HOW much do you love me? by Calvin Davis

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways,” says Elizabeth Barrett Browning in her poem of the same name. She goes on to add:“I love thee to the depth and breadth and heightMy soul can reach, when, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.”

Beautiful lines. They raise a good question: how do you measure love? Quantify it? Translate something as elusive as a feeling of elation into more scientific terms, into, perhaps, numbers or other measurable units. Maybe create a new unit called “The Love Richter Scale.” Why not? Today, scientists are able to peer into an atom and make fantastic measurements. If they can to do that with something as miniscule as an atom, why not amour?

In my half-completed novel Love in Opposing Colors, the heroine, Karen, tells the protagonist, Paul, that she wants him to tell her how much he loves her. Then she adds this caveat: she wants to hear numbers.

Paul certainly has his work cut out for him. But he gives it a try. The following is how their dialogue proceeds.

“Paul,” she once said, “tell me how much you love me? And I want a number.”

“A number?  Simple. Take the sum you get when you tally a thousand light years and add that figure to infinity.”

“Paul, no human brain can possibly conceive of such a number.”

“I know, Karen, but that’s how much I love you.”

Sadly, Paul didn’t quantify love. But he came close. Don’t think so? You got a better one? I’d enjoy hearing it.

 Calvin Davis is also the author of The Phantom Lady of Paris.



Filed under writing

5 responses to “HOW much do you love me? by Calvin Davis

  1. A charming idea and dialogue, Calvin! And having married into a family of engineers and IT types, I can see that the notion of quantification of emotion has validity. 😉

    • Dear Juliet, You and I have a lot in common. You are around science people. My son finished MIT. Living with him for four years, I (an English major) learned a lot about The Big Bang Theory, the speed of light, the warping of space, space travel “worm holes” and, most of all, The String Theory. He taught me much. Basically, that this is a magnificent universe in which we live. And that there is so much more to learn about it. So much morel Calvin Davis

      Available from Amazon: Blogging at: Visit my website:

      Link to my book trailer–


  2. Young love, I think, is overrated. With young men it is often confused with sex, and in most instances, it’s given only on condition–something is expected in return. Young love is predicated on a feeling and feelings will change with maturity; but true love is a choice: when the masks of star-struck youth fall off and we can look at our partner and see them and all of their shortcomings and not look away. I’d rather someone not quantify their love. Show me your love, let me see myself through your eyes.

    But, people read romance for the fantasy I suppose. 😉

  3. I like that dialogue!!! I remember delighting in my son’s understanding of infinity–I was teaching chess (not love) and explaining the values of the pieces when he added “and the king’s worth infinity.”

  4. Calvin: I wanted to respond to your email to me but my reply keeps coming back undelivered. Please let me know how I can contact you off this forum.

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