Have you ever noticed the ways in which love has a tendency to empty and hollow out our world every bit as much as it inflates it with meaning and purpose? I find myself dreaming, desiring, longing and imagining the effective fictive fantasy of Other, of closure and reflexive psychological completion, of unity and hope that love must always at some level represent and yet – simultaneously – this blossoming interior breath and flame of life or directed will and imagination as directed beyond myself somehow and always leaves me feeling utterly, inextricably and enigmatically haunted and powerless.
Is it precisely because authentic, selfless love is so transformative and threatening that so many find themselves committing to a superficial emulation as pure emotional (or chemical) transaction that tends and trends away from constructive resonance towards a destructive dissonance? We seek to fill the endemic emptiness and visceral absence inside ourselves with the warmth and presence an other might bring but the distance and difference through which we identify and define ourselves is only ever threatened and – ultimately – invalidated, disassembled or extinguished if and when we ever fully merge with another.
Defensive and lonely, we double-down on transient relationships because to fully lose our precious and treasured selves in another through attaining and obtaining them is to fully lose our Self. We build our lives around fantasies, fictions as romantic friendships and forever problematise our relationships with and through them lest we lose what little control we do have or might ever transiently aspire to.
Better the devil you know? I am not certain which emotional emptiness – shallow or deep – is more frightening but I know which one I need.