Men may say; ‘I love you…’ to a woman when what they mean is; ‘I want you…’
If you say that, and mean that, then you are as doomed to fail as was Canute.
Can there be unblemished love, noble-minded pursuit, artful courtship…, without the man concerned wanting and needing sex from his beloved? The torment of passionate, unfulfilled affection and devotion toward an unattainable woman may seem to be attractive for a Gentleman troubadour. This is a man who writes elegant and passionate love letters without hope of reply, who will undertake ennobling and heroic tasks at the whim of his Lady, who has no hope of consummating their one-sided relationship and yet loves her with all his heart and soul.
Can there be Courtly Love?
No. And, in the modern era the actions of courtly love could get a man arrested for stalking and harassment.
No healthy man can truly be in love a woman without wanting to have sex with her, and no healthy man will stay in love if there is no possibility of consummating the relationship. Frequent and good quality sex is a prerequisite for a healthy love between a man and a woman ~ at least as far as the man is concerned. Some women can live without having sex with their beloved, but a man will soon look for another woman if he is expected to behave like a monk toward his current paramour.
Courtly love is a myth. Unrequited love is real. One can love another who wishes you were permanently in another country, and dead. Just because you think you love someone doesn’t mean they want to be in love with you.
Neither is there any such thing as platonic love. Platonic love is chaste and non-sexual, yet presupposes an emotional and spiritual bond between a couple. That may work for some women, any man would have to have been neutered to be satisfied with platonic love.
I have tried courtly love, worked at platonic love, and suffered unrequited love. I have loved and been betrayed, and I have walked away from a woman and never once looked back. All of these are difficult, in none of these is the game worth the candle. Sometimes you hope you will forget her, sometimes you know you will die trying.
Friendship with a woman is different. A man can be friends with a woman he does not find sexually attractive. That works and he will treat her like a guy. Conversely, a man will have sex with a female friend he desires, but then she isn’t a friend anymore, she is a lover.
The shining example of courtly love is the love of Lancelot for Queen Guinevere ~ and that didn’t end so very well. If you are a man, and you really want to suffer, try real and true courtly love for a few years. Don’t blame me if it destroys you.
English Gentleman, moine guerrier