I don’t mind ‘love’ too much if it’s used somewhere like the Market.
‘Here’s your change, love.’
It seems cheerful and friendly, like ‘mate’ to a bloke, but with the qualification that it’s only alright if used by people with a bit of age on their side too.
My acceptance of ‘love’ could be carried over from childhood, where ‘love’ seemed to be a name for any kid. At the milk bar, ‘Right, love, what lollies do you want?’ was always a pleasant question.
However, the usage is very dependant on place! I was at an academic conference recently and was walking back inside after a fresh air break, when a woman brushed past me a bit too closely, said, ‘Sorry, love’, and raced on inside.
‘Love’! At a gathering full of professors, doctors and Ph D students. It felt so wrong.