No More I Love You’s?

“No more “I love you’s”, the language is leaving me” ~ Annie Lennox

Or, as defined by my dictionary

“I love you” (phrase): An affirmation of affection or deep caring, especially to a family member. An affirmation of romantic feeling to a lover or spouse. A platonic expression of strong inclination or liking to a friend


It’s nearly Valentine’s Day. That day where for years cards have been exchanged, flowers sent, gifts bought, all in the name of love. And, in more recent years, the increased complaints about the commercialism and the statements to not buy into it.

I hear you, I really do. I don’t get those heart shaped balloons either.



I don’t get not celebrating the concept of love either. Tell someone you love them every day? Good for you. So why, for the love of Cupid and Eros, would you not do it on a day that is now set aside in the calendar for such a purpose?

You don’t have to go out, you don’t have to send flowers, to buy presents. My parents bought each other such perfect cards nearly 20 years ago that they have just exchanged them every year since. And as for going out for a meal… Well, the restaurants may inflate their prices, but a bowl of pasta and pesto with some fine green beans, cooked at home and served with a decent bottle of red, that will cost the same as it always does. If you feel like it go crazy and light a candle and share a box of chocolates for dessert.

Just don’t sneer at it. You can dislike crass commercialisation whilst still liking the sentiment. A day about love? Literally what’s not to like? A day for hopeful tentative expressions of appreciation, a day maybe enabling you to contact someone to tell them you like them. Do not dismiss the enabling power of that. Especially not if you already are in a relationship, share that love with someone. Don’t keep it all to yourself.

Because that’s the point of love, isn’t it? To share it, not to keep it wrapped up privately in your heart.

If you would say I love you or do something nice for a loved on on any other day of the year then don’t refuse to do it on this one out of principle; the world needs more love right now not less.

I love you


You Don’t Have To Say I Love You

“You don’t have to say you love me” ~ Dusty Springfield

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Love (vb): to have great affection for a person or thing


I’ve written a lot about love and friendship within this blog. This is because they are two of the most important things to me and go hand in hand.

It’s easy to take our friends, those we love for granted. Our love for them may be undisputed within our hearts but we forget to express it, to show how much we care and that we do appreciate how lucky we are to have them in our lives.

You don’t even have to say that you love them. There are so many ways to express love without ever even using the word (photo with kind permission of Vivienne Clore)




My best friend died last year so I can’t say any of these things to him anymore. I would give up scores of things, people, to have him back. It’s selfish but I want my best friend back. I want that gap that his absence creates filled by his presence. I don’t know if I told him I loved him often enough. Or how much he meant to me. But I do know I said many of those things so I hope he knew.

My point, such as there is, is tend your friendships. Like plants, they need watering & sunshine, space in which to grow and, occasionally, culling. Life is simply too short to waste time on those who don’t enrich your life

But never stop telling the ones that do how much you love and appreciate them, however you chose to express it. Because one day you won’t be able to and that will be the time you want to do it the most.



Don’t Piss On Love

“All you need is love” ~ The Beatles

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Love (vb): to have a great affection for a person or thing, to have a passionate desire for someone, to like (to do something) very much


No. Love is not all you need. But once you’ve got oxygen, water, shelter, and food, it becomes pretty important.

“Don’t piss on love” It’s a line from India Knight’s new novel as a response to someone is worrying over all the reasons that a relationship may not work out and all that could go wrong.

And it’s true. Love is far too amazing to be dismissed, disregarded, sidelined in a welter of worry. It’s powerful and life-changing and more than a little bit scary.

In love? Enjoy it. Bathe in the happiness.It’s a wonderful thing.

Loved someone? Been loved? You’re lucky, not everyone has that experience. I know a guy who thinks who has been truly in love with “the one” twice. But I know plenty more people who have never met anyone they would class as “the one”.

I’ve had my heart broken. More than once. My tales of relationship woe are wide and varied and, in one case, downright horrible. However, I love love. I don’t believe in it (read here) but I love it. I will retain that love whether my heart be broken again in the future or I never love someone again.

Love isn’t the answer to everything but actions, thoughts, words, expressed with love are a bloody good start. So if you have the chance then act with love, show love. Don’t worry about what could go wrong, don’t piss on it. Love is amazing. And, after all. rumour has it that it makes the world go round.



