It’s lust or limerence. There is very little love in the West.
They consider people as interchangeable, nobody is special. Decisions are rationalized, they aren’t rational. Having a rotation of people isn’t a choice, it’s an addiction to the thrill of a new prospect. Narcissus going speed dating to get that high of being admired for the first time again and again and again. Using the other person AS a mirror.
This observation from Mann’s novella Death in Venice (1912) encapsulates a great cultural leap that occurred somewhere close to the beginning of the 20th century. Somehow, the Lover pushed the Beloved from the centre of attention.
Atomised units in a swirling cosmos.
The divine, unknowable and unreachable Other is no longer the subject of our love stories. Instead, we are interested in the Self, with all its childhood traumas, erotic dreams and idiosyncrasies. Examining and protecting this fragile Self [DS: ???] by teaching it to pick its affections properly is the main project of the Regime of Choice – a project brought to fruition using a popularised version of psychotherapeutic knowledge.
Rieff describes him as ‘anti-heroic, shrewd, carefully counting his satisfactions and dissatisfactions, studying unprofitable commitments as the sins most to be avoided’.
That isn’t love, that’s work. Hedonic profit. You can’t be a Scrooge with real love.
The psychological man is a romantic technocrat who believes that the application of the right tools at the right time can straighten out the tangled nature of our emotions.
Men have never been the romantic sex. Their revulsion for courtly love, their open contempt for romance alone (no sex), demonstrates this better than their appeal to their own vanity as if it’s something possessive (henceforth the best Romantic heroes were written by women and popularized by them). To this day, romance is still considered a Female Genre!