• TessiePooh
    3
    This post does not only refer to romantic love; it aims to define love as an emotion shared among humans and what comprises their world. I have been mulling over it for a while and even attempted to engage my sister into a discussion about it.

    She defines love as innate and the ability to love as a gift. I say the ability to feel love is innate but you choose who to love. My sister feels choice limits love which is an insurmountable emotion. I feel choice makes love a very precious gift because you are gifting someone the most sincere aspect of yourself, therefore opening yourself up to vulnerability.

    So the question I pose to you is, how do you define love? Do you feel that you start out loving everyone and everything like my sister does?
  • Echarmion
    984
    Why does there have to be only one love? I feel that there are kinds, or maybe degrees, of love.

    I don't think you can choose to love someone, but you can "learn" to do so. And you can choose not to love, or suppress it.
  • TessiePooh
    3
    Thank you for your comment.

    I agree with you in there being degrees of love. How we love a friend isn't the same as how we love a romantic partner for instance, and each may have their own intensity and beauty.

    My focus of discussion is love to begin with. When and how do we love? How do you know you love your mother, sister, or even colleague? I say it is choice because how someone makes you feel results in how you respond to them. If they engender positive emotions you choose to respond positively and vice versa; you further choose to cultivate affection from those feelings. That affection determines the degrees of love you mentioned. And as humans are imperfect beings that are bound to mess up, you choose to continue loving them inspite of their imperfections. This is where you become vulnerable because you've now opened yourself up. Borrowing your term of learning, I think that that comes in because you learn in the person's treatment of you how much you choose to take, suppress, let go, or even turn to hate...
  • Possibility
    665
    This post does not only refer to romantic love; it aims to define love as an emotion shared among humans and what comprises their world. I have been mulling over it for a while and even attempted to engage my sister into a discussion about it.

    She defines love as innate and the ability to love as a gift. I say the ability to feel love is innate but you choose who to love. My sister feels choice limits love which is an insurmountable emotion. I feel choice makes love a very precious gift because you are gifting someone the most sincere aspect of yourself, therefore opening yourself up to vulnerability.

    So the question I pose to you is, how do you define love? Do you feel that you start out loving everyone and everything like my sister does?
    TessiePooh

    The way I see it, we tend to talk about love in two different ways:

    Love as a feeling of value, preference or desire for someone or something; that inspires

    Love as a decision or choice to increase awareness, connection and collaboration.

    When we feel desire, value or preference for an object, we often say that we ‘love’ it. But it’s not the same feeling as ‘love’ for a person, a pet, or even for a concept or idea. Because these feelings of desire, value or preference are for more than an object or its function - they’re for the potential that we perceive in what we experience.

    So when we’re inspired to increase awareness, connection and collaboration with the potential of what we experience, we notice that there isn’t any boundary to that experience as such. This is the vulnerability you referred to: if we open ourselves fully to the experience, then where is the limit? By choosing the point at which we limit love, we not only protect ourselves from this vulnerability, we also turn our ability to love into a precious gift.

    But I think your sister is right: We have the capacity to love everyone and everything with the strength of a mother’s love for her child. It is a choice we make to open ourselves up to that kind of vulnerability in the way we interact with the world. But we also fear that vulnerability - and we’re taught to limit our capacity to love for our own ‘protection’.
  • god must be atheist
    1k
    I don't think we can define an already existing entity. It can be described, or delimited, or found out what it is. But define? To define is similar to design: you start from scratch, you name the parameters you wish to achieve, and you go about building something that acts according to what you set out for it to do in the parameters.

    Thus, you can define a word, but you can't define what I am, what you are, what god is. These things are, and they exist without definition.

    Same with love.

    But maybe I'm just reading what you wrote, while in effect I should read what you wanted to write. @TessiePooh.
  • god must be atheist
    1k
    Re: the debate between your sister and you: I don't think you choose whom to love. If you could choose, you could potentially choose an enemy to love. Or thy neighbour. Or someone whom you really don't want to love.

    Someone forceful could influence you to pick someone to love, only because the forceful person's insistence will make you choose that person to love.

    I believe there is no choice in the matter.
  • Fruitless
    68
    To me, love is directly proportional to time; that is, the more time you spend with someone the more you are likely to love them. I argue you can love anyone, but they cannot love you back. Love is when you are free of all negative attributes within the relationship, since there are no negative attributes (hate, distrust, judgement) it only leaves love. So, love is when you find someone or something who doesn't make your life worse, but better.
  • Swan
    175


    Love is evil, according to Zizek. He describes it best. I can't stop laughing either because he has been in love plenty of times and is a hopeless romantic.
  • 180 Proof
    382
    Slavoj's definitely on to something ... :eyes:

    “They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.” ~F.S. Fitzgerald

    Love is both traumatic pain-killer and source of the most intolerable pains (e.g. losing 'beloved' whos/whats). 'Romantic love', in particular, seems a form of acquired ♡-target OCD ... usually cured by grinding boredom and/or repeated betrayals and/or a younger / healthier / wealthier ... ♡-substitute target. Family & friendship (modes of love),  not so much - not so, it seems, ecstatic.

