Why is the measure of love loss?

You said, 'I love you.' Why is it that the most unoriginal thing we can say to one another is still the thing we long to hear?

'I love you' is always a quotation. You did not say it first and neither did I, yet when you say it and when I say it we speak like savages who have found three words and worship them.

Love demands expression. It will not stay still, stay silent, be good, be modest, be seen and not heard, no. It will break out in tongues of praise, the high note that smashes the glass and spills the liquid. It is no conservationist love. It is a big game hunter and you are the game. A curse on this game. How can you stick at a game when the rules keep changing?

A precise emotion seeks a precise expression. If what I feel is not precise then should I call it love?

I am desperately looking the other way so that love won't see me. I want the diluted version, the sloppy language, the magnificent gestures, the saggy armchair of cliches. It's all right, millions of bottoms have sat there before me. The springs are well worn, the fabric smelly and familiar. I don't have to be frightened.

Jeanette Winterson