We (Stef) talk a lot on Autostraddle about whether or not love is a lie. Most often we (Stef) roll it out alongside news of a celebrity breakup, one we were just sure made sense and could never end, and in a weird way it offers some levity to the situation, because it’s the not saying something out loud that makes it true. Or we use it when like, a show we enjoyed got canceled.
We even have a “love is a lie” tag, and if you know anything about our tagging policy, which I don’t know why you would, you know that it’s a very strict tagging policy and you can’t just go making up whatever tag you want and slapping it on an article, which is just another testament to how invested we (Stef) are in this discussion.
Some of us (Stef) have given a hard yes or no on the matter, but I was curious to see where everyone stood. So, as you do around the holidays, I asked everyone on staff point blank: “Is love a lie?” After some initial, “HEY IS EVERYTHING OKAY” feedback, I got their answers. For the record, everything is okay and this is a simple question, and are YOU okay???
I gave them vague guidelines and said it could be as simple as a one word answer or a gritty breakdown, because that’s exactly the kind of rogue woman I am, and guess what? I got one word answers and gritty breakdowns. I also got an answer that compared love to wet cat food. This thing goes a mile a minute.
Also, I realize the graphics on this are confusing, like they should be swapped, and you may even feel discouraged halfway through, but remember the question’s not if love is good or bad, it’s: is love a lie?
Mey, Trans Editor
Love is absolutely most definitely NOT a lie. For example, I love Stef with the strength of a million vampires.
Laneia, Executive Editor
Real love is like wet cat food, Erin. Is wet cat food a lie? Think about it.
Rachel, Managing Editor
Here’s my take: love is not a lie, it is real and cool, but love as an interpersonal dynamic between two people doesn’t address any issues or problems in a real way, whether they be personal, institutional, or cultural. At best the benefit of interpersonal love is to provide emotional support in addressing those issues, which you can also accomplish with a cat. So the idea of love as a powerful force that conquers all is definitely a lie, unless we’re talking about some larger radical love that forms the engine of a movement, in which case I’m out of my depth.
Kaeyln, Staff Writer
My head says, “Yes,” but my heart says, “No.”
Laura M., Staff Writer
No. Sorry, Stef.
Erin, Staff Writer
Love is a lie. I’m sorry!
Alex, Formally A;ex
First of all HI IS EVERYTHING OKAY, secondly, no. I can get so gritty about this BUT I WONT.
Karly, Social Media
No. Unless it’s between two women on network TV, then yes.
Crystal, HR Director
Carrie, Staff Writer
No, love is not a lie. It is also not magic and takes more work and dedication and understanding and listening than everyone thinks. Not easy, very real.
Stef, Vapid Fluff Editor
Love is a lie and everyone dies alone.
Kayla, Staff Writer
I BELIEVE IN LOVE!!!!!
Alaina, Staff Writer
Nah, love isn’t a lie, I guess BUT IT MIGHT AS WELL BE.
Yes, until I’m in love, and then no.
Is Love A Lie: Ugh, I was hoping that the deadline for this was done and over with. When this question was posted, I was in the midst of texting with this really cool person and didn’t want to be like I HATE LOVE & EVERYTHING IS A LIE because I had just told this person about AS, and didn’t want to overwhelm them. My cold-dark love heart Grinchly grew 1.5 sizes in a month just texting with them. It was slowly starting to soften.
It just felt nice and not saying it was love because it was just texting with said person but it felt good. BUT. NOW. TWIST. Idk, it all ended before it even began, so now what? Because dating is the worst and I hate it. WHAT. THE. FUCK. I can’t believe there is something I am against Heather Hogan with and I think I need to journal and really think about it.
I know, I know, but Nikki, you’re the sweetest or insert whatever kind thing you want to say about me. THAT’S APPARENTLY NOT HOW LOVE WORKS EVERYONE. Because you try and you try and you try and you try and you try and you try and trying just becomes fucking exhausting. When it comes to love I think some people are just really fucking lucky.
So, is love a lie? I think when I say love is a lie it’s because I’m just fucking tired. And for me personally, it’s not always easy. I can find 100 people I would love to be friends with and can befriend a lot of people but for me to find someone I would want to start a relationship with is like one in a sea of people. (And good luck if that one person is queer, single, etc) I think that is why I joke love is a lie because it just becomes easier than thinking there is something wrong with me or that I am lesser because of my lack of love finding.
