Today happens to be a perfect day to go over this. Seeing how it’s Valentine’s Day and all. Let me warn you, there will be moments of cheesy love songs. Like this one (you may press play, or merely skip down to the next paragraph, your choice).
When we think of love, we often think of fairy tale romances, like Cinderella meeting her Prince Charming. Or how the awkward, nerdy boy manages to capture the heart of the lovely girl (which is complete bullshit, I might add, and a trope that only gives credence to that awful Nice Guy™ Syndrome). In those stories, love is always in the air.
It kind of bothers me, really, that we have these stories about love being equated to a physical attraction. That’s just some glossed over Hollywood mumbo jumbo, which is no better than taking the main character from Hunger Games and making her white in the movies (here’s a clue; in the books she’s not actually white). That latter is called whitewashing, naturally. The other could be a form of a bland Taylor Swift song where the only way you can find love is if you are virtuous and pure. Not whorish and clingy. Which is odd, because really, even if a person is whorish, that’s not anybody’s business.
Love goes a lot deeper than a physical attraction, but media (Hollywood, books, television and so on) wants us all to think that the only love that matters is the kind of love that is not only a physical attraction, but one that ends up with sex. It’s a lot more than that, one thing that I want to try to convey with Black Mask & Pale Rider (yeah, I draw this out, but it’s my book, dammit). Shani and Pania, two women, are going to start off rather stand offish with each other at first, but toward the end of the story they will be close friends. One could even go so far as to say they love each other very deeply. Of course, there’s a large number who would think that Shani has suddenly and spontaneously a lesbian. She’ll still be as “straight as an arrow”, as she would say. But there’s nothing to say that she loves Pania.
Love can mean more than just “an intimate relationship”. It can be a very close friendship with someone (who may or may not be of the same sex), wherein the two people share secrets and rely on each other for specific things. Sex, physical attractions, none of that need apply here. You don’t need to be in a physical or sexual relationship to love someone, nor do you need to be in a sexual or physical relationship to hug someone. So on this day, when you think of someone that makes you smile, that makes you laugh or even remembers little things, let them know how much you appreciate them.
That is the best kind of love to give.