To prove that I haven’t been hiding from controversy, I’ll post some of my favorite quotes from C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves (which everyone should read or hear, by the way):
“Everyone knows that it’s useless to try to separate lovers by proving that a marriage between them would probably be unhappy – not only because they’ll disbelieve you (though of course they probably will), but even if they believe they would still hold on their course, for it’s the very mark of Eros that when he is in us, we would rather share unhappiness with the beloved than be happy on any other terms…Eros never hesitates to say, ‘Better this than parting; better to be miserable with her than happy without her; better our two hearts should break together than mend and be whole apart.’ If the passion within you doesn’t say this, it’s not eros.”
“And all the time we have the tormenting paradox that this quasi-god, this Eros whose voice sounds like the Eternal, isn’t eternal at all. He’s notoriously the most desperately mortal of our passions. The whole world rings with complaints of his fickleness. What is puzzling here is not just the fickleness itself – what’s really baffling is the combination of this fickleness with his violent assertions that he will be permanent. To be in love is to both intend and to promise eternal constancy. Love makes vows without being asked: ‘I will be ever true,’ are the first words he utters. Now appetites don’t speak with that voice…”
“A passion can only move us – only provide incentive and energy. It is merely the dive that gets us into the water; once in, swimming, not diving, is the thing…The amorist similarly expects being in love to be exactly like falling in love. When the delicious ‘falling’ is over (when the dive’s got him into the water), he doesn’t know how to go on. He has enjoyed the incentive of the passion; he never discovers what it is an incentive to, so he presently climbs out and tries a dive in a different pond. For love by itself will not keep us in love (or not for very long). Falling in love is something that happens to us; being in love, still more, remaining permanently in love, is something we do. No passion is self-preservative.”
There is a great deal of what he says that I agree with, and I remember him discussing the friendship between members of the opposite sex, but I cannot find the exact passage. I do believe that he is quite accurate in his descriptions of the various types of love.
All of those quotes are taken from the book, but please don’t sue me, various publishing agencies! I took that picture.