    < update >

    modes of love (idly speculative):

    • kinship aka "family"
    • relationship aka "romance, erotic"
    • friendship
    • community aka "civic, ecumenical, solidarity"
    • ecstacy aka "platonic, aesthetic"

    TBD further time (or travel) permitting ...
  • Swan
    175


    .... :eyes: something an inactive hopeless romantic would say, except much less a masochist than Zizek but he seems to widely view it something that cannot be consciously decided and the most miserable feeling in the world because of it. :flower:

    Most romantics (create our own worlds) or just don't engage beyond fleeting affection in unbearable loneliness... which is most unbearable when most bored, yes. I've noticed that, too .. in myself and others. Mostly feeling much like an "aromantic" until hopelessly unable to be.. and still then, distance is preferred. Push, pull, push, pull. :death: "Romantic love" or even infatuation is miserable and .. It ONLY takes once for a few, to learn the miserableness of it ... for the EXTREMELY bored, there is no end.

    Maybe I've just yet to get bored enough.

    Back to peeking. ; )
  • I like sushi
    1.7k
    Generally speaking I define it as realised dream/ideal. When people ‘fall in love’ I think it’s just a matter of their dreams/ideals for themselves matching the dreams/ideals of another - well enough to create a sense of sustained harmony.

    I don’t think it’s a matter of ‘choice’ per se. For all I know I might LOVE playing the saxophone ... but I’ve never learnt to so my ‘choices’ in exploration dictate the course of my life.

    Of course, personal dreams and ideals tend to change, and some people just stumble across something they click with due to luck/happenstance. I do think you make your own luck though; in the sense that if you sit on your butt all day everyday with our head in the clouds you’re unlikely to ever form a real sense of existing and miss out on all the joys and woes of TRYING rather than inactive and blind “hope” - what I would call stagnation and insolence.

    At the end of the end most of what we do boils down to how we deal/cope with fears (imagined for the most part!)
  • 180 Proof
    382
    Maybe I've just yet to get bored enough.Swan

    Hang around long enough, kid, 'til boredom do us part. :yum:
  • god must be atheist
    1k
    I made up a triparteid model of love in my silly, frivolous youth.
    Love is a combination of three parts:
    1. Fear of the loved one. Which we rather call respect.
    2. Power over the loved one. Which we live out as protection.
    3. Lust for the loved one. Which we enjoy.

    1 is a fear that our love can destroy us at any moment, at a moment's notice, but we still don't fear him or her, because we trust him or her.
    "Men fear women will laugh at them. Women fear men will kill them." -- Margaret Atwood, Nobel Prize laureate. I'd substitute "Men fear women will leave them / betray them / cheat on them / sell them out".

    2. Men know women's fear, and they are egged on by it to protect them physically, and to provide for them. Women know men's fear of abanonment or betrayal, therefore they make sure they don't. It is a power that one does not exercise, because it balances out 1. for one, and because it feels good... getting without giving something of value is not fair, and we not only know that, we feel that. Therefore the higher the price we pay for something, the more precious it becomes to us. She is precious to him because he resists killing her when she says for the hundredth time to slow down at intersections, and she does not leave him despite his inability to understand what she wants, when it's so obviously even without telling or saying what it is.

    3. Without lust it is hard to sustain a sexual relationship.

    --------------------------------------

    2. A man protects his love from physical / sexual danger. Bar fights, war. Women protect their men from blows to their egoes. Adoring looks, calling them "My giant Tiger" even when he is only 5'4".

    Neither of these attitudes are fake. If you have to fake it, you are not in love.

    --------------------------------------

    1. A man will pay sacrifices to his woman to appease his fear of her abandoning him. Diamond bracelets, gold rings, houses, even effing kids. A woman will pay sacrifices to have her man not beat her to death: bjs, tons of make-up, tasty food, clean (literally) body. Laughing at his stupid jokes.

    These can be faked, indeed, and they are. Even in the most loving relationship. But they become habits, then chores, so it's not a big deal even five years into the marriage. They go on automatic then, and nobody takes any notice of it.

    -----------------------------------

    3. I'm not going to go there in this forum.
  • 180 Proof
    382
    (more idling)

    Love risks heartbreak; yet, it is written, 'hearts are made whole by breaking'. An old mojo - raison d'être - blues.

    :kiss: :broken: :strong:

    "... even in a wound there is the power to heal." ~F.N.
  • bert1
    313
    The will to develop the potential of someone or something. That's one kind of love I think and covers quite a lot.
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