04 October 2010

On Love At First Sight


Whatever consumerist ethics might be vigorously practised by modern women in Hong Kong, they seem far from being able to escape from the customary female logic- that we should never fall for logical factors such as money and physical appearance. The whole language of love has been corrupted by the sound assumption that our falling in love is based upon a mixture of ignorance and desire, rendering us liable to make false additions to an already muddied notion of self. If we should never fall for first glance, it is perhaps because the reality is always in the habit of disappointing us. A partner with an angelic face who supposedly possesses the ability to read Oscar Wilde's works may end up pinning her interests firmly on an issue of Cosmopolitan, or worse, FACE, and a Hermes handbag.

Hence, in the mature account of love, before we are granted legitimately the right to fall in love, we are apt to investigate in depth about what opinions our partners may hold regarding science, politics, morality, and even daily habits. Instead of strictly following the traditional concept of how two sexes might align together, which is that of money and social status, we should look for in our partners logically irreducible elements: intelligence, emotional sensitivity, talents in the arts and crafts etc. In short, the cliché concept of "inner beauty". How easy a natural archaic impulse might be transformed into an artificially designed empirical notion.

If maturity indicates the quality of truth, then we might be forcefully led to abandon the inherently presumed distinctive differences between men and women, for men are liable to surrender to a superficial romantic logic easily triggered by the invitations of the appreciation body forms, make-up, fashion, and facial symmetry. We are forced to re-evaluate the politically incorrect gender stereotypes: in the mature account of love, women paradoxically analyse their romantic experience according to reason, while men submit their thinking to intuition, emotions, and impulsive desire. Why is it paradoxical? It's because when dealing with other issues in life, these two sexes tend to be consigned to exactly opposite categories. The feminists might have been in the right.

However, our instinctive curiosity of who our partners are poses a threatening problem. If the mature account of love is threatening, it is because understanding too much destroys romantic fantasy. Perhaps the easiest people to fall in love are those whom we know nothing. Our attraction for our beloved ones stems not from our constant intimacy with them, but rather, our lack of understanding of them. People who bear angelic faces tend to be able to carefully administer doses of illusion and reality, that faces happen to be aesthetically constructed in Golden ratio should be able to collect evidence which indicates signs of intelligence, femininity, and innocence around the eyes, noses, and mouths, an utopian image that could only be destroyed when they pick their noses aggressively without a handkerchief and display an excessive interest in the prices of high heel shoes. How seldom we acknowledge the inherent normality in our loved ones; how easy we might slide into a romantic pathology when love reveals its insanity.

Moreover, the modern world, with the help of technology, is changing with an incalculable speed. Our lives are filled with various experiences which are deemed too implausible to be identical with others. Is it sane to think what constitutes our partners' souls will remain the same? Is it sensible to secure our love of regularity for those who operate within the same mortal coil? If our desires and opinions are susceptible to change as time varies, why, then, can't we expect the same from our partners? The same burden no longer inhabits the same soul. Most of us are in fact not aware of our blind submission to Platonic utopia where eternity is praiseworthy and change is despised.

Therefore, the art of securing a romantic conception of love lies in an understanding absenteeism- a conception that is only possible when we don't know who our romantic partners are, but rather, who we think they are. So should we fall in love at first sight? Yes, always fall for first glance. Love without its romantic elements ceases to be love. Apart from the exceptionally rare cases in the romantic history, most depressing endings of romantic affairs are likely to result from the ones rooted in friendship and the like. It's only the romantic experience that we are after.

W

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