What love?! It's just business.
Random affection. One of my friends recently used these two words to describe my current "30 and single" love life. Is it good or bad - judge for yourselves, but at least I hope he does not condemn me because of that.
What he (and many others) might condemn me for is this: love is a contract between two people. So is marriage. It's a sales thing, obeying the law of supply and demand in 21st century "meat market". And despite one part of me being totally disgusted with it, there are no more ways I can think of to prove this statement wrong. Love as a romantic and beautiful feeling does not exist. It's just a contract, though the terms and conditions might differ quite substantially, depending on the wishes of signatories.
I still can not believe that it's really me who is saying such things. Me - the one who has always believed in "till death do us part" thing and noble knights on white horses. The one who used to get to tears when watching something romantic or simply listening to "I just called to say I love you" (song by Stevie Wonder). The one whose favourite movies were costume dramas and watching the stars on warm summer night. The one who could easily mix up dreams and reality. And still, I say this with all strength and confidence now: love does not exist - law of contract does.
When drafting a "love contract" certain terms and conditions would be quite general, though there might be a few very specific ones. The final contract is subject to longer or shorter negotiations and additional agreements.
What do parties want? Most of the times, given a choice to press on their own terms, men would come up with the "must have" list, including:
- appearance - sexy looks. A woman does not have to be a 90-60-90 model - just be sexy, it's more than enough (on condition that you also use what you have). Of course, if you look like a model, you get extra points for that, but it's not vital.
- intellect - ability to converse on various subjects, to understand and support. To keep his interest in you at a fairly high level. Your own interests should extend much further than matching the colour of your lipstick and shoes.
- crazy in love with him and of course, faithful beyond any doubt;
- independence - but not too much of it (you must still be a woman), plus a few other things.
To cut it short - a lady in public, a personal whore in bed. Everything else is adjustable.
A woman would definitely want something like:
- honest, caring, self-confident, faithful, crazy about her;
- financially secure (unfortunately, most men make a direct link between their career/ability to make money and self-worth - if one is missing, the other won't be around too; and self-confidence is a must);
- good listener, good looking, good lover, good something else (never expect a exhaustive list from a woman, because most of the times we can't define exactly what we want).
I think it's worth mentioning that the shorter the contract is in terms of time, the more flexibility is applied by each party. In a case of a simple one night stand the contract itself might remind you of a till receipt; still, according to basics of contract law, if offer and acceptance are present, you've got a contract.
After it's clear what you are putting on a table, you start negotiations with regards to contributions made. Sometimes the terms are close to definition of simple prostitution ("you'll have to look good, satisfy me and I'll give you a luxurious life" - not necessarily the first one is a woman, "toy-boys" exist too), sometimes it gets completely to another end (spiritual/religious stuff).
Right to freedom of contract, which is also the one of fundamental rights that whole civil law is based on, lets you agree on everything you wish to (providing the object is legitimate and no force/duress is used). When it comes to relationships, this right is loosened even more, sometimes to extremes.
Freedom to tailor your contract as you wish also means that sometimes cheating is a serious breach of the contract, and sometimes the opposite - just another term. Even after a material breach the party at fault may remedy the other party and contract stays in force, though a few adjustments might be made. Or the contract might be ended - we've got a divorce. Everything's legitimate.
See, when you look at it all from this angle, so-called love and simple civil (mainly contract) law have so much in common...that they become the same. And nobody questions the existence of law - though existence of love is subject to strict scrutiny.
When someone says "I'm in love" doesn't this simply mean that he/she has found the correct set of qualities in the other person for the correct "price" and decided to "buy" it? Even love at first sight can be easily explained - it's already scientifically proven we unconsciously decide to purchase or not to purchase an item in first few seconds. Of course, sometimes a bit of sales/marketing and convincing might be required - like long walks along the beach, candles, etc. Romance is just another sales technique.
Love is a contract between two people who have just met. Like in all new contracts, regardless of them being one or a hundred pages long, something is overlooked, what can subsequently cause problems later on. But again, that's how contract law and sales process works - no feelings in that, just logic and common sense.
So.. random affection. Or just short-term contracts? Spread the risk and do not trust only one business partner? Common thing, especially popular in services and among manufacturers - you never risk being left with only one supplier, just in case of non-performance. Safe option, business first.
Love? No hard feelings, but it's just business.
Or maybe my heart is no longer a piece of frozen water (commonly called ice), but a stone. No way to melt it anymore.