This is a love story.
It’s a story about the love between two specific people and it’s a story about lots of different people’s loves. There’s nothing new, particularly original, or very novel in writing about love. And it’s very possible that this whole project will simply be a retread of ideas already thought, feelings already expressed, and information already synthesized. But that’s not really the point.
Not to sound particularly self-important, but whatever this project turns into is meant to be a celebration of love and commitment. “Love and commitment,” you might say, “surely those have been talked about for eons. What can you possibly have to add to the discussion?” And at this point, you might arch an eyebrow at us, fold your arms in indignation, or both. We accept your skepticism and, quite frankly, share it. But we’re going to try this thing anyway.
So to put some of the more indignant minds to rest, here are some of our preemptive answers to some of the questions and comments that we anticipate.
Who are you people, anyway?
There are two of us, though one of us does most of the writing. One of us is a software engineer/IT security specialist and the other is an adjunct social science professor (at a not-particularly illustrious school). We have been in a committed, monogamous relationship for thirteen years. Neither of us is a professional writer.
If you aren’t professional writers, why are you writing?
The internet is full of people who aren’t writers, writing about things (Also: videos of stupid people doing stupid things. Also: cats). We’re late to the party!
OK, but love is a pretty big subject.
Yep. We don’t disagree.
Lots of people far smarter than you have failed to quantify or qualify it.
Since it’s so big, and so difficult, why do you want to write about it?
Since we aren’t neuroscientists, and we aren’t cognitive or behavioral psychologists, and we certainly aren’t psychiatrists, we don’t propose to really look at love as a singular concept or construct. Instead, we want to look at the intersection of love and commitment. More particularly, we want to look at the difference between what society (or societal subcultures) says about love and commitment (and the legal codification of those things in the form of marriage) versus what individual members of society think about love and commitment in their own lives. It’s our sneaking suspicion that people believe and live one thing, but society states we believe and live another.
Sure, I don’t dispute that. But who cares?
Well, if love and commitment are truly about individuals and their private thoughts and actions, then it’s our feeling that a lot of society’s rules (both normative and legal) about love and commitment simply aren’t fair. And we care about that.
OK, cool. (We’re assuming that if you’ve read this far, you’re on board with us.) So how do you plan to go about doing this?
As we’ve said – we aren’t writers. So this will probably take some time. And we’re bound to change our minds on format, content, and pretty much everything else (one of us is very quixotic). But our current plan is to take a multi-pronged approach. Part of this blog will be autobiographical. And part of the blog will be research-driven. We anticipate telling our own story while also telling the stories of other committed relationships.
How long do you plan on taking with this whole thing?
We don’t really know, but we’ve set ourselves a mental deadline of two years.
This seems like an excellent idea. Also, you seem like wonderful people.
Why, thank you!