Now, I’m going to tell you about Spencer.
You may think you’ve waited a long time. But let’s face it, so did I. I was thirty-three.
It seems to me I discovered what “I Love You” really means. It means I put you and your interests and your comfort ahead of my own interests and my own comfort because I love you.
I love you.
What does this mean?
We use this expression very carelessly.
LOVE has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and you cannot help giving. If you are very lucky, you may be loved back. That is delicious but it does not necessarily happen. It really implies total devotion. And total is all-encompassing – the good of you, the bad of you. I am aware that I must include the bad.
I loved Spencer Tracy.
He and his interests and his demands came first. This was not easy for me because I was definitely a me me me person. It was a unique feeling that I had for Spencer. I would have done anything for him. My feelings – how can you describe them? – the door between us was always open. There were no reservations of any kind. He didn’t like this or that. I changed this or that. They might have been qualities which I personally valued. It did not matter. I changed them. Food – we ate what he liked. We did what he liked. We lived a life which he liked. This gave me great pleasure. The thought that this was pleasing him. Certainly I had not felt this way with my other beaux. I was looking for them to please me. It is a very different relationship. It’s like a wonderful cocktail party. But it ain’t love….There is an enormous difference between “love” and “like”. Usually we use the word “love” when we really mean “like”. I think that very few people ever mean love. I think that “like” is a much easier relationship. It is based on sense. Love – a blind spot.
– “Me: Stories of My Life”, Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn has always been one of my heroes. She played the Hollywood game and beat it down every time, and in doing so, earned the respect of practically everyone there. She also lived her life according to her own rules and never settled or compromised to anyone else’s wishes.
I read the aforementioned book years ago and this quote, on Hepburn’s relationship to Spencer Tracy always stuck with me as something very insightful and true especially about actually meaning “like” when very often people say “love”.
Now, some people may read the quote and think that’s about female subjugation
and being submissive to “The Man”…again, and I would have to respectfully disagree. What Hepburn is saying is that true love is complete exception-making, not out of duty, not out of obligation, not out of guilt, not out of power or need, but rather a very conscious choice, because it makes you deliriously happy to finally get out of yourself and put someone else ahead of you with no expectations whatsoever. It goes beyond economic and material needs. At that point it, becomes self-actualized love on an emotional and spiritual level.
Therefore men who have the most resources can secure the most desirable women who can give them the most sex and women put themselves through torture to become impossible ideals of beauty to secure a mate who can provide for them (hence the Sugar Daddy phenomena
, old balding dudes with comb-overs in a Porsche with a girl who looks like a grand-daughter supermodel) .
Michel Houellebecq, one of the most brutally honest , but twisted minds out there.
This is what makes me chuckle about economists and other social theorists; they always forget about the “wildcard factor”, they always forget about the emotional and spiritual dimension to any of their arguments. And quite often, I think, it’s that emotional and spiritual dimension, which either makes things work splendidly…or fail spectacularly. It’s also the very thing which makes things run smoothly in the long run, that’s where the fuel comes from.
I’ve seen this a few times now, where people I knew got married to partners, who on paper and in theory were “perfect”. Similar educational backgrounds, same cultural references and centers of identification, even looked very similar to one another.
When former supermodel Christie Brinkley married for the fourth time to architect Peter Cook, everyone thought it would finally work since they looked so good together and hung in the same circles. Wrong. Cook cheated on Brinkley with a local teenager and what ensued was one of the messiest, nastiest divorces the normally jaded Hamptons has seen in years.
But after a couple of years, the marriage slides into inertia or the differences, which were once so interesting have now become so unbearable that ending it is the only available option.
I might be a Pollyanna
but I don’t think love “takes work”. I think it should be as insanely easy as play. I also think, if people were more honest with themselves, they would know right away if it’s really a case of “love” or “like” or “lust”. Love makes you stronger, not weaker. Love makes you happy, not tortured. Love makes you feel secure and at peace, not fearful and paranoid or jealous. Love gives you courage, not doubt. Love opens your eyes wider and makes you want to share your love with others, not hide it selfishly. Love is expansive, not restrictive.
Most of all, love heals, it is a balm.