Love is a subject that always interests people more than any other. Men and women talk about it, try to find it, and often think of it as the most important thing in life. This is true of all cultures. Love is the one emotion that everybody wants to feel and experts even say that life is impossible without it. However, there is never any definition that works for everybody. Then there are many different kinds of love. People feel strongly about their children in ways that they do not feel about their romantic partners or even friends. Others struggle to learn if they are in love or are being fooled by other emotions. It is likely that no one can answer the basic question of what love is. At the same time, the need for an answer is only a human impulse and not very important because we know it when we feel it. As the following explores, any kind of love is real when we believe it is real. Love exists because we feel it as existing and that may be all that can be finally known about love.
In a general sense and for most people, love means that there is a powerful emotional bond between two people. Many would say that it is in fact the strongest bond that can be, when two people have the same and intense feeling for one another. History certainly shows that people are willing to do almost anything to feel this and be that connected to another. The same is true today. All over the world, people go to great lengths to find the partner who will be their true love. They do this because love is a feeling that creates other feelings. When someone is in love in the romantic sense, they usually see everything in different ways. Life itself is much better and the world becomes a “beautiful place.” This happens because of those feelings that are a part of love. Being loved, a person believes that they are special because someone else has chosen them to love. Feeling special, they are more confident and generally much happier. Then, loving someone else goes to the satisfying feeling of giving. This also adds the feeling of appreciating the other, which is very pleasing in itself. All of this comes together to make love’s meaning a certain thing: the ultimate in personal satisfaction. In plain terms, loving and being loved combine to create the best ways that a human being is able to feel.
This being the case it is impossible to say when we love. That is, we love whenever we can. People are always ready to find love and will do almost anything to keep the love they have in place. However, what is important here is that love can never be planned. Because it is based only on feelings, it can never be known when this will happen. People often say that they are “ready for love” in terms of finding the perfect person. Unfortunately being ready or not ready has nothing to do with when the feeling of love, or loving, will come to us. We can be ready, another person can be ready, but that does not create love. At the same time, it can be said there are times when we can be sure of loving. We usually love our children, parents, and other family members in a constant way, even if it is very different from romantic love. It is a kind of automatic love created by the family tie and the emotional bonds that come from it. Along these lines, we can usually be sure of loving our close friends in the same way. That is, we believe that the love will always be in place, so the timing of it is not a question. It should also be said that these kinds of love, while they are unlike romantic love, may be just as intense. They are often not as joyful as romantic love but they are marked by feelings of the strongest commitment and caring. Then, and like romantic love, these kinds of love usually stay in place even when there is serious conflict.
When the question of whom we love comes up, the same factors as with when are in place. On one level, family members and friends are loved because the feelings of support and affection are powerful. We love these people because feeling combines with reason to a degree. Because they care for us, we return the care and love is generated. At its best it is deeply satisfying. Still, it lacks the passion and excitement we find in romantic love. With that form, the person we love may literally be anyone. Emotional connection, physical attraction, and other forces can combine in endless ways to make us fall I love. There are problems with all of this, of course. Many people feel intense love for another but it is not returned. For whatever reason, the other is not able to feel that way, and the one in love suffers great pain. This goes to that reality of there being no way to create love by will or action. People can make others do many things, both good and bad, but no one is able to make another feel love when they simply do not. Then there is the problem of love existing in harmful ways. Sometimes people believe they are in love with someone who hurts them, when they are in fact “in love” with the need to be hurt. Love itself is so complex that real love can also exist in such situations, too, as when the one in love feels they know the true nature of the one hurting them.
It is very possible that no subject known to humanity has been as discussed and written about as love. From the beginnings of civilization, it is the main interest of virtually all human beings. Psychologists analyze it, poets write about it, and ordinary people live to find it. It is then all the more interesting how mysterious this state of being is. There are ways of describing love but there is no real way of defining it. The best anyone can do is turn to the feelings it creates. However, this in itself is a kind of definition. It is not a new one but it is the most logical anyone has ever offered. What is goes to is that love is known for what it is only when it exists, and it is then only known to the individual person feeling it. Love is real because we feel that it is real and that may be all that can be finally known about love.