There is the following sentence in the Time magazine’s article “The science of romance: Why we love,” (Jan. 28, 2008), dealing with the mechanism of Love: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1704672,00.html,

“People compose poetry, novels, sitcoms for love," says Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University. “They live for love, die for love, and kill for love. It can be stronger than the drive to stay alive.

On its good days (and love has a lot of them), all this seems to make perfect sense. Nearly 30 years ago, psychologist Elaine Hatfield of the University of Hawaii and sociologist Susan Sprecher now of Illinois State University developed a 15-item questionnaire that ranks people along what the researchers call the passionate-love scale.”

I cannot get the idea of “on its good days.” ‘Good day’ here doesn’t seem to be a usual greeting word when parting from someone. I can understand “love has a lot of good days,” but I don’t understand what “(On its) good days” accounts for, and how “good days” are related with “Live for love, die for love and kill for love make perfect sense.”

Can you exlain me?

2 Answers 2


It's nothing to do with the idiomatic greeting "Good day".

When one (of those people who live/die/kill for love) has a good/positive/enjoyable day, they naturally feel their outlook makes sense/is vindicated.

And that happens often, because such people tend to have lots of "good days".

It's also possible it's the article writer to whom live/die/kill for love seems like a sensible life-plan. The words themselves are ambiguous, but I'm swayed to the first interpretation because of the reference to such people having lots of good days.

Since presumably the writer isn't a "love extremist" herself, she wouldn't have the good days. And thus probably wouldn't think in terms of such an outlook [only] making sense on those days.

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    I would interpret “on its good days” a little differently, to refer specifically to the way those people experience love, rather than when they're having a good day in general. The latter would be phrased “on their good days.” Commented Jul 5, 2013 at 5:09
  • @Bradd Szonye: Granted, I didn't specifically say why any particular day might be "good" for those people. But I did reiterate the point made in the original text that those people [in particular] tend to have lots of them - which fairly obviously implies it's because of their outlook on life, otherwise there'd be no point in mentioning it. Commented Jul 5, 2013 at 13:12
  • Is that in a portion of the article not quoted? All I see is: “On its [love's] good days (and love has a lot of them). . . .” Commented Jul 5, 2013 at 18:13
  • @Bradd: Not sure what you mean by "that". I haven't (yet) followed OP's link to the full context. My previous comment was just in reference to the fact that the second paragraph that has been quoted here says "On its good days (and love has a lot of them)". Obviously "love" itself doesn't "have" anything, let alone "good days", so I can only understand the word there as meaning "the kind of people we're talking about, who are utterly devoted to love as the prime imperative in life". Commented Jul 5, 2013 at 19:38
  • I think there's an important subtlety lost by saying that the people have a good day, rather than love having a good day. For example, if I have a terrible day at work, but my sweetheart comforts me, then it's a good day for love even though it's a terrible day for me. Likewise, if a person with a long-term illness has a “good day,” they're usually talking specifically about their health and not necessarily their overall welfare. Commented Jul 5, 2013 at 19:59

The quote does not refer to good day as a greeting, but to the idea that people fare better on some days than others. It's a common expression for people suffering from afflictions; from “Good Day – Bad Day,” an article about coping with cancer:

Coping with a health problem is different for everyone. What is helpful is taking a look at what happens on good days and bad days to work towards having more good days. Doctors, families and friends can use this information to help you.

The Time article refers to love in a similar way, as an affliction that has good days and bad days for the people experiencing it. “On its good days,” love justifies people's belief in it – and the author emphasizes that “love has a lot of [good days].”

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