I have now scheduled when to meet new people because I can’t handle constant rejection. So, get rejected wait two months to get back out there, repeat, until death I’m guessing. Don’t even fucking tell me that someone is out there for me because you don’t know. Or at least show me a diagram. Don’t give me hope. I’m happy you found love, really I am. But don’t tell me it’s out there when you don’t know. Maybe I’m not meant for love but that doesn’t make me less. Get me that gay math equation on the amount of gay people out there.
Sometimes the writing about love is that if you’re a good person, love will be waiting for you. It will come to you if you’re deserving of love and that’s where I have to go, wait one fucking minute. So, if I never find love it just means I’m not deserving of it, LIKE COME THE FUCK ON. I know at least through friends of friends a few assholes who always end up finding someone. If you found love congrats, but don’t sit here and tell me to wait for whatever because this isn’t a fairy tale and we all don’t get the ending we want.
Let me be really real right now, I’m normally the person behind the scenes, it’s where I excel. I’m pretty sure everyone here at AS knows me as the person who gets shit done. I like to organize, make awesome spreadsheets, can make graphically pleasing things, can be counted on (usually), but one thing that I never understand because it seems so illogical is love. I can’t put logic on it. Love is not logical and I can’t make a list about it. I’m focused and determined but love is like HAHAHAHA, that’s cute. Excuse me while I fuck you up for a bit. Love either happens or it doesn’t. That isn’t saying that once you are in love that it isn’t hard: it is being vulnerable to someone else, it is opening up your world to another, it is compromise, it is letting the person have the last cookie, it is laughing at each other, it is communication, learning about your partners wants/needs, it is planning together, it is saying sorry when you messed up, it is just being there but like have your own hobbies too. I get that part, like that is logical. Finding love is even harder and makes no fucking sense.
So, is love a lie? No, it is illogical and that is why I hate it. Luck is illogical. Love is illogical. Love = Luck = Illogical. Please note that if I am lucky and find someone, JUST WAIT 2 SECS for this to all go out the window. Just watch me go from Stef to Heather in like a blink of an eye. (Hi, I love you both.)
Carolyn, NSFW Editor
Sometimes love is a lie you tell yourself and sometimes love is a lie you tell other people and sometimes love is the only thing in the whole world that feels real, that feels right, that feels true. We all still die alone though.
If you’d asked me two months ago, I would’ve told you love was the truest most eternal thing of all. I would’ve OPINED. But you asked me just now instead and right now I feel like love is in fact the worst lying motherfucker of all time. Ask me in a few more months and we’ll see if I’ve evolved on the issue. G-d, I hope so.
Sarah, Business & Design Director
If you’re lying about it it’s a lie.
Audrey, Staff Writer
Love fails because as a species we lack imagination. We try to make love make sense, make it tangible, make it pass tests. Love doesn’t give a shit what we expect of it. We are too small for love, but we chase it anyway. Every once in a while we catch it, and even more occasionally we figure out what to do with it. I believe in love, and I believe in God, and I’ll spend the rest of my life figuring out what that means.
Heather, Senior Editor (Y’all know she had to do it)
Two summers ago Stacy and I rescued and socialized a litter of feral kittens. It looks easy typed out like that in a single sentence, but it took hours and hours and weeks and weeks of sitting so still and so quiet on a hardwood floor, not making eye contact, coaxing, coaxing, coaxing them to trust us. And of course it did. They were born in an alley and we tricked them into a trap and took them away from the only home they’d ever known and carted them off to the ASPCA in a giant loud truck and had them neutered and spayed and ear-tipped (just in case it was too late and they couldn’t be socialized and they had to go back to the streets). They were starving and then they were in shock and then they were in surgery and then they were in a strange and terrifying new place.
A few months in, just when they’d all finally started letting us gently pet them without using food as a bribe or a distraction, they got sick. Very sick. The vet told us they had a virus that was almost always fatal to kittens, but we decided to have them treated anyway. To give them a fighting chance. They survived the first night at the emergency hospital, around the clock monitoring and IVs in their little paws. And they survived the second night too. And another.
The problem was they’d stopped eating. None of them would touch a single bite of food, and kittens are almost always hungry; kittens will eat anything. The vet called us and said, medically, the best thing for them would be to stay at the hospital, but science isn’t everything and sometimes you gotta love a kitten into living. We brought them back home in makeshift carriers: Blue Apron delivery boxes with holes cut into the side, and before we even got out of the parking lot, one of the kittens reached his white paw out through the cardboard window. He held my hand the whole way home.
Our rescued kittens were so scared of us for so long. Scared we were monsters who were fattening them up to eat them in a stew. Every baby step was such a victory. They ate with my hand on their food bowl! They put two paws onto my shoe! The day we got home from the hospital, I put out their food and they ate every single kernel, licked that plate clean. They crawled into my lap, all four of them, and went to sleep in a pile. They lived.
