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chicagorilke23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would like to know what "love" you are referring to and what brought this question to mind?

Love can be an acknowledgement of the affections one has when it comes to the person, place, or thing that is loved. This "good" can be based on physical, mental, and/or emotional levels. For example, a young man see a woman that is attractive to him. Several levels of love are at work. There is the physical level in which he may think she may be appropriate for his desire to raise a family and procreate. Then there is the mental level in which by way of actual communication and interaction with this woman, the young man realizes that she sparks his attention on a more cerebral level. Then you have the emotional level in which, through time or perhaps through an instant, deep connection, the young man realizes that the woman is one that can provide comfort. He realizes that he is willing or able to open up to her on a deeper, more intimate level in terms of his innermost thoughts. Often many in this state of mind confess that it is at this stage where they can tell their loved one anything and still be accepted.

However, all of these levels overlap one another and it is important to recognize that like beauty, love is in the eye of the beholder. This overlapping of the elements of love are why many view it as a lifelong quest and often, a difficult journey with the potential for many rewards.


Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Heavens, lock and load for a very intense discussion.  I wouldn't be surprised if this thread becomes heavily popular with comments. I guess I will take a classical reference to help crystallize how I have come to see love.  In Dante's Paradiso, he argues that the sight of his beloved Beatrice represents the penultimate notion of love.  One of the images he uses is the idea that Beatrice fuses opposites into a comedic version of consciousness.  I think that this idea of love being something which brings opposites together helps to form my conception of it.  I think being in love with someone helps to bridge opposing experiences.  There are moments where independence meets dependence, strength meets frailty, absolute confidence collides with complete terror, certainty is unified with doubt and the experience of all of these are sheltered or cradled with the love of this other person.  The idea is that love, something which we would all concede is something wonderful, owes a great deal of its distinction to the fact that these opposites come together in this realm of uniqueness.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mshurn brings a little something more to the table in the discussion of love. Love at its most pristine is unselfish, but there are a lot of moments in life with those we love that are not unselfish. Perhaps another word to throw into the mix is flexible. Now, granted, that is not a very romantic word, but love is not always romantic. Perhaps your greatest desire is to draw your loved one near you, but you let him or her go because that is what they need. Take a parent or some other loved one dying of cancer or a child going off to college--we must let them go because that is what they need. (But that is unselfish isn’t it.) Love must also be flexible enough to realize no relationship is 50/50. Sometimes one only has 10%, and the other member, whether it’s a parent, spouse, child or friend, must pick up the slack. There is so much more to ponder, and I will, but I also look forward to what others have to say.

readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Here is another perspective on love. Love is radically non-selfish. This means that you will love, even when you are not loved. This means you will love, irrespective how you feel or how that person treats you. This means that love is unconditional. It is purely outward focused and not introspective. An example of this is the ability to love a stranger. This might sounds crazy, but don't we immediately love our babies, whom we do not know. I think that is radically selfless. Or to switch things around, consider the love of a child. They don't know anything and even if we are not kind, they still love. There is something beautiful about this. When there are too many reasons for love, I think it adulterates things too much. Too much of our likes, desire and preferences enter into the picture.

jseligmann eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Love is time.

Show me what you willingly spend lots of your time on, and I'll show you what you love, be it a thing, a person or an activity.

For example, there are parents who say they love their children. In their free time, do they choose to spend that time with them? Do they? And do you love your parents? When they are home, do you seek them out and choose to be with them? Or, when you come home and you see that their car is not in the driveway, are you secretly happy?

But, you say, Come on, love is an emotion. Well, I say that may be, but more than an emotion, it's a behavior, something you do, things you choose to do with your time.

OK, I'm waiting to be excoriated... but I meant what I said. Go on, test it out for yourself.

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

So far the discussion has centered on romantic love and that may be the intent of your topic. In a broader sense, though, a deep love often exists between parents and children, between siblings, between friends. One characteristic of love that these relationships all have in common is unselfishness. To love means to value someone's very life more than our own. We would gladly sacrifice our own life to spare the life of one we truly love, without hesitation.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After 20 years of marriage, I can only define love in one way.  Love is when you feel completely free to be yourself around another person and when that person makes you feel good about who you are.

I don't mean you can do whatever you want, whenever you want.  I mean that you can BE who you are without wondering if it's okay to be like that.

deadlyshot | Student

love is basicaly affection that u feel for someone. buts its also more thatn that. it is the complet trust and willingness to share with another person.

sumitsmarty | Student

i believe its a state of mind when u feel complete....u never feel alonne...if not that person atleast his/her mamories r there.....u feel motivated......confident.....mood is quite energetic....

problem lies in finding the true love...lucky persons get u cant decide whom to love

spazzer23 | Student

Okay understanable everyone has there own opinion but i feel that you dont have to spend time with someone to love them cause i choose to seek out my teacher for help but i do not love her (i hope) But when i am away from the one i do love, I love them but, I am away from them. And I will always be away from her but i will always love her for she is dead

citycat | Student

True love, to me is be courageous, be honest, be faithful, be sensitive, be patient, be tolerant, be considerate, be passionate, be available, be sincere, be consistent, unconditionally love, to your significant others , no matter what ...

spazzer23 | Student

Love, to me is decribed as someone you can be yourself around, without fear of judgement, you cry together, laugh together, fear together, etc...

krishna-agrawala | Student

I cannot really define love, because it is too complex to be described in a compact definition. However, I will try to describe what all is involved in love.

I think of love having two aspect - love as a noun and love as an action. Love as a noun refers to the feeling and emotions generated by the loved one. Love as a verb or action refers to the way you express love by action. This is a rather neglected aspect of love, although the very frequently used sentence "I love you" clearly implies that love is an action rather than a thing.

Frequently, talking of love as feelings, I like to make a clear distinction between the feeling of loving and liking. Frequently, we have great liking for the person we love, but these two are not identical. A mother may love a handicapped child more than a normal child. But this does not mean that mother prefers to have children with handicap.

Also I like to differentiate between enjoying the company of someone because of the entertaining behavior of the person, and just being happy because the person is with you. It is as if you like the soul of the person rather than any other physical qualities, accomplishments, or behavior of the person. Also the desire for the nearness of the loved one should be differentiated from the tendency to tie down the object of love to yourself, or to own it in any other way. Love is more about belonging to someone rather than making the loved one belong to you.

All this brings to the core feeling associated with love. This is feeling happy when the loved one is happy and feeling sad when the loved one is sad.

Once we accept the love involves feeling this way, then the nature of action of loving is very clear. It is serving the loved one. Doing things to make the loved one happy rather than seeking happiness for yourself. In love of this kind the true happiness of love is in loving rather than in being loved.

spazzer23 | Student

Well Love is also a vary wide range in speaking cause what love are you looking for as a definition


spazzer23 | Student

Love to me, is a valuable thing because, with it you can feel complete and without it you feel empty. When i fell in love i felt a lot of different thing but the main thing i felt was Complete

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