Can you love someone you've never met? | INFJ Forum

Can you love someone you've never met?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by TinyBubbles, May 13, 2010.

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  1. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    History books describe the lives of deceased people in somewhat dramatic ways. sometimes they're well written enough to make you seem like you know (or knew) the person. This is probably true for fictional works as well- a good novel can make you forget that a character is the figment of someone's imagination, and can make you care about them as much as you would a living person.

    My question is this: is it possible to love someone you've never met? Someone in history, or some long lost relative you've heard about but never actually talked to, or a character in a book, or even celebrities - aren't you in fact falling in love with the idea of the person rather than the person themselves? If they're deceased but you could somehow reverse time and get to know them directly, and they turned out to be different to what you thought, would you still love them or would you definition of who they were change so much that you couldn't - at least not in the same way?

    I think people idealize others, especially those we don't really know, such as politicians and historical figures. people quote Mother Teresa as a saintly figure, but unless you knew her personally, how would you really know? Second hand repeated accounts can only tell you so much. For that matter, even if you did know her you wouldn't know all sides of her - under the guise of a good person she could have been committing atrocities. It might be a defamation of her character if untrue to even suppose such things, but since there's no conclusive proof either way (only substantial circumstantial evidence) you have to acknowledge that it's possible.

    It all comes down to probability, doesn't it? Or perhaps seeing what you want to see. If you want to believe that Stalin was an evil dictator, then that's who he'll be -to you- that's who you'll profess him to be and that's what will color what he did in your eyes; how you will perceive how his actions influenced the world. And if the odds are that he was, then that will be used to back up your opinion (or perhaps substantiate it, to begin with). But are there more than odds at play here? In relationships, I don't think people are very logical - we go by instinct, right? What we intuitively sense of the person. So if your instinct is that someone you've never met or someone you couldn't meet (eg. if they were deceased) was a wonderful person and you felt like you loved them, then are you actually loving them or merely your concept of them? Is there a difference (in practice)?
     
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  2. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    Thanks Res, but could you elaborate? What do you mean by "their spirit shining through?"
     
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  3. Siamese cat

    Siamese cat Madame Cat strikes again

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    Yea, I'd say that the most that you can be when it comes to someone you have never met, is infatuated by them. I'm not sure if there could be more than that.

    When you love someone you need to break free from your own perception of them as much as possible, you need to acknowledge them as they are, not as you want them to be, or as you saw them in the first few months of a relationship.

    Therefore, someone who you've never met, and are not going to, you can't be more than just infatuated with.

    At least this is my opinion of it.
     
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  4. Gaze

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    It pretty much means just what you mentioned in your post, you "see" them intuitively for who they are and love them for it.
     
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  5. Questingpoet

    Questingpoet Not Afraid to Use His Beard
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    This is an interesting question. Are you asking strictly about historical and dead persons, or does this include internet companions too?
     
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    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    I had historical figures in mind when I wrote it, but sure you can include internet companions too. It's a good question actually, since this forum is pretty tight- knit; might be useful to determine how much we actually care about other forum members. Saying you love someone on the forums is easy, but do we actually know each other well enough to validate such a claim?
     
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  7. That Girl

    That Girl Do you have my answers?
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    I don't use feeling when picking out the people I love. I weigh my options against others and decide on a variety of levels whether or not the person is someone I could be or should be in love with. I'm sure I've met plenty of people in my life that could have been my 'soul mates' but the situation made it impossible for us to be together so I decided against loving them.
    I'd have to say that it is possible to choose to love someone you've never met before although I don't think it's very practical. I say I love Windows from Fanboys but in reality I just love nerdy boys and he embodies that ideal for me. I'm not in love with the character, I'm in love with what he represents. As for people I know on the internet, I think that to really love someone you need to be close enough to get under their skin and the internet just doesn't allow for that. People unconsciously become who they want to be on places like this as opposed to who they actually are.
     
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  8. Questingpoet

    Questingpoet Not Afraid to Use His Beard
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    I don't know if you can ever validate this with certainty unless you actually meet in person and get to know them that way too. My sense on this question then is no to historical figure, infatuation perhaps as has been said already. You just can't get inside someone enough to really know them--even if you have their memoirs. Those are still just what that person wants you to know.

    Now internet friends is a new, and much more complicated question. We now have things like picture and video exchange, Facebook, IM and Video chat. You can get to know a person far better than in the past through these things. Sure it is still not real life, but it is approaching it. My sense here would be yes you can love someone you have never met in this circumstance, although there would stil be a lot of infatuation involved. Time plays a big part here I think. Getting a sense of someone over time is crutial to really knowing them.
     
