At Granta, Amy Key recounts intentionally avoiding romantic love, thinking it the best way to avoid getting hurt. She concludes that depriving herself of intimate relationships has caused its own form of harm.

Absence of romantic love in my life has created its own awkward space in me. Like a corner of a room you cannot find a comfortable use for, a deficient space, grasping for its own utility. And I sense other people can see this and that it makes them uncomfortable… The frying pan has an altogether different intimate energy. Perhaps it’s because people so often fry eggs for someone they love. And to eat eggs together suggests a synchronised hunger, suggests sleeping and waking together, and says please linger, please stay. Perhaps it’s the sweet balance of ‘you cook and I’ll wash up’, how the pan moves from one person’s job to another, and the ordinariness of that joint endeavour.