What does it really mean to love another person? Is there such a thing as the ‘perfect’ partner? How does infatuation differ from the real thing? The need to love and be loved is central to our idea of happiness yet it sometimes seems that the more we reflect on it the more elusive it becomes. In this lucid and graceful meditation on the deeper meanings of intimacy John Armstrong explores the ideas that have shaped how we view affairs of the heart. Drawing on poetry novels philosophy paintings and music he shows how love is inextricably bound up with perception and the imagination: that loving a real complicated person and being understood and valued by them in turn is not something we find but rather something we create.