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  9. RecklessDreamer

    RecklessDreamer Permanent Fixture

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    I suppose I ould strongly admire- or even love- someone I'd never met or talked to. But, in order for me to be IN love with someone, I am pretty sure that would require some form of contact. I can fall in love with the IDEA of someone, sure, but I couldn't just fall in love with a person I had no real connection with. Chemistry means alot to me.
     
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  10. Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    you can also ask yourself an other question:

    "if we know someone in real life, does that mean we really know them?
    "

    for example, a coworker of mine, I work with her every day but haven't had one decent conversation with, while I have had plenty of deep conversations with forum members about the things that really matter to us... who does I know the best? I would say the latter. With love there is always this aspect of "palliation" (I don't know if that is the correct word). Even if you know the person in real life, you always see them in an other light than someone else, and if you love the person, your love makes them more beautiful than you would find them otherwise. I think your love is more about who you are than who the person is that you love.

    besides that. It is proven that you can love a person you don't know. You love someone when you feel the feelings of love inside, it is as simple as that. Billians of people love Jesus. Whether the love is valid and based on the true identity of the person rather than on speculations, that is an other question, but the love itself is true


    an other question: "can you love God, can you love the earth, the creation, the creator, nature itself, ... In fact they are not individuals, you can't "know" them so how can you love them?"

    edit: your question seems to be more about "is it VALID to love a person you don't know since you can't make a true judgement call on him" than about "whether you CAN love a person you don't know"

    as for me ... I can ... I seem to be able to love a person I don't know MORE than a person I do know. Whether that is valid I don't know. But it seems to be that the physical appearance is a strong boundery for me, both mine and the other persons.
     
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    #10 Morgain, May 14, 2010
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  11. DimensionX

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    @may:

    yes you can, but technically not really, I'd be happy to have a pm back and forth why : )
     
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  12. Gaze

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    My question is, are you asking if it is (as an idea possible) are can we, the individual, love someone from afar? Because each person is different. We all "love" or have various capacities for love. Some people will find it harder to love someone without having some things in place first, such as close, physical contact. For others, emotional intimacy is enough. So, the question depends. Simply because one person can't love someone they've never met, doesn't mean someone else wouldn't be able to. And doesn't it depend on the person to whom you are giving your affection? You can find it easy to love one particular person but difficult for someone else. So, it's all relative, isn't it?


    Edit: As Morgain said - There are many people who see us everyday or who should know us personally but yet, there isn't love. I think for there to be love (for myself at least), there needs to be mutual understanding, and sometimes even those who are closest to you don't understand you, while someone who barely knows you may understand you more than anyone who's ever known you.
     
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    #12 Gaze, May 14, 2010
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
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  13. That Girl

    That Girl Do you have my answers?
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    I think we would have to have a tool that would gauge love which is impossible. So yes, it's all relative at this point. Leaving the unanswerable question of:
    What is love?
     
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  14. Gaze

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    Exactly. To me, this is the real question. Not IF we can love, but WHAT is love.
     
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  15. Gaze

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    Yes.



    This^^
     
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  16. That Girl

    That Girl Do you have my answers?
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    Should we try to answer it?

    I suppose we should first distinguish the type of love we're attempting to define. From what I can gather there are four different types of love.
    1) I like this thing/activity a whole lot and I wish to have/do it often.
    2) Indication of value.
    3) Indication of concern for something.
    4) Indication of concern for a person where you care for a person based on who they are for who they are.

    It seems logical that we are discussing the fourth type of love here. Upon further research it seems that the Greeks took the fourth type of love and broke it up into four pieces:
    (Basic definitions taken from Wikipedia)

    1) Eros - sexual yearning, love, desire
    2) Agape - contentment, holding one in high regard, deeper sense of "true love" as opposed to attraction.
    3) Philia - Love in the terms of friendship
    4) Storge - Natural affection (parent to offspring)

    Less clear, is which of these four we are discussing.
     
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  17. That Girl

    That Girl Do you have my answers?
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    ^^
    Leave it to an INTP to take the fun out of love man.
     
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  18. under skies

    under skies Community Member

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    Love is practically the most ambiguous thing on the planet. I really don't think it means exactly the same thing to any two people, and you only have the capacity to love someone to the extent and manner in which you understand it.

    That being said, it's never happened to me, but who am I to say it's impossible or that it's never happened to someone else?
     
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  19. Gaze

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    Not at all. I think it makes sense to figure out what type of love we're describing.
     
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  20. DoveAlexa

    DoveAlexa Chaz's Lovey Bunny
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    Yes you can love someone you never met. I never met Chaz before last week and I love him very very deeply. Both before meeting him and after.

    Everyone seems to think people can only be fake when you're not face to face, or in any way distant, but I have found in dozens of cases, that this is certainly not the case. I have met many people after meeting them online, and I loved a few, and meeting them didn't "shatter" any illusions most presume to exist.

    Everything went perfect, so therefore, the answer to your thread's question would be a resounding yes.
     
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