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Can "love" really exist between two partners, or is "love" just attraction?what is your...

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manishamishra | Student, Grade 10 | Honors

Posted July 11, 2012 at 5:37 PM via web

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Can "love" really exist between two partners, or is "love" just attraction?what is your opinion about it?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 11, 2012 at 7:08 PM (Answer #2)

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There is no way to tell this for sure, but I certainly think it does.  After all, if there were no love, just physical attraction, then surely people would stop "loving" each other when they get old.  Also, you would think that people who are not attractive would never be "loved."  So it really seems that there is something more than physical attraction going on.

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timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted July 11, 2012 at 7:10 PM (Answer #3)

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Love usually begins with an attraction, but by itself this is not love because it dies so easily.  One of my students once told me a story that I still find interesting.  After going out with a girl for a few months, they suddenly broke up.  For a few days the boy was, as you might expect, miserable, but then he perked up.  I spoke with him about one day and he explained the change to me as something that he had come to understand.  He said something to the effect that "I thought I was in love, but I was only in heat."  :)  

When people say "I love you" they could mean one of many things starting with "I am incredibly attracted to you" (on a biological level) to the love that a parent has for a child that will lead them to sacrifice large parts of themselves for the good of the child, to lasting love between individuals (Will and Ariel Durant come to mind ... they were married for many years and when one died, the other died two weeks later --- there are many stories of this phenomenon).  And finally there is the love that sacrifices the self for the other:  "Greater love than this no man has that he lay down his life for his friend."

So when we're talking about love, we are talking about many possibilities ... it's the reason there are so many love poems :)

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 11, 2012 at 7:19 PM (Answer #4)

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Yes, love is certainly capable of going well beyond physical attraction. All of us know some couple who have been together for 50 years. They may still be physically attracted to each other, but the bond, I think, has to go deeper for these kinds of enduring relationships. After all, physical attraction is selfish--it is based on the desire to fulfill an urge. Loving relationships, in my opinion, are based on giving as much as receiving.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 11, 2012 at 11:11 PM (Answer #5)

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I, too, believe that love is able to move past attraction. For the most part, as defined above, most relationships begin as the result of an attraction. As the relationship grows, the attraction tends to fade in importance (given the attention to the person's inner character).

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creativethinking | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted July 12, 2012 at 1:20 AM (Answer #6)

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This question is an eternal one, I think, and it has much to do with our trust of the unseen and the world beyond the scientific. A cold, completely objective analysis of love would involve discussion of hormones, including those that go along with sexual attraction. In the case of the love of a mother for her children, you could explain the bond away by saying that parental attachment is an evolutionary consequence, urging the adults of a species to protect their offspring and ensure the health of the next generation. The thing we call "love" could be all just a bunch of chemicals buzzing around in our brains and bloodstreams.

But... SO much of our culture, our longings, our religions, our very being is driven by the idea of Love with a capital L. And, for those who have felt it (or felt the acute pain losing a loved one), it is certainly "real" in some sense. It means something. Maybe it means everything? As logical as I try to be, I have to agree with C.S. Lewis inChronicles of Narnia,and the later J.K. Rowling in the Harry Potter series when they categorize love as the oldest and most powerful magic there is, capable of transcending us far beyond the apes we might otherwise be. 

I guess the truth is, whether love is a chemical cocktail or something more, we're all gonna keep falling for each other... no matter what. :)

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 12, 2012 at 2:38 AM (Answer #7)

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I don't think love is the same thing as attraction.  Attraction happens, perhaps chemically, perhaps otherwise, much beyond our control.  Love, to me, is completely controlled.  There is a difference between an infatuation, the time of "falling in love," and then, choosing to actually commit to loving someone.

Ultimately, life long love is a choice, which is why it can and does actually exist between people.  You have to be deliberate about loving someone, and it is hard work.  It is not simply a feeling.  It is choosing to accept, commit, trust and entrust, protect, care for, and take care of a person.

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 12, 2012 at 5:01 AM (Answer #8)

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I agree with post #7.  Love goes way beyond initial attraction.  Love is much more about actions-- choosing to be there to support someone on the good days and the bad!  It is easy to be 'attracted,' but genuine love means time and commitment, even--and especially--when your beloved is not at their most attractive.  When you have seen your loved one at their absolute most rotten behavior or disgusting moments, and you still want to be around them--that's love!

Kristen Lentz

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wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted July 12, 2012 at 5:58 PM (Answer #9)

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I tend to think of love as what is left over after the attraction has faded. When a couple spends a lot of time together or even lives together, there are plenty of habits that the other person has that aren't alwayatrtractive. When you have true feelings for that person, you don't really care about these habits. You might even find them endearing. If there is merely an attraction between two people, such habits will tend to drive the couple apart. 

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portd | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted July 27, 2012 at 3:24 AM (Answer #10)

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I believe love can, and does, exist between partners. It is not merely attraction. Partners are not always attractive to one another 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Attraction often looks at just the physical (though not always).There are times when one's partner may be less-than-attractive for whatever reason(s).

However, love is outgoing concern and caring for that person even in their unattractive moments. Love is a commitment to, and caring for your partner, at all times - not only when they are particularly appealing or attractive to you one day over another.

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K.P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted July 27, 2012 at 4:20 PM (Answer #11)

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I believe love can, and does, exist between partners. It is not merely attraction. Partners are not always attractive to one another 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Attraction often looks at just the physical (though not always).There are times when one's partner may be less-than-attractive for whatever reason(s).

However, love is outgoing concern and caring for that person even in their unattractive moments. Love is a commitment to, and caring for your partner, at all times - not only when they are particularly appealing or attractive to you one day over another.

I think portd has one of the best definitions of love I've ever seen: "outgoing concern and caring ... at all times." This applies to parent-child love as well; even during troubled times, a parent's love must be an outgoing expression and demonstration of concern and caring at all times. I like that definition ... and wholly agree with it ... and wholly believe in the existence of love beyond "attraction."

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acompanioninthetardis | TA , Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:42 PM (Answer #12)

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Love is a mental, physical and emotional attraction or bond between two people. by this i mean that they are able to share themselves and their thoughts entirely with their partner, having the partner do the same to them. 

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udonbutterfly | TA , College Freshman | Valedictorian

Posted August 13, 2014 at 9:30 PM (Answer #13)

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I do think love is something that two people can share and attraction just so happens to be a apart of love. I am pretty sure if on one side of a relationship if the person was not attracted to the other person whether it be their personality or appearance of course the relationship would be fruitless. Most people know that looks only go so far. I think love is build on a foundation that consists of more than just looks.

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