What Is Love Anyhoots?


Suggested Audio:


Howard Jones “What is Love?”


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I have tackled many topics during my relatively short but rather industrious tenure as Keeper of The Crimson Quill. Some of these have heralded clear-cut answers and others have left us more befuddled than when we started out. Today’s question looks likely to fit rather comfortably in the latter. You see, love is the great escape artist and I’m sure it will continue to dumbfound us long after this insight has become lost in the sands of time. However I have not been placed here on Earth simply to make up numbers; there has been much learning en route to where I’m seated now and I plan to share with you some of my findings in honor of the greater good. Whether I shed any light whatsoever on the subject is not yet clear but, if not, then we’ll just hang out some and see where that leads us.

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To some, love is the greatest of all mysteries and it continues to elude these individuals perpetually. I have had relatively few long term partners and have had to learn some fairly painful lessons through various stages of emotional squalor, but I am always learning and, more critically, always searching for that unique connection. Going Steady focused largely on the heartbreak of being cast aside but here I shall be looking at the glue which binds us together.

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At the commencement we’re all butterflies at dawn as we struggle to control the overwhelming glut of emotions. Known as the honeymoon period, this consists of yearning kisses, whispered I love yous and the initially somewhat obligatory awkward coitus. Instead of settling in at the end of a rough day to Reign in Blood by Slayer, Bobby McFerrin gets a rare run out and our whole outlook begins to transmogrify.

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The statistics are not the most encouraging, with partnerships perforating like diaphragms as fast as they are forged. Selection becomes a dicey endeavor in such circumstances as love appears to be always out of reach. It’s not you know…out of reach. My dear parents were united through much cruel fortune and never once did their vows become compromised. Even now, several years after they were callously parted, my mother only has eyes for him and that proves everything I need to know about love going forward.

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There are many different ways of gauging affection but, for Keeper, it all lies in those unspoken truths, contented silences and knowing smiles. When two people can comfortably co-exist without the necessity to massage one another’s egos or demand attention,  we clamber onto the elevated ground we search for. The saying goes that opposites attract but I’m not altogether convinced this is true in all cases. You see, I don’t desire high maintenance relationships or back-breaking tension, I would rather not say things on command and, should another feel the same way, then it just makes for a far more leisurely saunter.

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Dynamics are bound to change as the cycle perpetuates and often the dominant alpha relinquishes his position of authority through years of whittling down. Again, I challenge this. Isn’t it better to get the equilibrium right from the offset, why should it play out like a round of emotional Battleships anyhoots? Within any union truly worth its salt a little integrity carries much weight. Plummeting levels of honesty can leave some trek to the summit. Truth may well hurt but at least when shared from the start it doesn’t leap out at us down the line like the Spanish inquisition.

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It is commonly stated that  a good ruckus between lovers clears the air and rewards us with that great ‘make-up sex’ which follows. Whilst true in part, it still appears a little unnecessary. It may be all well and good as we partake in the vinegar stroke, releasing our frustrations through the eye of our muscle but, after copulation we are still left laying next to the person who cited our rage in the first place. I much prefer the notion of coitus without the accompanying disdain, it just makes more sense to Keeper.

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We search for a particular dynamic when we set out with our potential mates and, too often, it’s the challenge that peaks our interest. Treating our significant others mean is supposed to keep them keen and this just seems preposterous. I do get it, it makes sense to Keeper that our desire is stoked by being made to work for our affections but it all just feels unnecessary. Why should it be so that we are required to feel the rough edge of the sword before gaining a degree of respect for our suitors? It just seems so counter-productive in the grand scheme of things but I suppose that is human nature after all.

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I have always known my mind, trusted my gut and followed my heart and, despite the occasional unavoidable heartbreak, will endeavor to continue with this course of action. I lay my cards on the table without so much as a second thought and have no issue with revealing my hand from the offset. To some this is a show of weakness and that really is the most ludicrous assumption. You see, stating my devotion to a cause doesn’t strip me of any of my manhood as far as I’m concerned. It isn’t a sign of weakness and, if anything, it shows strength and resolve. Surely that should act as an aphrodisiac of sorts?

