Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Law Of Love

In a guest lecture for my 'Drafting Against The Dark Arts' class, I touched on law, love and the law of love.

(Don't miss lessons from Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four, Week Five, Week Six, Week Seven, Week Eight, Week Nine, Week Ten and Week Eleven!)

And no ROMANCE allowed!

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How many of you are in love right now? Or fallen in love before? Or actively pursuing love?

How many of you believe in a thing called ‘love’? Well, I do. But what is ‘love’? How do you define ‘love’? Is it a state of mind? Is it subjective? Or objective? Or is love like magic? Indescribable, indefinable…

Well, if you ask me, love is a lot like a contract. A relationship, between two parties (or more, if you’re the drama type), that binds them to do and not do certain things.

Contracts are easy to enter into, hard to maintain, messy to exit. So is love.

Years ago, I wrote an article in ‘The Star’ newspaper equating ‘relationships’ as ‘social contracts’. I still think so today, more than ever. Relationships – whether between family, friends or lovers – are bound by a set of terms and conditions.

Wonder Woman (left) and NOT ME (right)

The first stage is the formation stage. There must be an offer and acceptance, which can be as simple as an exchange of mobile numbers or acceptance of Facebook friend request. Consideration is crucial too. What’s in it for me, what’s in it for you. Most people seek for good company, character and connection. While others have more materialistic desires – money, security, and sex. Nothing wrong with that, so long as both parties read the fine print and on the same page. A bad romance is still a valid relationship.

Then comes the performance stage. Parties put in their best endeavours to sustain the relationship they have signed up for. But relationships are never static. A major change may lead to novation. For example, friends becoming lovers, bringing about a new social contract altogether. Such long-term contracts are subject to minor variations, every now and then. For example, an insertion of a new exclusivity clause: “Both parties shall refrain from communicating or physically coming within a 10m radius of their respective ex-es (for the avoidance of doubt, their names are as listed in Annexure 1)”.

The third and final stage is termination. Most relationships die gradually and gracefully. Childhood friends drifting away, pulled apart by distance and differences. But some can end in an epic explosion. This happens when one party commits a fundamental breach. Breaking the non-exclusivity clause. Cheating. Lies and deceit. Broken promises leaving behind broken hearts. But eventually, the dust will settle, and we will find the strength to move on to the next social contract.

Wonder Woman (left), NOT MY CAR (middle), STILL NOT ME (right)

As most of you know, I like to share about law, love and life. And as you can see, there are many common elements between them.

So follow the law, fall in love, and enjoy life.

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