Heart Conditions: Our Valentine to modern love 

The Love Issue 2011

The Love Issue 2011

It's that time of year again, when the artificial means of a Hallmark-pushed holiday give us artificial pause to consider what our romantic relationships are adding up to. If success in love were as simple as a sum game, we'd be a hell of a lot more inclined to do the math. But as it stands, the odds are not only stacked against us, they're in eternal free-fall. The beautiful people can't make a solid go of it any better than the religious ones. Young love is sweet because it is so naive, and old love lasts mainly because you're probably too old to get off the couch, much less pack your stuff for better horizons. (Who can roll out the red carpet with a bad back?)

Meanwhile, we heard the seven-year itch dropped to four a few years ago, and thanks to the ubiquity of adult-themed distractions, we'll just assume it's now two. All of which is to say that the dude I worked with at the video store that one summer's dad was totally right: Get all you can while you can — love, that is.

It is the only salve to soothe what aches you, and if you don't have it, you may as well be another really rich dude gettin' loads of tail but nobody to forgive your crazy sexting habits come sunup.

What follows is proof by the essay-pound of love's sticking power — no matter what the trend pieces say, its pull on the psyche is profound. Yes, someone is always trying to break your heart and take your dog; something is always trying to test your new relationship's integrity, whether it's the 5-0 or Alex Trebek. And if you're looking for love in Nashville and you're gay? Good luck with that. Hey, maybe platonic love is the answer, but if even that eludes you, at least love yourself — that'll definitely do until the real thing comes along.

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