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phoebusg's avatar

What is love? Let's work on a full definition.

Asked by phoebusg (5241points) February 8th, 2010

Everyone uses this word, but it has many more than one meanings. How do you define love, loving another. What does it take to be loved? This discussion aims to look at it from every angle and form a full definition.

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28 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

An attraction based on sexual desire, one that facilitates procreation.
The Borg have referenced this condition in over 6,000 assimilated species.
Physiologically, it bears a striking similarity to disease. A series of biochemical responses that trigger an emotional cascade, impairing normal functioning.

baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more…

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

…baby don’t hurt me…no more…

TheJoker's avatar

@ragingloli…. Hahaha, I think I saw that episode :)

nebule's avatar

it is a feeling that, when experienced in its purity, cannot be described accurately

TheJoker's avatar

I dont think I can come up with an abstract description, but I can say how it makes you feel. When you’re alone with the person you love, it’s as is the world has faded away into darkness & it’s just the 2 of you standing under a warm spotlight. Nothing can touch you, & all you feel is calm, & happy, & as if everything is right.

Blackberry's avatar

It can be multiple things, there’s not one definition.

josie's avatar

The emotion that one experiences when one exposed to a person (or object) that represents their highest values

Sophief's avatar

Love is love, the best feeling in the world. When you get buttlerflies in your stomach just hearing their name.

bean's avatar

when you have a great likeness for some one, or something or anything or any one. When you admire some one and their faults, still thinking they are the one for you.
some thing or some one that you felt was worth sacrificing for.

ucme's avatar

Love is the greatest thing
The oldest & the latest thing

HGl3ee's avatar

Love is the co-existence of happiness, joy, pleasure, security, peace, comfort, bliss, adoration, friendship, strength, and wisdom all in two hearts joined as one.

Love is when a heart is most vulnerable to being broken.

Love is the ability to tolerate the smaller flaws in order to enjoy the greater things in life.

Love is treating yourself with respect and value exactly the way you are.

Love takes a moment to create, but a lifetime to comprehend.

Love is the unstoppable force. It is the ties that bind together, through hell and heaven. It is the gift of feeling wanted and needed in every way and the feeling of wanting and needing them in every way. It is the foundation for an ever-lasting relationship.

To me, love is him <3

shadling21's avatar

Fondness x9000.
Your heart aches for that person.
And sometimes they bring you great joy by simply existing.

Love makes Flutherites poetic.

bean's avatar

i love shopping and it loves me…. because it never lets me down… sigh

AstroChuck's avatar

Love means never having to say you’re sorry.

Feel free to use that.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

This question brings back memories of high school, believe it or not. We had an English assignment to write an essay on what love was. I wrote two pages worth. I had just met my future husband in my junior year, & I was drawing my thoughts & feelings from him on the assignment. I left nothing out. Loving, liking, sex, caring, compatibility, giving, taking…the whole gambit. When I got my paper back, the teacher had given me an A+. She wrote a personal note saying that even tho I was just 17 years old, I got it. I understood what it was all about. My main theme was that love is caring more for the other person than you do for yourself. And that still holds true to me today after 43 years of marriage.

phoebusg's avatar

Lost in translation – but when using the same language.

I really think we should sit down and clearly define love and all it’s subsequent definitions. In Greek/Ancient Greek there are at least 8 words for ‘love’ and each one of those can be sub-defined.

When someone tells you they love you, which one do you think it is – and depending on which you may randomly choose, do you know? Do you know if they love you that way or another way? What is their meaning of love? I tend to always want to make that clear.

I’ll try and answer my own question while looking out for the different interpretations.

Love – the attraction stage. A biologically pre-disposed behavior with directives as to good gene expression (phenotype) – guarantees that things have gone smoothly with this one – off-springs are likely to survive and thrive. Our selfish gene wins.
The psychological dimension to our biological ‘desire’, norms that we have been exposed to and are unconsciously looking for in another. Group norms fall under and directly affect that – for example, actors are highly desires because our culture says so – because of the exposure etc etc – or bikers may be the opposite – because mom said so, or your friends etc.
Another psychological dimension is perceived value. Men and women sometimes differ about this, men tend to look at the phenotype (aka how pretty this one is), and sometimes instantly lock into their interest – while women look around and define the persons value more as to – what does everyone else think this person is worth? So in this case, if a male is receiving a lot of attention for people present in the room, he is more highly valued. Or if a lot of women are after him for example. Look at the single guys, as soon as they get even a fake girlfriend, the girl they were interested in usually – magically becomes more interested. The above are not always true, and of course depends on the awareness of the individual. But to my experience, I’m still stumped by the beauty of the ladies – and do feel myself locked into my choice – that is until I talk to them. A good number of the good phenotypes become complacent and forget to cultivate their internal world as well.

Love – the passion stage. First kiss, feel those chemicals rushing through your brain and changing your emotional (2nd informational pathway) interpretation of it all. You are now starting to build in a physical addiction or reaction as well as a psychological one (which may be the one you started with, post the biological substep). The more you experience physically with this person, and given the mate dance goes right, the higher your reaction. Dopamine rushes, oxytocin rushes – higher relaxation, top of pleasure.
Statistically, this will last 2 to 3 years maximum. Of course that depends on the couple, but it can be re-kindled.

Love – the care stage. You may have started this way, truly caring about the other person, their well-being and so forth. Even to the extent of self-sacrifice. As @jbfletcherfan mentioned as well – caring more about the other person than yourself. I most closely associate love with that. I leave the desire and passion “I want you/need you” separate from that.
Believe it or not, many people don’t start this way. But they start with a passion love, of desire, need, want – and they may achieve the care stage or not. Hopefully for them they will, because passion is transient, it comes and goes. But love in terms of care sticks around usually until death.
This is the same love your mother usually feels for you, or your father even – let’s not leave them out. I don’t have kids yet, but I plan to love my kids to death.

Love as companion -. this closely attaches to the care-love. It is a very stable and usually secure stage, where the relationship cannot be easily shaken. If the couple achieves this stage, they’ll live through the wavering of passion and then hopefully bring it back.

Love as potent interest. I love psychology, helping others, understanding the world and so forth. They are potent interests, not exactly passions though that word is often used. But using that word automatically implies they are bound to burn out, and may or may not come back. Though someone aware may understand that passion can be regained, even in the terms of a relationship. Loving what you do in life, being fully engaged in it.

Love as esteem. Your self esteem, and that of others. Having interest in others for who they are (character information). But also loving yourself for that as well, usually second step to acceptance. There are always things that need to be accepted in order to be loved.

If I’ve left anything out I trust someone will fill it in. I like full answers :)

gailcalled's avatar

What an odd question, as worded. “Transient” means temporary only.

AstroChuck's avatar

@gailcalled- I didn’t catch that the first time. Was the wording of this question edited?

gailcalled's avatar

Not a clue. I just tuned in, and am about to tune out.

tinyfaery's avatar

Love is not something to be defined. It is something to be experienced.

mammal's avatar

Put it this way, if love prevailed we wouldn’t require the ten commandments.

gailcalled's avatar

@jbfletcherfan:—If this is post-edit, I shudder. Transient love is dealt with adequately in Country & Western music.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@gailcalled the original question was just “what is love?”

gailcalled's avatar

@jbfletcherfan: Thanks. Edited because it was too specific?

phoebusg's avatar

I had to edit this to make it .. be available again because apparently there was a previous question. So I did edit in haste :P
Something to improve in fluther – the ability to easily see what’s been asked as you’re typing a question.

CMaz's avatar


Violet's avatar

well, sinced you tagged sex.. I’m going to say love is good sex. Just kidding.

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