She is a woman so intensely destined for happiness (if only purely physical happiness, mere bodily well-being), and yet she has chosen, almost casually, it seems, solitude, loyalty to an absent one, a refusal to love…

Andreï Makine, The Woman Who Waited

What was my childhood disease? Love, I suppose. I was susceptible to contracting great love, suffering the chills and delirium of that pox. But it seems I am safe now, unlikely to contract it again. The advantages of immunity are plain. People contort themselves around the terror of being alone, making any compromise against that. It’s a great freedom to give up on love, and get on with everything else.

Barbara Kingsolver, The Lacuna