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Quote for the Day – A.C. Grayling on the Difference Between Infatuation and Love

Looking at love from the perspective of time is instructive. Infatuation can grow into love given time and a dose of life’s realities, which romance by definition lacks. But first it has to shed its blindness — another of infatuation’s defining characteristics — and its egocentricity. This is the egocentricity of hunger, the need to consume and possess the other’s presence, and thereby to satisfy one’s own appetite. Mature love is different. It comes when one clearly sees the other in his or her individuality, and can therefore acknowledge it; only with such a distance does true closeness come. Romantic infatuation tries to negate otherness, to achieve a merging or identification as if the Hermaphroditic myth, in which lovers are sundered halves of the same being, were true. Love proper is an open-eyed recognition of separateness — but of separateness connected. That is the beauty of it; it lies in the connection, mutual and willed, that two individuals choose to make.

~ A.C. Grayling, The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and for Humanism, p. 202

For what it’s worth, Erich Fromm makes a similar point in his supremely wise book The Art of Love.


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