Love, actually

I was asked to write about my idea of romance for this brilliant Sunday Times Article (with Emma Watson (?!), AA Gill, Naomi Woolf, Charlotte Raven… and more)


My idea of love is having fun. It’s playing Dance Dance Revolution; tickling each other until you cry; sharing a bottle of Jack Daniel’s at an MIA gig. The best way anyone has ever shown me love has been through idiotically gleeful acts. The boy who made me a necklace out of Lego and had it couriered across town to my desk (because, yeah, it felt urgent). A girl who fancied me enough to cut off her pre-Raphaelite hair and post it to me in a heart-shaped box (mental, but quite cool). Or the first love I moved in with, when we sat on inflatable furniture and ate nothing but baby food for the first week, because my idea of love is playful like that. It’s feeling like a kid.

By contrast, romance seems so grown-up that it’s unbearable. It just reinforces grand narratives about how we think we should act. Real love is that excitement of feeling like a teenager, discovering the world together again. Fun consolidates love because it’s authentic, and there’s no way of faking it.

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