WOW! LOVE is a topic that can go on forever because there is no black and white definitive explanation. Since there is such a diversity of use and definitions, combined with the complexity of feelings and emotions involved, it makes LOVE extraordinarily difficult if not impossible to define.
Of course you can always rely on the good ol’ definition in the dictionaries that provide a variety of meanings pertaining to feelings, states, and attitudes that range from interpersonal to pleasure. LOVE can refer to an emotion and/or affection. Wikepedia claims the ancient Greeks established 4 forms of love. Modern authors established various other forms to include romantic love, and then of course there are Psychological, Biological, Cultural, and Religious views and beliefs just to name a few to add to the mix. Dictionary.com gives an example that LOVE can be used as a noun, for example:
“a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person”
“Sexual passion or desire”
“a person toward love is felt”
“a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection for another person”
An example of a verb (used with object):
“to have love or affection for: All her pupils love her”
“to have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in: to love music”
“to embrace and kiss (someone), as a lover”
So you get the picture right?
But wait that’s not all!
There are psychological views. LOVE is one of the major human emotions, if not THEE most important one. Over time research has revealed the importance of love in child development as well as adult health. But what exactly is LOVE? How do psychologists define THEE most important emotion? It is impossible to define LOVE in words! So many psychologists have tried to no avail. The best they have come up with to date is identification of 3 components that make up LOVE:
You can’t have one without the others.
Is Love Biological or Is It a Cultural Phenomenon?
Biological views of love tend to view the emotion as a human drive. LOVE is most often seen as one of the basic human emotions such as anger or happiness.
Still, there are those that believe LOVE was birthed in certain cultures; but if that were the case, LOVE would not exist in some other cultures, right?
Anthropology suggests that LOVE is a universal emotion. LOVE is most likely influenced by both biological drives and cultural influences. Hmmmm.
So what is LOVE? Seasoned feelings? The price of giving? GOD’s nature?
Let me tell you some things I DO know to be true.
“LOVE is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. LOVE does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” ~Corinthians 13:4-7
LOVE is the experience of connectedness; an expression of unity that connects us ALL. One cannot LOVE another until they have learned to truly LOVE themselves. True LOVE occurs when we don’t expect anything in return for what we give. LOVE is the truth at the heart of all creation.
What does love mean to you?