Today I was cycling to college and I was thinking about love. I can’t remember now what triggered that topic (there’s not much to love between my house and Shrewsbury College).
Specifically, I was thinking about the fact that love has so many different aspects and levels to it. You have the love you feel for the family you were born with, the love you feel for the family you create, lustful ‘love’ for those you admire close by, idolized ‘love’ for those you admire from afar, romantic ‘love’ once love is reciprocated, friendship love, the love you feel for your non-human companions (meow) and the love of things. I suspect that many will agree that all of these types of love exist except the last one.
However, I think the love of things is as valid as romantic or familial love (and it can be very intense). It is viewed as shallow to say you love things. The lover of things is accused of being materialistic. That is a very superficial judgement. It would certainly be regarded as slightly off-kilter psychologically to put the love of things above the love of people. However, this happens. I’m sure that people have parted ways through one partner’s love for a particular object or collection of objects.
There can be a syneasthetic blending of some of these types of love. The love of objects can spill over into lustful or romantic love, or more usually, familial love. These are extreme. Most people love things as well as people.
Why do we feel love for objects? I think it is because we crave them when we first see them. We ‘have’ to have them. We feel a sense of fulfillment when we finally obtain that object and we feel a comfort by an object’s presence, just as we do by a pet or a partner, or parent or sibling. We enjoy spending time with them and miss them when they aren’t there.
One school of thought believes that designers and engineers play on our love of objects and our natural inclination to humanize them by creating similarities between objects and the human form: cars that look like they have faces, cars (again) have genders (usually female) and some objects are designed to mirror the human figure in terms of smooth curves or muscly torso. This might account for what attracts us initially to objects but in my opinion it is our need to connect to objects and find comfort in them that keeps the love.
I love my boots. Don’t you dare try to take them away from me!