T Nation

what is love?

Ok, serious question here folks. I am curious as to what everyone’s idea of “love” is. Like, how do you know that you truly love the person that you are with?

If you don’t know whether you are or not, you’re not. You just know.

a decrease in seratonin and simultaneous increase in dopamine levels in the brain…oops no, from a practical/ philosophical perspective, there is no easy answer to this question…

love is when she lets u do it in da butt.

I second that. If you have to question or wonder, then you are not. You do “just know” and it usually hits you like a ton of bricks. There is a big difference, however, between loving someone and being “in love” with someone. The in love stuff is what many youthful relationships are made of–when you’re walking on clouds and get that fluttery feeling just thinking about the other person. Often these feelings fade away and if you truly love that person, you will stay with them. If not, you move on to the next one. Truly loving someone implies devotion, trust, compromise, respect and committment–regardless of how hard it may be. And, if you TRULY love that person, none of these things are difficult or an infringement of your own self worth or esteem.

Love, in traditional context, is nothing more but a mere infatuation, chemical imbalance
and fuel for the engine of reproduction. If you talk about parental love, it is a way of ensuring that genes that were passed on to the next generation will survive, because the basic DNA law is to selfishly spread one’s genes as much as possible. “Reproduce before you die” principle. Finally, strictly speaking, love is nothing more but an abstract noun.

Finally, if we talk about people and human emotions, I guess that the interpretation of love is highly individual. For example, if I rank emotions according to my internal emotion scale, the most superior emotion is respect. There are people who are “seriously in love” 99 % of their waking hours and yet have a moral integrity of a 10 $ whore etc. So, your mileage may vary, as usually.

To echo somewhat what GM said, there is a huge difference between love and “in love.” But people often forget that love is an action word (no, not THAT action). Love is something you DO, not a “feeling.” For any one who feels they’re falling “out of love”, try this – do the things you did when the relationship was new, like dating, sending flowers, etc. It will surprise you how it sparks up the relationship again.

Love is patient, Love is kind… etc. Like was said earlier, you can’t define it, it just IS. When you realize you put someone else’s welfare before your own, when you consider their wants and desires equal to yours, when you think of someone first thing in the morning and last thing at night… you’re just scratching the surface. Love is making yourself vulnerable even when you don’t want to, it’s giving 110% only to get 150% in return. It’s maddeningly frusterating, and infinately rewarding. In some cases it is a royal pain in the ass. It is not defineable.

Uh, when I said I second that, I meant the post put by Drax, NOT the one about giving it in the butt!

snicker GM, don’t you just LOVE the lag time!!!

Everyone has the right idea, i.e. “You just know”, but here are a few “clues”.

If you have ever watched a f*&%$^@ Disney movie with your girlfriend and it wasn’t excruciating, and I mean like toenails-being-pulled-out-with-fencing-pliers excruciating, then you might be in love.

If your girlfriend has ever watched Battle-Bots, The Man-Show, or South Park with you without white-knuckling the popcorn bowl, clenching her teeth, or swearing under her breath, you might be in love.

If you feel comfortable letting HER drive, you might be in love.

If she feels comfortable letting you do the laundry, ESPECIALLY her “delicates” you might be in love.

When you look at her friends and the first thing that comes to mind is “Nope, don’t wanna bone her...or her...or her,” you might be in love.

When she looks at your friends and says to herself “Yup, he’s an immature dipshit, but he may grow up someday, so I can’t quite write him off as a loser...yet,” you might be in love.

Finally, when you wake up in the morning, and you both look like absolute shit and have corpse-breath, but the first thing you do is look each other in the eyes and kiss, you may be in love.

Here endeth the lesson. :)

Although I’m generally a smartass, I’ll make an effort to take this one more seriously. First, I think Michelle hit the nail right on the head in her post (to her credit, she usually does in my opinion, at least for the male/female stuff). Anyway, I personally think that there’s a big difference between loving someone and being in love with someone. Two girls in particular I did sincerely love, but I knew that I wasn’t in love with them and therefore neither of them were “the one.” I also think that it doesn’t take long to figure this out. As some of the others have said, I think you simply “know” when you’re in love. A big part of this is caring more about the other person than you care about yourself. I can honestly say that I have never put a girl or the two of us together before myself. I certainly think I am capable of it; I just never have. I have a brother who’s getting married soon and I can definitely see the difference in how he relates to his fiance and how I have related to some of my past girlfriends. Anyway, enough rambling from me. I’m out…

Aside to Demo: Yeah - Battle-Bots - but you forgot: Junkyard Wars! Yeah, babee that thar the shit!.

And ain't love that "funny feeling" you get in your stomach? ;-) Oh and I think "Is this Love?" is a song by Van Halen.

I think that was a Whitesnake song. ‘Scuze me while I tease my hair.

Thank you all, very informative. “Perspective gives you wisdom.”

My Dear, Shreck was produced by Dreamworks, not Disney.

love is the opposite of selfishness

Love is drilling some chick, then leaving.

JRC, I find this sentence to be problematic - “A big part of this is caring more about the other person than you care about yourself”. I think this philosophy might set you adequately for great failure and disappointment. Never, never let other people to be more important to you than yourself. You should be the most important person to yourself. Always. Just ask anybody who is divorced, they are the true survivors. :wink:

Love is…a warm puppy, a new born foal, etc. All else is tolerance with a bit of emotion mixed in.