Stacy and I have been together six years, during which time she has never once said or done anything to deliberately hurt me. And the same is true for me. We both had childhood trauma that shaped and molded us, and when conflict happened in our relationship, that trauma manifested itself in ways that rubbed each other raw. What she needed and what I needed in the hard moments was the opposite thing and it sent us on some spirals and wrapped us up in some cycles. We cried; lord, we cried. We loved each other. We were so special together. But we couldn’t stop hurting each other in the ways that we protected ourselves.
Several years into our life together, I had my hand on Stacy’s knee while she stared at the floor and I made increasingly desperate eye contact with the therapist sitting in front of us. The therapist said, “Sometimes when we suffer trauma as children, and that trauma is triggered as adults, we react like children because in those moments we feel like children. As helpless. As scared. Without the emotional and physical resources of the adults we actually are, without the perspective of our lived experiences. In these moments, in this spiral, you’re both just terrified girls.” She was right and it changed everything. Stacy and I never get sucked into that spiral anymore. I see her. And she sees me. We reach out and we hold each other close and I can feel it in the now and I can feel it across space and time; me and her and the wounded little kids we once were and always will be.
Maybe people think love is a lie because they think love is the cheat code that lets you play life in God mode. No cliff too steep, no pit too wide, no boss too powerful. But love isn’t like that at all. I mean, it maybe feels like that for a minute, but nabbing a Super Star on level 1-1 doesn’t make you invincible for life. Love isn’t a sackful of healing potions either. Love is more of an amulet you pick up off a slain wizard you were lucky enough to trip over in a haunted forest, the kind that works like: when you’re about to experience a deathblow, the amulet shatters and fills up your health bar juuuust enough for you to get the fuck out of there alive.
The Apostle Paul said love never fails. He was wrong about that. (He was wrong about a lot of things.) Love doesn’t win every battle, but it’s how we fight the darkness and it’s why we fight the darkness. Love is a promise tucked into your armor: a little bit of hope, that talisman against your heart; the whisper of a future.
Love is Not a Lie: 14
Love is a Lie: 3
Love is probably a lie: 3
Nikki and Heather PLEASE.
Love isn’t a lie. It’s a state of mind. The feeling is real. People just happen to be the liars and we are all fools when we love the wrong person, friends included.
If you’ve been single for a very long time it can seem like there is no one out there in this Planet Earth out of all of the billions upon billions of homies alive…. in that quest to meet a kindred I feel like it is natural and inevitable to wonder if True Love is in this world… especially if you are a unique soul …. I’ve been single forevs and sometimes I’m like wow rly lol…. is there anybody who I will vibe with authentically? But in my heart I know the answer is yes. And deep down, even in moments of very real question, I believe there is a True Love Soulmate for everyone.
& being single is truly amazing – so much freedom to do anything under the sun
Oh wow, Heather, wow. That was just amazing.
Goddamnit, Heather. HEATHER.
Most of the post: haha, yeah.
Heather’s response: What’s this wet stuff in my eyes am I crying what is even happening
Heather’s comment is ahmazing! I loved every bit of it. I was imagining the Legend of Zelda in my head while reading it. Such a great description!
help, I was laughing up until heather’s and then I just started sobbing
Agreed, I think we’re in the same boat. I’m willing to share my kleenex with y’all! I cry from TV shows or whatever often enough that I buy the good stuff, haha.
True love is real
“I’m happy you found love, really I am. But don’t tell me it’s out there when you don’t know. Maybe I’m not meant for love but that doesn’t make me less.”
*gestures wildly* ALLLLL OF THIS
Also, I had to fight real heard to not cry at Heather’s photo while whispering “socks Bobbi” to myself and confusing the shit out of my family members.
Let me tell you something: Nothing could make Socks Bobbi happier than knowing you know who he is. I am looking at him right now, looking at himself in the mirror. He’s been sitting there for 45 minutes.
I love Nikki’s graphic. I think I’d be in between Stef and Nikki for myself, but I believe it for other people.
Riese, do you need some chocolate? Alcohol? A Kate McKinnon binge-watching session? Between this and the ex interview I’m worried and would like to help.
THANK YOU, that is usually where I shine!
I have a friend that tells me, whenever I say I think maybe love is bullshit, that “I think you just haven’t experienced it yet….” Okay sure. That helps. I’m chronically single and refuse to “settle” for anything less than. We’re just brain chemicals and electrical impulses. I just can’t believe any more than that.
