Mistaking Means for Ends in Love

Having-or-notMistaking means for ends in love is one of the worst and common mistakes. What we learned about love often makes our love pretentious, an insane dream-world that murders affection. A commitment necessarily views people as means to some goal. Anything that we can commit to doing can be done without affection. Commitment is not love. We cannot promise to feel the same way tomorrow and be truly honest because we don’t know. Anyone who wishes to challenge the above argument should also display their crystal ball.

In love, what is second rate is usually given first place in society, this fact is hidden behind symbols we learned to respect. Many of the beliefs about love are upside down. People often withhold affections from others who arn’t useful to them in terms of money, property, power and prestige. If that weren’t enough, these ‘love investors’ then define affection given for its own sake as superficial. These people literally turn affection into a means used as a reward for doing what’s expected, just as an animal trainer uses treats.

Dance ToolsTo give affection without limiting the choices of others is an ethically higher standard than commitment. Its called friendship and nothing excludes that relationship from being the basis of sexuality. Nor does the above freedom stop the affection from continuing indefinitely. Nor does the above freedom exclude utility, but the utility is not the value of the affection. Love for its own sake, even if it serves no other purpose, it’s a good thing. It may include means but that is not the point.

The utility standard for measuring love is ridiculous, its like judging art by how much money it makes. Its like mistaking kindness for weakness. In the 80s, I heard much talk of unconditional love, people confused such love with ‘true commitment.’ This love dogma cursed them so they couldn’t see people as an end unto themselves nor could they view affection as something that of itself makes life worth living. Again, people misunderstood unconditional love as a means to achieve something else and missed the point.

In world where what is 2nd rate often takes 1st place, that terrible and unbelievably popular trend is not reason to devalue what is better. One of the things that make life worthwhile are affections. If you understand what I’m saying, then you are a person I want to meet.

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