Tag Archives: Courtly Love

What is Love?

in true love infinite dreams come alive

Many have said; ‘I love you…’ when what they mean is; ‘I want you, I desire you, I need you…..’ and yet, perhaps is that not also a manifestation of love.  Perhaps wanting, desiring, needing, sexual lust….. are all but facets of love.  Or perhaps not, because one can love a fellow human being without it being sexual or physical.  Sex is not love.

The Ancient Greek philosophers recognised six types of love, and being philosophers they may have been correct.

  1. Eros ~ sexual passion
  2. Philia ~ deep friendship
  3. Ludus ~ playful love
  4. Agape ~ love for everyone
  5. Pragma ~ long lasting love
  6. Philautia ~ love of self

Nothing being perfect, there was later #7 Storge ~ love of the child.

The author Mary McMahon outlined a round dozen different types of love; New Love, Routine Love, Disgusting Love, Infatuation Love, Friend Love, Fake Love, They’re ‘It’ Love, In It To Win It Love, Tragic Love, Parental Love, Unhealthy Love, Old People Love.  As it goes; I will firmly state that none of those is a decent description or explanation of real love.

In high chivalric romance, the most perfect form of love was Courtly Love; which describes the relationship between a Knight Errant and a married noblewoman ~ his unattainable Lady Fair.  This unconsummated passion was thought to be ennobling and righteous. Like most of chivalry there are numerous impossible rules surrounding Courtly Love.

Courtly Love differs immensely from the commonest form of love of them all Unrequited Love.  Which, is just one step away from infatuation and stalking.

At the other end of the scale, and on the other side of the coin is Unconditional Love, which is just as dangerous and one-sided as unrequited love.

According to modern neuroscience there are 10 signs or symptoms of being in love; addiction, obsession, recklessness, lust, focus, heightened memory, eye contact, euphoria, touching, lack of judgement.  Possibly, and who am I to argue with the women in white coats.

For men, I could add another sign when it comes to being in love; loss of interest in other women.  I have no idea if the converse is true for women ~ I suspect not.

All of the above would seem to have elements of truth in them, which would lead one to suspect that love is a very complicated emotion, set of feelings, group of actions, slew of hormones….

I think not.  I firmly believe that true love means one thing, and if you ain’t got it you’re not in love.

True love means wanting your beloved to be safe and  happy, no matter what.


jack collier



not courtly love at all

more Lancelot and Guinevere

to give, and not to count the cost

sometimes, like now, I’m spreading myself a little bit thin

alone again, naturally

The last few days have a reminder to me that; when I’m good, I’m far too good for my own good.  The very cool gentleman at the core of my true persona is kind, generous, supportive, understanding, and totally taken for granted ~ especially by women.  Some women seem to think that if a guy is kind, generous, supportive, and understanding, then they don’t have to try very hard to keep him hanging around at their beck and call.  On the other hand some women will do almost anything to keep a real bastard in their lives.

I have no intention of turning into a real bastard, but neither am I going to live on the crumbs that some people seem to think will keep me enraptured enough to sick around.

I am reminded of the words of St. Ignatius of Loyola;

to give and not to count the cost

to fight and not to heed the wounds

to toil and not to seek for rest

to labour and not to ask for any reward

Well, I am no plaster saint, and although from time to time those words could have been an accurate description of parts of my life, I’m walking away from all that.

Some also seem to believe that a man’s friendship and love should be courtly and unconditional ~ which is not how women operate at all.  In general women are hard-wired to get everything they possibly can from a man, with as little cost to themselves as they can get away with.  In general a hell of a lot of women are just an inch away from being a real bitch.

I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want.  If that makes me a bitch, okay.  ~  Madonna

Love songs, love stories, romantic tales of the knights of yore, all talk about the man who will love a woman more than life, unconditionally and eternally, and then they live happily ever after together.  Only in reality it doesn’t happen like that.  A really good man might give his all to a woman unconditionally, only to have to watch her walk off into the sunset with some real bad boy.  I have been on the losing side of that more than once.

And some women truly do give their friendship, kindness, understanding, and support, asking little in return, other than reliability, steadfastness, and courtly love.

Okay, that’s the end of today’s hurt.  And, at least I have one very good and loyal female friend, although she does live about 5,000 miles away.

Some say that when a man loves a woman he should love her unconditionally.  And that a man should give his all to any woman who has befriended him.  All I know is that I have never made promises lightly, but whatever promises I have made are just about to get broken.


jack collier


sometimes survival is all you have


Alone in the Storm

it’s better to be unhappy alone, than to be unhappy with someone


and when the storm finally came

the cold, darkness, wind, and rain

you thought you were all alone

left to face a solitary night of pain

embracing demons torment again

whatever it takes you have to know

that I will be faithful strong and true

in heart soul spirit and love for you

Sweetheart, you’re the lucky one


jack collier


in your darkest hour

remember the dawn


Happy St. Valentine’s Day

love is hard to put into words, but I do my best


Doubt thou the stars are fire,

Doubt thou that the sun doth move,

Doubt truth to be a liar.

But never doubt I love thee.


jack collier



she was the bloom of a rose

courtship and romance

Life is a matter of courtship, wooing, romance, flirting, and dancing.


relationships and friendships may not last

personality and character sometimes alter

feelings attitudes may come from the past

be strong, be brave, be fast, do not falter

kind faithful honest honourable steadfast

and in time, with luck, you may yet win her

heart’s affections and her soul’s truest love


jack collier


embrace courtly love

embrace your lover and dance

loves light waves





sibilant soft silverness

tumescent foaming whiteness

exquisite ethereal lightness

of brilliant Venus

torments my sad

devotion to the hopelessness

of honest love’s caress

by a sinless silent sea





P1030584words and pictures by jack collier


The Myth of Courtly Love

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.

unrequitedloveCourtly 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.


paladin-knight-cavalary-orderjack collier


English Gentleman, moine guerrier

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