Building off some ideas of Deitrich Bonhoeffer, James Shelley makes this important observation:
“In other words, it is possible to love our ideas about marriage, family, friendship, and community more than our actual spouse, children, friends, and neighbours. In fact, it is far easier to love abstract ideas floating around in our heads than it is to love actual people who have their own ideas about how things should be. And the more in love we are with the abstract ideas, the more difficult it will be to accept and love the real thing”
(Caesura Letters: “Life Together”)
I would add that many of us are so in love with our “abstract ideas” (i.e. our “theology”, our “politics”, our “principles”, etc.) that we have long ago abandoned any meaningful love for each other.