderful. We get to find inspiration, joy, and sadness in reading about all the ways love can either triumph or go awry. We get to explore all the possibilities together. Do you like to examine the nature of love in the stories you write? Do you prefer stories where love remains happy, or do you prefer when it takes a dark turn?