I (don’t) Believe In A Thing Called Love

“I believe in a thing called love.” ~ The Darkness

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Love (vb): to have a great affection for a person or thing, to have a passionate desire for someone


I’ll share a secret with you; I don’t believe in love.

I don’t believe in love like I don’t believe in tables. Or trees. Or ovens. Things of such tangible matter that one does not believe in them as they are so irrefutably there. For me, that’s what love is.

I love my friends, past and present. I love my family, mostly still present. I love my lovers, past and present and even the useless.

My love, once given, is not withdrawn. As the sonnet says Love does not alter when it alteration finds. I may chose not to invest further in that love, that the damage to myself is too great, but that does not mean, if I have ever truly loved, that I will stop loving.

To believe in love as all encompassing force is, to me, wrong. It’s an amazing emotion, one of the best we humans have. As the Magic Sitar says in Moulin Rouge, as gifted the line by Toulouse-Lautrec: The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. But don’t believe in it, do it! It’s not a faith, it’s a tangible thing. The power of love (skirting over Huey Lewis here) is an amazing thing. The fervent love a mother has for a child, the passionate desire for a lover, the emotion that has sustained a marriage to a golden wedding anniversary; that is a more than worth a belief, that’s a power worth harnessing.

Love isn’t something to be believed in. It’s to be experienced, shared, enjoyed. Yes, sometimes wept over, but much more so to smile over, even at times through the tears. Love is amazing. To love is amazing.

Don’t just believe in it. Do it. Love someone, love something. Together we could power the world.




“Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love.” “Oh please don’t start that again” ~ Moulin Rouge

Or, as defined by my dictionary:

Love (vb): to have a great affection for a person or thing, to have a passionate desire for someone, to like (to do something) very much


Many years ago I got a copy of Lazy Ways To Make A Living by Abigail Bosanko free with a magazine. It’s a fairly enjoyable piece of “chick lit” though its appeal is greatly enhanced for me by the fact it is set in Edinburgh, which is one of my favourite cities (the others being London & Monte Carlo, if you were wondering). Anyway, the heroine gets involved with a guy who has had cause to look up love in the dictionary to find out what it means. Now, I’m clearly no relationship expert but if someone has to look up love to find out what it is then they’re probably not the most ideal relationship material. Yes, I know, I looked up love for this piece. Don’t go on about it, ok?

Anyway, look at the definition. It doesn’t really encompass the great swathes of emotions that we expect, does it? What about devotion and adoration and the sacrifice of self for others? It seems it’s quite tricky to define love, as many of us think of it, without using the word ‘love’ itself.

There’s all different tyoes of love. The Ancient Greeks had four distinct types which seems a much sensible way to go about it. The way we love our friends, family, lovers, pets are all different types of love. I think we’ve missed a trick with the English language on this one.  I’m not entirely sure what words we could use but we could come up with some between us, surely?

Then, of course, there’s that old favourite of unrequited love. I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there. Also known as having a crush, falling in love with the wrong person, pining etc. I got into a lot of conversation about this much earlier in the year. It’s one of those areas that I think is well summed up with this line: “…longing in the abstact, in the theoretical, can be quite as painful as longing in the particular.” (From Girl From The South by Joanna Trollope). I think it’s perfectly easy to pine for love without there being a specific object of that attention. Equally, in those situations I believe we often express our desires of what we want for ourselves onto other people or situations or things.

Personally I have an incredibly romantic soul coupled with a deeply guarded and cynical nature. I’d like to say that Tennyson was talking rubbish when he wrote “It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all”  but I can’t. The ability to be stirred by that level of emotion is a wonderful thing. I’d take it, along with the pain and heartache over not feeling, any day of the week.

To finish, the best thing I learnt about love was in a novel I read in my late teens. Sadly, I can’t remember the title, author or indeed plot so if the following rings any bells with anyone please let me know! Anyway, the main character realises that when we say “I love you” what we’re really doing is asking “Do you love me?”. This struck such a deep chord with me and I made a resolution that, in my relationships, I would only ever tell someone I loved them when I knew within my heart that it was ok if they said nothing in return. It isn’t terribly easy and I’m sure I haven’t always done it but to be able to tell someone you love them free from any expectation of their response is actually rather joyous. I look forward to being in that place again in the future.

And so, leaving you with that thought to ponder on, I wish you all health, happiness, and lots of love for 2012.