What is Love, Really?

by | February 12, 2015

Love me, love me not. 


 

Love is intricate in definition. It is impossible to summarize. Love is boundless in description and, sometimes, beyond explanation.

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Photo Credit: Rany Horne

It is said to be the greatest emotion of all.

Many persons believe that love originates from the heart; hence the heart is the international symbol of love. However, love originates in the brain and not the heart.

How do you know when someone loves you?

People write love letters, send cards, and buy roses or chocolates for their loved ones. They sacrifice their time, money and much more just to make that special person feel appreciated.

Even though much is invested in love, love is inherently free. It cannot be bought, sold, or traded. It is often confused with lust and/or sex…. but that is a totally different article.

 

 

Really, what is love?

This is one of the most popular searches on Google. Apparently, it is the most yearning question tickling the minds of many; but what’s the answer?

Biologically, love is a powerful neurological condition like hunger or thirst, only more permanent. Let’s see what these professional had to say:

The chemist after performing experiments concluded, “Love is about chemistry

The biologist looked around and proclaimed, “Life depends on love”

The businessman used his calculator and summed, “Love cannot be calculated”

The physiologist after much thought figured, “Love is all-rounded”

The computer technician without even trying said, “Love is non-programmable

The Theologian simply opened his Bible and preached, “God is love”.

 

Though we may all have our own definition of love, we must agree that at some point in our lives we have experienced love.

Further, American author, poet, dancer, actress and singer – the late Maya Angelou – once wrote

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

 

Types of Love

 

Ancient Greeks had about 30 words to describe love. Here are a few that describe the different major forms of love:

 

1. Agape: described as unconditional love especially towards humanity. It centers on sacrifice, giving and expecting nothing in return. It is the love demonstrated by our behavior towards others and is a committed and chosen love.

2. Philos: described as an affectionate, warm, and tender platonic love. It makes you want friendship with someone and it focuses on how you feel about that person.

3. Storge: described as a family and friendship love. This is the love that parents naturally feel for their children and vice versa. It is the love that members of a family may have for each other, or the love that friends feel for each other.

4. Philautia: described as the love we give to ourselves. This is not vanity, but our joy in being true to our own values. It’s a self-love in which we have the strength to care for ourselves so that we can in turn care for others.

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Photo Credit: Rany Horne

5. Pragma: described as love which endures and is between a married couple which develops over a long period. This love endures in sickness and in health.

6. Eros: described as a passionate and intense love that arouses romantic feelings and powerful magnetism. It often triggers “high” feelings in a new relationship and makes one say these three famous words, “I love you”. It is purely an emotional and sexual love.

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Photo Credit: Curtis Henry

Love me?

We always repeat and hear people say these three famous words I love you!”

Though we may never fully understand what love is, we must still ask questions, still evaluate ourselves, and still try to love others as God commanded us.