You can’t have love without trust and loyalty; both of which are portrayed valiantly by Inman in Cold Mountain.
Inman stays loyal throughout the book, even when he sleeps with another woman to comfort her, he doesn’t do anything sensual with her. Loyalty doesn’t need love, but love does need loyalty, maybe not in high school relationships where everyone thinks they’re in love, no matter what kind of cheating boyfriend or girlfriend they have, but outside of that, love needs loyalty. Loyalty, such as a man to his country, or army, or even a woman loyal to her favorite brand of make-up doesn’t mean they love what they are loyal to.
Love also needs trust, if you can’t trust who you love, than how can you love them? Unless of course you’re in the previously mentioned high school scenario. Trust and love isn’t literally portrayed din the book as much as it is implied, since Inman and Ada are away from each other for the most of the book and don’t really have any moments of truth together which require trust, it’s hard to really point them out. But trust, like loyalty, doesn’t require love, I trust my computer won’t crash, I trust my teachers in what they tell me, and I trust my coach when he tells me what to do, but I don’t necessarily love them.
Trust and loyalty are quintessential parts of any loving relationship, and are requirements for true love, Cold Mountain shows this through Inman’s perilous journey and loyalty to Ada and the romanticism of the story.