There are many quotes and phrases about love that we hear and even use often. What do they mean and what messages do they convey about love and relationships?
We often utter common phrases when we discuss love and relationships. These phrases encapsulate various situations. It’s interesting to delve into its meaning. Sometimes it reveals gender stereotypes or is critical of the impact of love on the brain. Sometimes it’s cheesy. Mostly, it makes you want to stop and think about what it really means.
Love Phrase #1: Love is Blind
‘Love is blind’ was a favorite line in a few Shakespearean plays. This love phrase has a few meanings and, dependent on the context, can have either a positive or negative connotation.
Sometimes, it is used to mean that love blinds us to the faults of our loved ones. It prevents us from seeing someone for who they really are because we love that person. In reality, this could cause us to dismiss something we see, feel, or hear because we can’t associate it with someone we love. Love is blind in this case because we lose our judgment. This phrase infers that we can’t think critically about the person we love.
We can also apply this love phrase to refer to the physical attributes of the person we love. If love truly is blind, then a person’s outward physical appearance shouldn’t determine whether you loved them or whether you could have a relationship with them. A relationship’s success would depend on a more emotional connection, rather than a physical or visual one. TV shows like Love is Blind and Married at First Sight try to build on this concept. It’s a case of ‘we love the people we’re attracted to vs. we’re attracted to the people we love’.
In my 40s I’ve borne witness to many relationships where I’ve thought, love must be blind. People will excuse a partner’s offensive behavior or unpleasant personality traits because they love them. However, is it possible to love someone truly if you don’t or can’t see all of them? All their flaws and their imperfections.
Love Phrase #2: The Way to a Man’s Heart is Through His Stomach
There are many variations to this love phrase, but all infer that cooking a man a meal can win his heart. What if you’re a lousy cook? This phrase seems to feed into a stereotype about gender roles and expectations in a relationship.
Today, there seem to be more famous male chefs than female. They might be better at it than you! You can’t feed them anything and expect them to fall in love with you. Men are more discerning than that!
Sharing a meal is intimate. Food always serves as a backdrop to any relationship. Cooking for someone is a romantic gesture, whether it’s done for a man or a woman. Food can never be the only precursor to falling in love. Although it reflects a care level, it is only one input into the starter pack for love!
Love Phrase #3: Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
This phrase suggests that you realize how much you love or care for them when you are away from someone. It’s almost as if you have to step out of a relationship to appreciate someone more.
It’s a commonly used love phrase in poetry and song to show how someone’s perception of a lover or potential lover can change when they are no longer around them. Sometimes, long-distance relationships may survive because of this. Because of physical distance, people might put in more effort than normal to sustain a relationship.
However, a relationship that already has cracks in its foundation will not survive a partner’s absence. The absence might re-enforce the feeling that you’re better off without that person. A friend of mine confessed that he always had a lighter feeling when his wife traveled overseas for work. For him, absence did not make the heart grow fonder. It made him realize that he was happier without her, and she also arrived at the same conclusion.
Although common, this love phrase speaks more to the early stages of a relationship, when we still view someone through romance-tinted glasses. This can also be true for a mature love relationship where space makes the relationship healthier.
Love phrases are common. We use them to be succinct about love situations. Sometimes, they reveal shortcomings in a relationship. What are your thoughts on these love phrases or have a favorite of your own? Let me know in the comments below!