on love & metaphors

".... metaphors really do shape the way we experience the world, and that they can even act as a guide for future actions, like self-fulfilling prophecies.

Johnson and Lakoff suggest a new metaphor for love: love as a collaborative work of art. I really like this way of thinking about love. Linguists talk about metaphors as having entailments, which is essentially a way of considering all the implications of, or ideas contained within, a given metaphor. And Johnson and Lakoff talk about everything that collaborating on a work of art entails: effort, compromise, patience, shared goals. These ideas align nicely with our cultural investment in long-term romantic commitment, but they also work well for other kinds of relationships -- short-term, casual, polyamorous, non-monogamous, asexual -- because this metaphor brings much more complex ideas to the experience of loving someone.

So if love is a collaborative work of art, then love is an aesthetic experience. Love is unpredictable, love is creative, love requires communication and discipline, it is frustrating and emotionally demanding. And love involves both joy and pain. Ultimately, each experience of love is different." 

– Mandy Len Catron, "A better way to talk about love"