Kitty L'Amour
© James MacDonald Photography

When it comes to dating and relationships, we can all use a little help from a friend. Howl’s resident cupid is here to get you through the rough patches with a slap and a kiss.   

Submit your questions to Kitty here.

Dear Kitty,

What is love?

 – Your Faithful Reader

Dear Reader,

What a poignant question.  I say this because I observe that genuine loving seems to come so very naturally to some, like a graceful skater soaring across the ice with arms outstretched, and seems to elude others utterly- wobble, struggle, wobble, constrict, kerbonk!  Ow.  

I feel sad, sometimes, thinking that what can be the most purely simple and beautiful part of life can, for various reasons I suppose, present as a thorny and contrived undertaking.

In sum, I think love to be an admiration of someone such that their happiness becomes equally important as one’s own.  Then a magical spiral ensues, whereby altruism becomes hedonism and hedonism becomes altruism.  

This little mechanism automatically takes care of all sorts of “rules” that people make up to try to formulate love.  

I don’t think that there are many hard and fast rules in relationships except consideration of the other’s happiness, whatever that looks like to them.  For example, some people would be hurt if you leer at the waitress. Some people might have fun leering with you!  Who’s to say?  

Bottom line — partners willingly make concessions toward the other because making their partner happy makes them feel good too.

Bear in mind, my opinion indicates the other’s happiness is “equally” important to one’s own.  I think this is what healthy love looks like.

Things go wonky when one partner is excessively conforming to the other’s design or one’s happiness tramples the other’s.  I think “equally important” is creating that delicate balance of give and take, conceding and receiving, in a unique, un-rulebookie, un-formulatable way that can only be determined by the personalities of the two people involved.  

Even if low self esteem or other reasons motivate one partner to willingly over-concede his or her natural desires, I predict that predators by the names of Smoldering Resentment and Loss of Respect shall, sooner or later, circle love’s waters.

Thus begins the dating dance of finding a partner whose desires do not compromise your happiness excessively and to whom you feel pride in pleasing!  

Perhaps my definition elucidates the importance of confidently “knowing yourself” enough in order to even outline your feelings to your partner. And the importance of being satiated enough internally to tolerate the sometimes difficult analysis that a well-cared-for love object is more valuable than a passing fancy.

Like, I love my dog so I leave the bar at an hour early to let him out when he’s been captive for eight hours.

Just how does this magical admiration develop you ask? A million ways, I think, depending on what feels electric to you guided by your innate personality; triggers formed by past experiences, socialization.

To strip away love to its barest essence, I think of my dog. I could not love that thing more. She can’t sweet talk me. She has no special skills that wow me. She’s not a great artist, business tycoon, or sexy on the guitar. 

Those things might get admiration going initially, I suppose, for people.  

All my dog does is show up, day in and day out. She simply shows that it makes her feel good to be near me by insisting on sitting on me, following me around the house, and looking just plain happy to see me when I walk in the door.  She’s on my side.  I think this is why people are inclined to love their relatives. And for friends or lovers, after 5 or 20 years, when the glue holding the glitter onto a costume of snazzy attributes dries up, and the glitter falls to the floor revealing plain old you, I think this, is what fortifies the bond long term.

Now, throw in sexual attraction to this emotional admiration and we have fodder for Kitty L’Amour!  Imagine feeling emotional admiration for a lover without sexual attraction.  This equals, “I love you but I’m not IN LOVE with you.”

Now imagine sexual attraction without the emotional admiration. This equals, “I hope I can follow you home tonight.”

The delicious combination of both combusts to form the romantic love experience that feels like rolling in the poppy field.

So here, dear Reader, you have a peek at love according to The World of Kitty L’Amour.  


Submit your questions to Kitty here.

The advice rendered is non-clinical and offered as personal opinion. It is for entertainment purposes only. The reader is fully responsible for his or her own actions and decisions. While efforts are made to provide good quality advice and information, the authors make no warranty whatsoever as to the accuracy of the information. If you require professional help, please consult a licensed professional.

About The Author

HOWL Street Team

Exploring everything from food and shopping to arts and entertainment so you can experience the best of what Greater Lowell has to offer.