The first part of Chapter 1 in Soren Kierkegaard’s Works of Love talks about the natures of being deceived in love and of deceiving ones self. Reading between the lines, I think he is saying that it is better to interpret unclear signals, because love is a hidden essence that we can only know by it’s fruits, or energies, in a way that is positive rather than negative. There is the risk of being wrong about love or being wrong about rejection, the first being better because it fosters love as opposed to distance and self-protection, because love is painful.

In the west, I think we too narrowly experience or interpret love as romantic. Any sort of closeness between two people is felt to involve romance, so if a person is true and faithful, they can only properly and healthily be close to one person. This has lead to our larger personal space bubbles and homophobia. And probably isolation. And maybe infidelity because romance is the only direction love can go in our culture.

The above is the way I interpret Kierkegaard’s “self-deception”. I could be wrong.

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