IDK about for people who love people but love is very real for dogs
Dogs who love other dogs and dogs who love people and people who love dogs
When you inevitably die alone, your cat will immediately register your corpse as food
But your dog will wait like at least a day to try and revive you / mourn / actually get hungry before he or she accepts their new, humanless reality and eats your remains
Anyway, I love dogs, we all die alone, and cats are monsters, goodnight
Pigs are worse than cats though because they love like dogs but they will eat your whole entire body like the two-faced bastards that they are
I suspect this is because cannibalism isn’t taboo in Pig Society
Also, they have molar teeth that look like people teeth, which is obviously the worst
You don’t even have to be dead for pigs to eat you. According to the tales told to me by my Pépé of drunk farmers falling in the pig pen anyway.
Other Pig Fact: because of how similar pig genetics are to people genetics, contact with extreme amounts of Porcine Cells can trigger autoimmune disorders
There was thus hormel meat processing plant, and it got sued successfully by a union regarding wages, and it reacted by building a wall in the middle of the processing plant, and “outsourcing” half the jobs to a shell company that was really just Hormel with a different name, and slashing the wages but upping the workload over twofold
And then the people who worked near a certain part of the production line – the part were they blasted the brains out of the skulls using a high powered hose – started getting really, really sick
Because they were inhaling pig brain cells, so much that their body started fighting them off, and then mistaking their own cells for pig cells
This took a turn
Oh snap that is some serious shit, I hope Hormel got in trouble for that.
What I find mindboggling is that it’s only the suffering of humans in this story that’s meant to pain us, but it’s totally fine that animals are mercilessly exploited and how unfair that this should backfire.
Is love a lie? How do you answer that question when you’re almost 40, have never been in love, don’t have a family to speak of, and are allergic to cats so will never know the cold love of an indifferent feline? I don’t know, but I do know that I feel like I have been trying to answer this question my entire life, and I will continue to try and answer this question for eternity.
I know that I have a small group of amazing friends whom I love fiercely. I know that I wake up every day and go to my job as a teacher and everything I do is because I love my students so hard sometimes I can’t believe they don’t feel the perpetual hug I’m wrapping them up in. There are days where I know and understand that this is what’s important, this is what love is, and it’s okay that I don’t have a family or a partner because I have so much love to give and I’m giving it and that’s all that really matters.
I know that there are days when I remember that those friends and those students all have their partners and their families to love and to let love them. I remember that those are the markers society really measures love’s success by, and I have neither. And my love for them is superfluous.
I know that I believe in my heart that people have a perfect love in their life, but have never come close to finding mine, but I get to watch other people who don’t believe in soul mates live their perfect love right now. Maybe I put up needless hurdles for myself by believing in something that doesn’t exist, ensuring that I can only fail. Or maybe someday I really will find it.
I know that what Nikki said resonated with me so much because it’s so true. How can I not feel like a lesser person when everyone keeps saying those who deserve love will find it, but I may go my whole life without it? How long do I have to keep battling the endless sea of society’s message that the one thing we all deserve, the one thing we all eventually get, is love? I can convince myself of what’s important, but each day I have to convince myself all over again.
Is love a lie? I don’t know. It depends on the day you ask me. Some days I look around and see that every good thing that has ever happened in this world is because someone loved someone else. And some days it’s just another day where I come home to my apartment alone.
On the plus side, I’m not allergic to dogs. So there is hope for my future. :)
This comment speaks to me because my gf is 40ish and I am 30ish and we lived totally different lives.
She resigned herself to never being in a LTR by the sounds of it. Only ever dating a couple of people. Me on the other hand thinking I’d found love every other week.
I think my life was far more pathetic than hers.
Even though she was lonely at times at least she loved herself enough not to be treated like shit.
I don’t really know where I was going with this comment.
But you should totally get a dog.
Thank you for your candour. So much of this resonates with me. I can’t say that kind of love will never happen to me because I don’t know the future, but the prospects seem mighty dim, and have for a long time. I’ve also gotten to the point of watching some of my favourite friends struggle with the same problem and coming to the realization that none of us struggle with this because we are defective, or undeserving, just as people are not infertile because they don’t deserve children.
The people I admire most are the ones who are alone like me, not by choice, and who continue living their lives with integrity and purpose. Maybe romantic love and family will find us, maybe it won’t. We still count. I still have hope for us all.
