"Seeing that this individual being, in his given reality, does not enter into the unity of the all, but exists separately as an individualized material phenomenon, then the object of our believing love is necesarily to be distinguished from the empirical object of our instinctive love, though it is also inseparably bound up with it. It is one and the same person in two distinguishable aspects, or in two different spheres of being-the ideal and the real. The first is as yet only an idea. By steadfast, believing and insightful love, however, we know that this idea is not an arbitrary fiction of our own, but that it expresses the truth of the object, only a truth as yet not realized in the sphere of external, real phenomena.
This true idea of the beloved object, though it shines through the real phenomenon in the instant of love's intense emotion, is at first manifested in a clearer aspect only as the object of imagination. The concrete form of this imagination, the ideal image in which I clothe the beloved person at the given moment, is of course created by me, but it is not created out of nothing."
- Vladimir Soloviev
"The Meaning of Love*