Neil Tambe

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

What's love got to do with it?

The last time I saw the phrase in text, it was looking up lyrics to a popular Fat Joe single. And, maybe he was onto something and maybe he just liked the rhyme. Nevertheless, the line finishes: "it should be about us, it should be about trust, babe".

Logic would suggest that love either has something to do with it, or it has nothing to do with it. This is of course not necessarily what human would suggest...it's much more complicated then that.

Lately, I've been thinking that successful, fulfilling marriages and love are divorced concepts. (Note that I've been thinking about this sort of thing because of the stuff I've been reading and the engaged/newlywed couples I've been around, not to mention marriages I've been attending or hearing about). What does one really have to do with the other, besides the notion that in the contemporary western tradition loves sometimes leads to marriage.

In what I've been reading and observing however, it seems like love has little to with what helps couples go the distance. It seems more the case that couples who are committed, diligent, flexible and adaptive are the ones that make it. Love certainly seems to provide energy and motivation, but in the big scheme of things is love really more than a very small part of what constitutes lasting relationships? Love doesn't pay the bills, does it?

I guess it just seems like there are bigger things at play then love. At times, perceptions of love make about as much sense to me as perceptions of money. There's so much money in the world, it's probably one of the most common things around. But, yet it's written up at the final destination for satisfaction. Just like love. People obsess about love. It's not just that love has it's place in our lives...it consumes. People fall out of love and relationships end. People say loving each other wasn't enough, so relationships end. So, how much does it really matter?

But the obsession around love, makes me feel like it matters. There's so much buzz about love--that seems timeless, genuine and pure--it prevents me from being totally skeptical about love as an idea. The prospect of the feeling, of the supposed state of mind, keep me a romantic. And, I think it does that to many people, even though it doesn't make sense.

If love didn't matter, wouldn't we have given up on the love idea by now? Love and romance have been present in literature forever--though it's connotation and meaning have surely changed over time--so does that mean it's something that has real value?

I mean, I want it to matter. And, I don't think I'm alone in this, nor do I think this desire is solely cultural or generational. It's something we hope for, even if it's not a game-changer in lasting relationships. And perhaps that's why it's so important, not because it has "anything to do with" but because it sustains hope. And maybe hope isn't all we need either, but I think hope is one of those things I'm willing to accept, nearly blindly, as something that could have a lot to do with the good stuff.