<3 <3 <3
But ALSO, and I still dunno about grown up adult humans, love isn’t a lie for BABIES
Because babies literally need love to survive
If you don’t cuddle a baby and make eyecontact and do all the coo-cooing, the baby will either
1. Live, but need Hella therapy, or
2. Stop gaining weight, and this is called failure to thrive, and it’s basically when a baby stops growing because they are not hugged enough
So love is for sure real for dogs and babies but idk about adults, cats, and Pigs
GODDAMN ERIN WHY ARE YOU SO OBSESSED WITH ME
oh god heather
I mean, it might be a point in your corner that Heather expresses her love for the planets most adorable murderers
Stef is right, y’all.
That cuts deep, Rey, right after we Drunk Kitchen’d and everything
lol but frandship is real, Amanda
Another vote for we all die alone. Won’t say person-person love is an outright lie… but it’s a temporal mother fucker. However, love for yourself, select cats, and yr own children (I’m guessing) seems pretty legit.
Love isn’t some perfect state.
It’s more a verb than a noun.
It’s harder than it is soft.
But it’s still more good than bad.
Sometimes I call my dog on the beach and she doesn’t come.
Does she love the beach equally to me or more? Probably more.
I still love her anyway.
I’m with Stef. Love is a total lie. Dying alone is what Im headed for. Unless, STEF CALL ME…………..
Dammit, Heather Hogan, I wasn’t ready for that. *wraps self in feels*
Oh wow. I loved this so much.
Heather Hogan for Philosopher King.
I mean this we can all agree with.
The kitten references prove that she knows her audience too well.
Love isn’t a lie, we just tell a lot of lies about it, I haven’t had the forever love we promised ourselves. I haven’t been anymore perfect for someone else than they have been for me. But we keep each other warm in the dark(both literally and figuratively) and that’s never a lie.
LADIES!(AND OTHERWISE IDENTIFIED)
“Love isn’t a lie. We just tell a lot of lies about it.”
First of all: wow, Heather, wow
Second: Heather that thing our therapist said has helped me ever since I first read about it. Thank you so much for sharing it
i think love as we think of it is a lie. surely that’s just head over heels infatuation? true love forever blah blah is nonsense
Riese, fuck whatever you’re going through, and hi, we’re here for ya. ?
Always here for you, Riese
My grandmother, my mother, and Heather Hogan are all reasons I believe in love.
How’d you really feel, I may never know. And as I ride through these streets with my hand on my heat, eyes red from the sweets, I realize some things never change. Once in love and it’s gone you don’t look at it the same. Fuck love cause she don’t live here I’m soaked in blood but I’m still here Hip Hop heartbreaks straight-laced, deep bass, 808s plus the mixtapes.- scarface
Riese has written thousands and thousands of articles for Autostraddle. She has responded to hundreds of trolls. She has put her best intentions and her best words and all of her energy into an industry that doesn’t provide health insurance or any sort of security, she has listened and adapted this space when she needed to, and I don’t know if this was her original intention, but what she created was a space for us to be ourselves, to fight the assholes, to rally, to laugh, to meet each other at camp, to have community where we had none before.
Heather and the Bobbis! Everything she said above about the Bobbis. Every hour she spent on the floor with them. Every time she decided to hope and try even though they might not have made it, even though it might have hurt her.
My mom, feeding me in the middle of the night when I was a tiny four pound baby, waking with me every hour. Before I knew what words were, her love was real, tangible, it kept me alive.
My aunt and uncle, being kind to one another, day in and day out, even when they’re tired, for forty years. Playing for the same team, always. That can’t be easy every day. But they do it every day. They chose to be each other’s family once, and they keep making that choice, every day. So many days.
And my mom, choosing herself and her health when she needed to, ending a marriage that needed to end, making the hard but necessary choice to grow into something else, to give her roots a chance to go deeper, to instigate a divorce that at the time felt like the most painful thing that could happen to me, because she knew she needed to, because she knew there was more out there for the both of us. Loving me enough to be healthy, to model health.
Love to me is labor. It’s every day. It’s the choices you make to do the hard work because something is worth it. It’s the courage to face facts when something isn’t right anymore. It’s making the choices that are worth making even tho they might hurt you. It’s going after the good stuff. It’s trying, every single day. It’s committing to the people worth committing to, again and again, and maybe fucking it up sometimes, but recognizing what you’ve got, and learning from your fuckups, and trying harder. Sometimes it’s leaving. Sometimes it’s recognizing that loss, letting people go. It’s always hard work. It’s not a magic trick, it’s not the end of the story like they say. But oh my god, sometimes it lasts forever, sometimes it is the strongest shit there is. (But I don’t think it’s lesser when that doesn’t happen between two people. Some couples’ forever is six months or three years or nine says. It can still be gorgeous).
