What do we talk about when we talk about love?
If I'm to believe what I've seen on the screen and heard from the mouths of friends, family members, and people I don't know, obviate, but not ignore, existing discourses on sexuality, or take at their words the works of Raymond Carver, what we talk about when we talk about love is of the other as partner and of the games we play with that partner.
That other being, the one which we inexplicably but very willingly grow with into old age, or are aged enough by to detest and detach ourselves from. That other being whose features are symmetrical, abundant, and who, even in their modernity, adheres ideally to some innate model inherited from our forefathers, our foremothers related to prospects of prosperity, health, and fertility. This other with whom we seek to share with, but not share. The partner with which we participate in procreation, production, and property. To justify these expectations, the partner is positioned as recipient of this love we carry in variably disputed amounts within us, though treasured we can't help but desire to unburden ourselves of it because of the solitude its gravity imposes on us. As stakeholder in our love, from this other-as-partner we expect an equal contribution, the only proper sacrifice, of love, as if theirs, in its distinguishing lightness, were to play foil to ours.
This exchange between one and one particular other is a form of a narrative in interpersonal relations that is omnipresent, propagated in most forms of human expression. Whether packaged as a catalyst for salvation in pulp novels and self-help books sold at pharmacies in unsurprising volumes, explored as a repeated question replied to with fleeting melancholic responses in a post-bop album searching for a new land, established as an objective in erotic video games achievable through successful dialogues with high schoolers, or learned as a set of hyper-tuned dimensions in a dating service's algorithms designed to optimally match one with many particular potential others based on compatible biases, this narrative exists privileged among the various others developed as ways of talking about relationships. It's influence, however, is felt by way of the implicit and explicit processes of actively coexisting with others when a haphazardly acquired sense of the interpersonal is informed by semantics defined in terms of self and partner (and non-partner(s)), morphology describing how these semantic agents can possibly be mutated, and syntax which determines potential relations between each agent. This language of relationships is manifested, due to implementation details of our biological processes, through body action and enunciation, this latter merits distinctinction as a another body action since it is related to cognition in ways that body actions like touching (often) are not.
Like the natural languages one acquires in life, the language through which one relates to others is one developed with relatively limited, and in any case highly personal, exposure, conditions which set the basis from which the/this narrative of love gains a forceful, yet diffused, legitimacy.