Love. The most elusive and misunderstood emotion. And the one thing that everyone searches for. But, to quote 80s pop star Howard Jones, what is love anyway? We know its a many splendored thing, but what does that even mean? What else are you splendoring these days? Love permeates every cell and pore of our culture, whether its the promise of love that will come with a set of abs and swollen biceps, the subtext of a commercial for expensive perfume, or the glossy, unbelievable cinematic depictions of romance.
In music, love and its foibles are written about more than any other subject. There are over 3.400 songs with the word love in the title. On my iPod alone, there are 78 of them, and this doesn't even include the songs that are about love. Love is a word for any emotions that connect to strong affection. For example, I love my dog, I love Stephen Amell, I love sushi, I love my family and friends and I’m madly in love with my boyfriend.
These are all valid examples of love but they are all wildly different. The diversity of these meanings combined with the intricate workings of the emotions involved makes love nearly impossible to define. We use the word love so loosely when speaking that it's focus and power becomes diluted. Saying that you love this season of Mad Men and saying that you love your mom are two completely different things, right? But the word is still the same. For the sake of this column, however, we are going to deal strictly with the simplest example: romantic love.