The point is: love is labor, love is the hard stuff, and of course I believe in it and so do you, because some person kept you alive as an infant, because someone has lit up your heart within the space of their smile and for a minute you saw family there, love is real, it keeps formerly feral cats alive in New York City, and it keeps queer online communities alive in a world of folding blogs and closing bars, and it’s why my dog knows he’s safe when I tip him over backwards in bed and let him fall to rub his belly (I call them trust falls). It’s the work we do. And I KNOW we’re doing the work. So…yeah.
Love is real.
(I may be on DayQuil)
Beautifully put. Love you lots
Love you too!
fuck you’re gonna make me cry!
I am autistic. Does love feel like a lie, no just an emotion I wish I had more of. Its not that I don’t love my family and my friends it is just it gets turned off by my autism. I don’t write or call very much. I am ghost to my own family. It doesn’t help they are in another state. But no matter what I don’t have that deep seated love that causes hurt. They leave my life and I just stop loving them wholeheartedly. Worse part is it feels horrible but not so much that I do something about it. And even then I don’t feel so bad that I am depressed. So yes love isn’t a lie. Take it from someone who hasn’t lost anyone but who is lost to those who love them the most. It is real. Real to everyone willing to stick their neck out.
Hey, I’m not autistic (at least I’m pretty sure I’m not autistic, like my psychiatrist would have a lot of explaining to do if he managed to miss that for 13 years straight), and when I lived on the other side of the country from my family, I called my mom a total of once a year. Beyond that, we would occasionally “like” each other’s stuff on Facebook.
I’m not exactly a paragon of social / emotional health, but this is just to say: you definitely aren’t the only person, autistic or otherwise, who experiences love and relationships the way you’ve described in your comment.
My vote: Love is not a lie! And there are many types of love and many types of relationships, and you set your own parameters for all of them in your life.
What a loaded question! It’s one that I have asked myself several times throughout the years. My answer seems to change depending on my understanding of “love” at the time. I suppose you could break this down into a few parts for argument’s sake. First question being, what is love? (still can’t read that without singing Haddaway’s version). Is it something active, or is it just figurative? Can it move, grow, transform, or is it stationary and unchangeable? Is it a sense of being, or rather a state of mind?
I think we look at love as being too defined. I don’t think love is meant to be so inflexible. We have this idea in our head that love is something that occurs when our hearts swell, our faces smile, and we feel joy.
I am reminded of a few verses from my younger years, “4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8). From this perspective love is everything positive we can think of. This leads to the question of not whether love is a lie, but rather is our understanding of love a lie? Love itself, no, I don’t think that is a lie. I think it is genuine.
Also, I think love gets a bad wrap because so many people misuse love. They certainly are capable of lying about their love, but true love isn’t felt through another person or entity, it’s something you feel or you don’t. I think we have a lot more control of love than what we like to admit.
I’m with Riese.
I’d buy that AS t-shirt.
this is clearly what the merch store has been missing all along
My girlfriend of almost two years just broke up with me by screaming we are done at me as she sped out of here because I was breathing too loud as she was trying to rest on the couch. Earlier today she was talking about getting a dog together and an hour later she’s done with me for breathing. i can’t believe I’m pathetic enough to be sitting here crying or writing about this on AS but I love Heather’s words and it made me feel like I am going to be okay
@angalee That sounds awful! I’m sorry! You’re not pathetic and you are going to be okay. <3
you are not pathetic, you loved somebody and they hurt your heart and THAT’S pathetic. not you.
I’m on Team Love Is A Lie (new Autostraddle t-shirt??) but Heather’s response almost made me cry, so, maybe love is a lie for me but not for other people.
Hello, I am reserving judgement on this issue, but according to the cover of this highly factual-looking book, it seems likely that humanity will still be asking if love is a lie in approx 4000 years:
I have skimmed through, and although I couldn’t confirm the veracity of love, I think I found lesbian sex androids.
But sometimes there is no heather and Stacy to fight for kittens.
Sometimes there is nothing apart from lonliness
This comment made me really sad! You can fight for kittens without a romantic partner! Part of the lie that media tells us about love is that our life doesn’t start until we are coupled up but I think that’s bullshit. Go and rescue those kittens! Find a kitten rescuing meetup group and find friends who also like to rescue kittens. Join an organization like Big Brother Big Sister and teach a lonely child how to rescue kittens.
Heather’s piece brought me almost to tears and I let out an honest-to-god gasp of relief when I got to the ‘They lived.’ part.
Love isn’t a fairytale and it isn’t perfect!Love to me is perfect rain in moments of peace, love is like perfect snow flakes that fall,love are those huggs you get that are unexpected but truly needed!
