LOVE AS AN ART
Count Lodovico then remarked with a smile: “I promise you that our sensible courtier will never act so stupidly to gain a woman’s favor.” Cesare Gonzaga replied: “Nor so stupidly as a gentleman I remember, of some repute, whom to spare men’s blushes I don’t wish to mention by name.”
“Well, at least tell us what he did,” said the Duchess. Then Cesare continued: “He was loved by a very great lady, and at her request he came secretly to the town where she was. After he had seen her and enjoyed her company for as long as she would let him in the time, he sighed and wept bitterly, to show the anguish he was suffering at having to leave her, and he begged her never to forget him; and then he added that she should pay for his lodging at the inn, since it was she who had sent for him and he thought it only right, therefore, that he shouldn’t be involved in any expense over the journey.”
At this, all the ladies began to laugh and to say that the man concerned hardly deserved the name of gentleman; and many of the men felt as ashamed as he should have been, had he ever had the sense to recognize such disgraceful behavior for what it was.
—BALDASSARE CASTIGLIONE, THE BOOK OF THE COURTIER, TRANSLATED BY GEORGE BULL
Great lovers draw you in by the focused, individualized attention they pay to you. The “unlovable” are the opposite: insecure, self-absorbed, and unable to grasp the psychology of another person, they literally repel. The “unlovable” have no self-awareness, and never realize when they are pestering, imposing, talking too much. They lack the subtlety to create the promise of pleasure that love requires. Root out “unlovable” qualities in yourself, and recognize them in others—there is no pleasure or profit in dealing with the “unlovable”.