To live without loving is not really living.
If so many of the delicious, delectable enticements of taking a lover and having an affair end up being tasteless or leave a bitter aftertaste, why do so many women continue to embark on so many adventures year after year? Probably for the same reason people buy lottery tickets. Because when the affair does live up to your hopes and expectations, or when you win the lottery, it is, in fact, well worth the gamble. It is every bit as wonderful as you imagined it would be.
To love and be loved in return may not solve all life’s problems, but it does make them easier to bear. Loving and being loved puts a bloom on your cheek and a spring in your step and hope in your heart. It makes ordinary, everyday events seem like fun, and it transforms extraordinary ones into truly joyous experiences. You feel more confident, more energetic, and more optimistic. You take more delight in the pleasures of the world and are more tolerant of its trials and hardships.
Love is not a panacea. It does not cure cancer or stop inflation or prevent war. It does not stop you from growing older. It is, however, the world’s best palliative; and by lessening the pain of living, it increases enjoyment of life. No wonder poets have, for centuries, been waxing eloquence on these themes. No wonder so much of your time and attention and energy is taken up, one way or another, in the quest for the kind of lover who can open up this cornucopia of feeling and delight.
Next week. What do we mean when we say someone is a lover?