I was so into Nikki statement!!! I to see what she means. I was just like that! Until being with myself and loving me I see love everyday. May not be the love of ,coming home from a long day to see a face looking back at you and wrapping their arms around you, say, “I love you, how was your day”? type of love. Which one day it might come back around again!
Great article and I’m glad I read this today. ?
No, it’s not a lie. But it is a choice you have to make, and you have to keep choosing it.
Maybe not everyone gets to have a great love in this life, and that sucks, but we don’t always get nice things. It seems to be the way of the world. Everyone is going to miss out on something. But that doesn’t make love “a lie”. It’s real, and it’s worth fighting for.
Also, they always say love fades over time, that you can never recapture the early intensity after years have gone by, but…that’s not true either. :)
Uhm so Heather will you come and read that story at my big gay wedding? I will feed you cake and we can all dance in the woods.
It would be an honor.
@laura-m you have no idea how reassuring your simple short answer is. You’ve said that love is a lies therefore it isn’t. Sorted. Next question. I love it.
When my ex and I were still dating, we used to say to each other, “I love you always. Not like I can tell the future, because I can’t. But whatever happens in the future, however our relationship changes or doesn’t change, it will always be true that I loved you in this moment.” We broke up in August after four years together and haven’t spoken since. I don’t know if we’ll ever speak to each other again, but I know that the time we spent together has made me kinder.
Thank you, Erin and everyone else! My love for Autostraddle is no lie :)
Heather Hogan WHY HAVE YOU DONE THIS TO ME
THIS is the best fucking article and every response was so big in my heart though I gotta say Alaina summed it up pretty well “Nah, love isn’t a lie, I guess BUT IT MIGHT AS WELL BE”
Wow! I love what Nikki said! I feel all of those emotions so much and very often!
And Heather <3 all the feels there too
No, not a lie. How can a straightforward biochemical altered state, ultimately physics and chemistry, be a lie. The altered state is real. Real subjectively, for your mind does not see through – and real objectively for i would be foolish not to factor it in when analysing your motives.
Every drug wears off and you find that upward obligations made in altered state remain binding, and downward obligations you are allowed to cancel at a whim. So make sure you are always clean of the former.
Every drug wears off and you wake up in an unfamiliar place with no memory. You either wake up with a loyal ally that will have your back from that point on….or you wake up in prison from where it is unlikely to be easy to escape.
More seriously: love is not a lie, but I think what many people would recognize as “love” – like the movie magic version of it – is a lie
Love exists but we don’t know what it really looks like
I think love is a lie for the vast majority of people and the vast majority of relationships, but very occasionally, a very small percentage of people find it.
So I’m like 95% Team Lie with regard to love as a general concept, and 100% Team Lie as it pertains to me personally. Maybe I’m just being too practical, but if I try something a few times in life and it doesn’t work out, I feel like the sensible thing for me to do at that point is switch gears to something more profitable – something that is either worth it upfront or has greater potential to eventually be worth it – and love shouldn’t be an exception just because it has this whole ~*magical*~ rep. I see my time, money, energy, attention, etc. as precious, finite resources that are better directed elsewhere, because in my experience, love does NOT give a good return on investment.
…Apparently I see everything through the lens of running a business? Kanye shrug.
I think romantic love- the way the media portrays it- is a lie. I don’t believe that everyone is destined to find one true love, or any romantic love, even fleeting. Some people find other ways to love- like friend love or auntie love or foster mama love or teacher love or cat mom love. And I think that’s okay.
TL;DR love is a lie, except for kittens
I don’t think it’s a lie, but goddamn sometimes it feels like life would be easier if it was
I’m not a cutesy lovey person. I’ve never celebrated Valentine’s Day. I refuse all kinds of non-spontaneous gift-giving and big gestures, especially public ones. I kind of hate hearts (not anatomical ones). But, I’ve been in love with my spouse since 2001, and it has never done anything but fill me with light and hope, even the years when we weren’t together. In Italian there’s an expression of deep love that is completely unsexual: “Ti voglio bene”, “I want goodness for you”, and that’s what it’s always been like, even when we weren’t together and it seemed another woman might be what was “good”. In the 13 years we’ve been back together (after dating a few months in our teens and then being super-platonic buddy-friends for years), my feelings have never settled down to be just nice and comfortable even temporarily. Obviously I don’t get sweaty hands and feel like my heart will explode every time we kiss any more, but I’m glad, I never glorified the nervousness and insecurity of many budding relationships in the first place and this is SO much better. We’re rarely apart for more than at most 3 hours per week (though we started as international long-distance, after I’d moved abroad) and we never tire of each other, of talking with each other, of exploring new ideas and experiences together.
