Bob wrote this song in the video about Suze Rotolo, his girlfriend in New York when he was starting out. When his career took off, she decided that she didn't want to be an invisible woman in his entourage. They broke off for good by the time he "went electric" at the Newport Folk Festival. I've only heard about this in snippets of her latest book "A Freewheelin' Time" when I read the book reviews. I haven't read, but I looked through it at Schuler's a few days ago. Bob included lines in the lyrics that were his special code to Suze, about memories and moments they shared.
Suze was concerned about being an equal in a relationship. She loved Dylan, but decided that she had to leave for Italy and pursue her passion for art and politics. She was only a teenager when they started their relationship. I think they just grew apart instead of together during this time, they were no longer sharing the same vision. An example that love is not enough to sustain a relationship. Suze was wise enough to know this at such a young age. You can love someone but not marry. You can love each other enough to leave. Hence, the meaning of "Love Minus Zero".
Marriage, on the other hand, takes a lot more than love. Love alone is not a good reason for two people to get hitched. Americans marry for love all the time. Americans get divorced a lot. So, what does that tell us? That this culture, on the whole, is on some other planet when it comes down to the reality of marriage. Love needs more. More respect, more kindness, more unselfishness, more consideration, more time, more laughter, more forgiveness, more humility, more commitment, more godliness and more sacrifice. From these things, real appreciation and intimacy grows. It doesn't happen overnight. And as I keep telling you all before, it can't happen apart from the Gospel--apart from the presence of God in your life.
It's a crazy, fallen world. And if we follow the world's wisdom, we will have no chance at experiencing something that actually transcends the craziness and falleness; of seeing God's glory through ordinary lives.
Love Minus Zero/No Limit
My love she speaks like silence,
Without ideals or violence,
She doesn't have to say she's faithful,
Yet she's true, like ice, like fire.
People carry roses,
Make promises by the hours,
My love she laughs like the flowers,
Valentines can't buy her.
In the dime stores and bus stations,
People talk of situations,
Read books, repeat quotations,
Draw conclusions on the wall.
Some speak of the future,
My love she speaks softly,
She knows there's no success like failure
And that failure's no success at all.