When it comes to matters of affection, hate is never the opposite of love. For the same reason that a dog prefers having a scornful master to having no master at all, to be hated by an unrequited love is always more desirable than to be deemed too insignificant to even be noticed by it.
Love is a casual greeting. Love used to feel like a word that made the strongest weak in their knees. Made the blood flush to their cheeks, as they tried to control the pitch of their voice and the queasy feeling in their stomachs, so they wouldn’t give away the obvious (which everybody had already figured out): they were in love. But love is a casual greeting.
It means hello, or goodbye–like Aloha!–it’s been colloquialized. People date for two hours, they say they love each other. For two days, they are in love. Six months later, they no longer say they love that person. Now they both say they love someone else, as casually as they once said they loved each other. Because to say you love someone is the right thing to say when you see them, it is as expected as saying, “Hello!” To not say it would be impolite. And decorum and civility trumps passions.
The word love used to hurt, so it had to be declawed. The sting is removed with every casual use. It becomes normal–boring, even! Ask someone how their day was, and you’re already bored before they can ever answer. Words that are boring have no power. They can’t hurt, or disappoint. Saying words like hello or goodbye yield no commitment or expectation; the emotional investments are net-neutral. If the word love means saying hello or goodbye, then love yields no commitment or expectation; love’s emotional investments are net-neutral.
Words don’t mean what we want them to mean, they mean how they are used. And if love is used like a casual greeting, then love is a casual greeting.
Much love to you all,