That said, I don’t think there’s someone like that out there for everyone. I don’t think this kind of love is superior to other kinds of love. I don’t think you NEED this kind of love in your life to be happy and fulfilled. This is just what I happen to have, and I feel lucky to have experienced it.
Luckily for me, my experience of love is like that of Heather and Carrie.
Mind you, there was a lot of … Nah, love’s not going to happen for me!
I didn’t find it for what seemed like a very long time but I was wrong and now that’s a really long time ago.
DAMN AUDREY I SEE YOU AUDREY
have we thoroughly considered the possibility that EVERYTHING is a lie?
Ty is not a lie
Nikki and Heather’s answers are amazing in totally different ways but I’m probably somehow a combination of them both.
Love , or true love is a lie. True love would only exist if people were truthful all of the time, but we’re not, because humans are imperfect. If true love revolves around truth and respect, then most people will never reach true love, they will always have imperfect love (which is good enough for mere mortals).
There are forms of love (mistaken as love) of course, one major one is lust. Then there is visual love which is mistaken for emotional love and steeped around vanity (falling for youth, beauty or both, which you think also validates your own appeal in process, hence why persons will always be replaceable by default when the youth/beauty runs out). There is friendship love, which many of us experience and tend to end up with for life (“I married my best friend”) which obviously has some amount of sexual love, but also a huge sense of wanting loyalty and being able to stand each other after all the lust has gone, it’s a comforting love, like a blanket, and feels safer sometimes than other forms of highly aesthetical/sexually attracted love).
If you think you have true love, but accommodate lies within it, periodically or throughout (even if done to protect from hurting another) then it’s not true. It’s an imperfect form of emotion that is mistaken for love. The saying love is blind is so appropriate for love, because in truth, love does not make you blind, it’s the lies/pretence surrounding what love is that make you blind, make you trip up and make you feel pain. But the love doesn’t hurt, it’s the person that has deceived you, or even you lying to yourself that has been the undoing. The desperation we all feel to love and be loved makes us push for what we think is love, and ultimately it will never actually be the ‘real’ thing. The real thing doesn’t exist, it’s in our own heads hence why it’s different for all, and adapted to ‘try’ and suit our individual lives, our wants, our desires, our selfishness, etc.
I’m not a pessimist about love, I’m a realist. Love is not a dream, and once people stop looking at in a dream form, they will accept the experiences they might come across when experience ing what feelings they do. For most of us, the levels of love we get are all we’ll ever get, and accepting is not accepting less (if it’s not the dream you’re pretending it is) it’s accepting the reality which is imperfect.
Love (the idea of it) is made up by humans, so it is never completely perfect or real. No doubt it’s a very personal emotion, but it’s def not what it’s pretended to be.
eh, I don’t think love is a human construct. Watch animals together and it’s pretty clear that the same feelings of joy, strong bonds, etc., exist between many of them.
I’m with Carolyn 100%, but Heather still made me cry.
I feel like that love isn’t a lie but what we are fed by media by heteronormative AND homonormative surroundings DO lie to us. Marriage everywhere!!! Kids! Adoption! House! Apartment! Job! Professional photography!
I was taught to be cute and this and that and then your type of human will come to you! That doesn’t fucking work for love, it works with sex. Which is very different from love. Square rectangle etc and I didn’t realize that for a long time and got super hurt when I was younger.
What I also learned is that if you are single and want to be with a human in a serious way on various scales of commitment I had to be covert thirsty and be open to rejection over and over again. The Covert Thirst™
But also I had to stand my ground and demand honesty and transparency which people get uncomfortable with but also let’s me sleep at night .
I’m certainly not perfect but I’m in a great relationship right now, and I try not to think too far into the future either(because part of the lie of love is jumping months, years ahead with dream expectations that may not exist at that point in time you know? People always ask things like “oh you’ve been together xyz, do you see yourself etc etc with her?” And TBQH it’s better to play it by ear for me personally you really don’t know what comes next!!) it’s really easy to sweep yourself into dreams and lust and wrap them all together and try to convert that to reality….but real love is hard and sometimes dumb and aggravating and takes timmeeeee to cultivate but also fun and cool and great.
This was a long comment but I feel like I’ve been on two sides of the coin and agree that the romantic love we’ve been taught to want is in fact a lie, but romantic love manifests itself in so many other forms and ways and it’s different for everyone than just one singular dream factory were all racing towards you know??