Love is a Drug (Shots of Awe Video)

The gesture of the amorous embrace seems to fulfill, for a time, the subject’s dream of total union with the loved being: The longing for consummation with the other…
— Roland Barthes

We live in an increasingly cynical age where romantic love has been distilled into algorithms of data. Where love is reduced to nothing more than the neurotransmitter, dopamine. Biochemically, no different than an addiction to cocaine. Imagine that, right? The romantic passion of the lover, reduced to a coke head on a coke binge.

There's something kind of cynical about this resignation, about letting go of that ecstasy of love that inspired the Romeo and Juliet story. The archetype of finding "The One," that is as God. These encounters with these divine beings. To put the lover on a pedestal and lose oneself in ecstatic sexual worship. A stage-managed resurrection, an apotheosis. I mean, that's the kind of love that I still crave.

That's why we still go to the movies, and we're moved to tears by moments of tenderness and beauty. Those in-between times. You know, those moments of pillow talk. An inter-subjectivity. Those moments of the happy/sad, where your lover looks at you, and you look at them, and you see yourself being seen by them. These moments, these exchanges, these intimacies, these moments of consummation, I think they still live in the back of our psyches, hinting, hinting at greater, greater intimacies. And greater exchanges, and deeper, higher fidelities of nuance and intimacy with the other. And that promise, I think, keeps us searching, and keeps us chronically dissatisfied. We will not settle. We will not let go of that romantic dream, of that moment, those goosebumps, that tenderness.