Love means many things to many different people, bing a mix of feelings, emotions and attitudes, and you will find lots of views on ‘what is love? as well as lots of questions, infact ‘what is love?’ is often the one of the most searched for questions on google! The word love is perhaps an overused word that has lost some of it’s true meaning and has therefore become confusing in what it actually means (eg. A lot of people use the word love to describe something they really enjoyed or liked – such as I loved that film – I’d suggest this is really a confused representation of what the term ‘Love’ really means (I used to do it myself until I really tried to put some thought into ‘what love is all about. While no one has the ultimate authority to definitively say what love is, and certainly not me, I have tried a humble attempt at describing ‘what is love’ in one paragraph – I’d be interested to know what others think! So here goes
I would say ‘Love’ is what happens when an individual, who typically only cares about their own interests and needs within their own little bubble, expands their circle of interest beyond themselves to the concern for the good & well-being of others – to the point where their well-being has a direct effect on your own well-being – almost like they have become part of what you consider to be your self. When this strong bond has occurred you are even willing to put the needs of others in front of your own individual needs. I would suggest that this strong bond you share, this love you share with others does not have to be associated with just one person, such as a partner, and typically this love and bond we have with others includes family & friends. I would suggest that the strength of this feeling of love occurs on a sliding scale, and there can be greater love for others, where the bond is more personal and strongest such as in the most personal relationships where the greatest time is spent. Whilst lust should not be confused with love, when sexual intimacy in very personal relationships is combined with feelings of love then the bond with another is perhaps one of the closest and strongest, and it’s this strong ‘romantic love’ between two people which many people only associate love with. But I would also suggest that whilst many people can only say ‘I love you’ to their partners or children, lots of us do actually feel a lot of love for more people who we share a strong bond with in our lives even though we may not let them know – all because we have expanded our level of interest beyond our own individual self-interest to encompass the interest of the well-being of others.
So that is my attempt at trying to convey what I think what love is in one paragraph, and below is a little quote which tries to sum all that up:
“Love is when you expand your circle of interest beyond your individual self to encompass others – so that the well-being of others contributes greatly to your own.” S.Hodgson
Feel free to post comments and let me know what you think love is, whether you agree with what I have just said – or you think it’s missing anything! I’m always willing to take modify my perspective on things…