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I consider myself easy to read believe it or not, there’s nothing impish about my approach to love and I never look to draw the wool over anybody’s eyes. This is me, this is who I am and this is what I believe and if you like what you see, then negotiations can be entered. No false idols, no overlapping angst from prior engagements, just the same hopeful soul who began the dating game over twenty years ago. Bitterness is best left in the past as each situation is different from the last. You just have to grasp how to be more selective, is all.

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It is a regular belief that love is blind. I agree that it can be both long and short-sighted, maybe in need of some bifocals or an eye-dog but come on now…blind? My eyes are wide open now when selecting a potential mate, I do not care for stumbling around in the darkness, feelers out front and courting befuddlement. Not any more, broken fortunes are there to teach and it just depends what kind of learning we choose to glean from any pot-holes stumbled into en route. It’s a fresh slate each time, history need not repeat itself should you read between the lines and search for the neon signs.

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We all wish to be considered primarily in somebody else’s daily cycle, be the first thought out of the traps and responsible for the first contented smile. Every one of us wants to be loved, its just a shame that many believe it necessary to be feared also. Not Keeper…I never look to grab over 50% of the limelight, but neither do I desire owning a lesser stake. Straight down the line is best, should one suitor bare strengths above the other, then I’d search also for my weaknesses and make them known too. I’m no love fascist, there is no crusade I wish to partake in. But neither do I crave slendiferous indifference. Constancy is a word I band around often, as it is a state which I find easy to decipher. Erratic behavior makes my dick itch (not in a pleasant way) as dramatic events and split loyalties just leave me cold. I don’t agree that relationships should be required to be some draining slog, the hard work still needs to be there like it or not, but we shouldn’t be required to make any more for ourselves. Still we do and I guess that’s one of the great human ironies. If you are an Easy Rider like I then you’ll no doubt be nodding like a Bobblehead right now and raising your glass. Cheers, mine’s a Disaronno and Black Rum with Coke.

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Enter  the word love into your Google search bar and you won’t be redirected to the definitive answer. It is just as mind-boggling as it was way back when. But you can gain enough of an understanding to hopscotch a lot of the bullshit attached to it, you place yourself ahead of the game. There is an admittedly slender line between love and hate and, this being the case, I’m like a production line worker switching all negatives for positives before it heads off to be packaged. If I truly despise something, let’s take the British tabloid press as example shall we, then it just knots me up inside until which time as I can shit it back out with a crimson bow on it. Grab you some hate, wipe that wretched sludge around your face blanket, drink it in through your peepers and nuzzle it playfully. Then, without further ado, pump it all back out in all its decorative glory et voila…love. It really is that easy you know.


Try and sidestep expectation as this allows for the element of surprise once more. Should you cross paths with another whom cares enough to share themselves and your joys , then grab onto that as it is a precious commodity not to be trifled with. Nurture and it shall bear blossom and, alternatively, ignore and it shall diminish. However things play out is ultimately your choice to make.






  1. We walk a fine line in these troubled days. The blurred lines have left us at times floundering for definition. Love, not so easily described anymore. Thank You Keeper. I learned much xo.

  2. You explain with such understated finesse. I love that. There I go, using that word. Nothing about the subject is black and white.

  3. When I first read this tonight, I couldn’t respond at first, I had to come back and read it again. I think I’ve read it 3 times now. Your words have made me see things in a different way. Where I’m at right now in my relationship is a scary place for me. But anyway, i just want to say thank you keeper for sharing this! Xoxo

  4. LOV£ is unique to each individual and can be priceless, classic, epic, and SW££T. The modern world has a tendency to rupture notions of truth and honor…but I think that there is a possibility for beauty and strength to coincide and build a solid foundation. Finding that someone who fits you like a glove is key…

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