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What is Love?

 
 
Treya
 
Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 09:29 am
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Wondering, really what is love? I have always felt it is more than just a feeling. More than just an emotion. I've read a few good books on the subject, mostly from the "christian" perspective, which I guess has helped to shape my idea of what I think it is, but I'm curious what others think. When you say "I love you" to someone, not just inside a dating, or marriage relationship, what does that really mean? What are you really saying?

I've always thought of love as being more than just a word. More than just a catch phrase that you say to someone. I guess I've always had this idea that to show someone you love them has far more impact than just saying the words, "I love you". I've thought of love as being something that was really the substance of a relationship, no matter what kind of relationship it is. Not perfect, but faithful, honest, true, willing to hold through the storms that come and go. Not setting limits on someone saying, "I'll love you if..." or anything like that. I don't know though. Is love just a passing feeling that comes and goes with time?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 3,224 • Replies: 59
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 09:31 am
There ain't no cure of love.
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Treya
 
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Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 09:41 am
So then how do you know it's love dys? Because that feeling just doesn't go away?
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 09:44 am
I've felt real love that has then gone away -- or changed into something else.

Also love that hasn't gone away.

Love that is conditional, love that isn't conditional.

It's just too varied to give an answer.
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Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 09:45 am
You know its love when you stand by someone despite the fact that they can no longer hold their bladder or they have lost all their hair and can't stop throwing up from the chemo or they are in a bad wreck and are paralyzed.
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 09:50 am
Belle Dea, I agree.

Sozobe, are there really varied kinds of love? What do you think the variations are? It just seems to me that if you think you love someone, then you don't anymore, the reasonable question to ask would be, did I really love them in the first place?
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 09:58 am
Not at all.

When I was 18 to 20, I was in love with a wonderful man who loved me wholeheartedly. We lived together, spent pretty much every spare moment together, and learned a ton from each other.

After a couple of years, we split up. There were a few reasons for it. We couldn't stay together, but after a period of high emotion (hatelovehatelove), we became friends. We're still in touch. I like him just fine, and wish him well, but I definitely don't love him the way I did.

And I definitely loved him, for two years.

My love, in relationships, is always at least somewhat conditional. There are things that will cause me to stop loving that person if he did them. My love for my daughter is completely unconditional. I will always love her, no matter what.
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Lord Ellpus
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 09:59 am
Love is friendship set on fire.


Oh god, I'm starting to sound like Francis.
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 10:03 am
Yeah, that's what I'm looking for. Thank you Sozobe. So it can change. See, one of the faults I think I'm starting to see in my thinking is that there is an obligation tied to love. That if it's unconditional for a while it's should be undconditional always. I think I'm starting to realize that is a faulty concept, that brings with it guilt when that standard is not lived up to.
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Treya
 
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Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 10:33 am
I don't know. Is love really something that can really just be turned on and shut off at will?
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 10:36 am
Who's talking about "at will"?

The conditional stuff is about something happening that organically switches things off. It's internal, not an external imposition of will.

That ties into a lot of other stuff we've already talked about throughout this whole saga -- going into things with eyes open, being ready to accept information that is at odds with an internal narrative, etc.
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 10:39 am
Hmm... this saga huh? Interesting. I'm talking more than about that though. I'm talking about life. People. All the interactions we have.
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Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 10:41 am
hephzibah wrote:
Hmm... this saga huh? Interesting. I'm talking more than about that though. I'm talking about life. People. All the interactions we have.


Yes. This has been discussed on several threads before.
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Treya
 
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Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 10:46 am
So shall I then just do a search for those threads? Since I apparently haven't seen them? If so, could you point me in a particular direction?
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 10:50 am
Saga seems to have been taken as a pejorative... that wasn't the intent. I was going by this:

hephzibah wrote:
Yeah, that's what I'm looking for. Thank you Sozobe. So it can change. See, one of the faults I think I'm starting to see in my thinking is that there is an obligation tied to love. That if it's unconditional for a while it's should be undconditional always. I think I'm starting to realize that is a faulty concept, that brings with it guilt when that standard is not lived up to.


The saga I'm referring to is the ongoing examination of your self, your beliefs, and your thinking, that was begun by the dissolution of your marriage, and that spans many threads.

Nothing inherently bad about that, at all. I go on and on about my daughter, for example.
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Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 10:53 am
hephzibah wrote:
So shall I then just do a search for those threads? Since I apparently haven't seen them? If so, could you point me in a particular direction?


I can't find them since the search never seems to actually bring up what I am looking for.

Anyone else?
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 10:58 am
No, not necessarily negative like an attack. I just think it's interesting because that's not intentionally what I'm refereing to. While my failed marriage is the root cause of all this "self searching" it is not the end all reason that I post a lot of the things I post. Though people certainly have a right to decide that I guess, and if they were that would certainly explain a lot. That statement was actually refereing to my "religious" beliefs and the realization of a lot of statements that people have made are becoming more real and clear in my own mind.
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Treya
 
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Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 11:01 am
Thanks for trying Belle Dea. I'm sure I'll run across them eventually. I just thought maybe there were some recent ones you had in mind that you saw and I didn't.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 11:04 am
I hadn't really decided anything in particular, was responding to your words. This comment goes equally for romantic relationships or religion, for example:

sozobe wrote:
The conditional stuff is about something happening that organically switches things off. It's internal, not an external imposition of will.

That ties into a lot of other stuff we've already talked about throughout this whole saga -- going into things with eyes open, being ready to accept information that is at odds with an internal narrative, etc.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Mar, 2006 11:13 am
I'm sure this will make me popular (insert silly eye-roll here), but here goes:

Love is a conscientious choice. We cannot choose to love anybody, but we can choose to love anyone who is not ultimately offensive to us. Problems seem to me to arise when people confuse attraction with love. One may be strongly attracted to someone, and claim that they are "hopelessly in love." Such an expression is revealing--people continue to cherish what i consider to be the foolish notion that love is the product of fate or obligation. We have a silly notion of "love at first sight," suggesting that you can know that you love someone simply by looking at that person--that is surely simply attraction, and failing to establish a relationship of mutual trust, respect and just consideration of the other, is nothing more than attraction. We are thought to be obliged to love our parents, our siblings or our children, but the concept of the alienation of affection gives the lie to that.

I think that as people mature, they can come to realize that they need only find a compatible partner, and that love can (although does not necessarily as a matter of course) grow from that. To that extent, i contend that we can choose whom we will love, always with the caveat that we won't likely overcome a deepseated repugnance for certain characteristics or behavior. For that love to grow, and persist, it is necessary to repect the other person, to trust the other, and to treat the other person at all times justly and with consideration. It ought to be needless to say, but i'll point out nonetheless, that the other person must reciprocate those regards.
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