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What is love?

At this post Word are cheap in October 2021, I was meant to explore ‘What is love?‘ Of course, I got distracted by so many things along the way.

But tonight the question suddenly hit me, when I accidentally came across a discussion on YouTube. Well, I’ll leave that video for lower down this post. I’ll bring up the diagram that I drew in October 2021 for ease of reference, with minor modifications . Of related interest will be The Perfect Mate (July 2020).

The simple diagram cannot cover all forms of love. For pedants, ‘passion’ includes all sorts of emotion. And for those whose minds would jump to the most salacious, I do not necessarily mean ‘sexual’ though it could in part include that. Jeeez – minds could jump on anything – innit. ‘Intimacy’ includes lots of things, physical and emotional.

The actions inferring love

So if you were observing a couple over months and you saw all the above flowing, you might reasonably infer ‘there’s love there’. Ahhh.. but then comes other questions such as “Does A love B, and does B love A?” You might even then begin to quantify the love A or B shows. But you’re not in their heads.

In my thought experiment, you interview A and she says, “Sure – B shows me all those things – he loves me!” And now I introduce that B is a dog (or even a cat). Yes – a dog can show what we would interpret as intimacy and passion (inferred emotion – nothing sexual you sick so and so).  Would it be any different if B was a human being?

There are of course different kinds of love. The love between parent and a child will share many of the things in a diagram. So don’t go crazy here.

Subjective love

The above brings up a question in my mind, “Is feeling loved the thing that matters?” And therefore, it doesn’t matter if someone (or some animal) loves you or not; it’s whether you feel loved. If  so, a subjective feeling of being loved is the only reality of love. That then leaves a possibility that anybody could do all the things that mimic love in your mind – and you won’t know exactly whether what they were doing was based on something true.

The video is below but you may have already jumped on it because you were in a mad rush, as usual – trying to save a few seconds for Instagram and Neflix.

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Manipulative or false love

The point is, if someone does things to make you feel loved  e.g appreciation, attention, loyalty, trust, physical/emotional affection (passion) – you could still be missing the fact of whether they actually love you. They could just be manipulating you into a state of feeling loved. And you’d then ask me “Why would they do a thing like that?” – to which I would say, “You are terribly dim!” – without giving further explanation.

Objective (true) love?

Someone must now be asking, “Can love be objective?” I’d say, “Sure it can.” How is objective love to be differentiated from subjective or manipulative love?

Objective love will have other dimensions that were not in the diagram above. Like what?

  1. Persistence and endurance.
  2. Standing the test of time and tribulations.
  3. Not necessarily willing to please or comfort with all the components in the diagram, at every step of the way.
  4. Courage to endanger a relationship for the well-being of the other.

Points 3 and 4 above may not go down easily with a majority of people. Why? Because I think that most people believe that true love means never upsetting the other person. Well, types like that are in search of what I will next call ‘Immature love‘. It’s fine – I’m not telling anybody what sort of love they need or should seek. It’s a free country – and everybody is their own person. They can do whatever the devil they like! I couldn’t give a flying flamingo.

What’s next?

Nothing. You bugger off. Think and do as you like.

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