Love is a luxury. In fact, almost everything is. Often the source of our unhappiness is due to the way we have a habit of deeming luxuries to be necessities. A necessity, just for the sake of clarification, is something without which you would die, and there is a very short list of them: food, water, shelter and clothes; and some might place affection and love on that list, too, but that’s not true.
Without love, you will not die, though certain films and books might you to believe otherwise, selling as they do the romantic fantasy to turn a profit. In this world, I can guarantee you, there exist hundreds and thousands of people who are unloved, live alone, and die alone and unloved. But the truth is, we are all unloved, even those of us who are surrounded by loved ones. Love is the illusion of understanding a person and a bandage for the mortal wound of loneliness. You can never get close enough to another person to truly merge with them, understand them, and your loneliness, the vacuity inside you, is too deep to be filled by any living being. We are, each of us, deep down, entirely alone in the world, walking along our own paths, moving forward towards our own tiny dreams. Should anything happen to us, any of us, the world would not bat an eyelid, and simply go on its merry way, as it always has done. One ant squashed, one more pig slaughtered in the immense organic cycle of death and life and consumption and waste.
Therefore, love is a luxury—something that would be nice to have, but not something that is owed to you. As with obtaining physical luxuries, love takes work, requiring extensive investment of time and effort in another person. For some of us, the price is too high, or perhaps we do not like any of the goods on selection, so we remain alone, stripped of the illusion everyone else seems to swallow, and find other paths to fulfilment. We love ourselves. We love our work. And we find that, in the end, those two things—ourselves, and whatever business we devote our lives to—are all that we truly have.