Existential Love | INFJ Forum

Existential Love


Retired Staff
Mar 9, 2009

I sometimes wonder whether love as it is commonly practiced is natural. Why would I think that? Love is typically considered to be very similar to ownership. She is his, and he is hers. Or he is his and vice versa (if they are gay, and you can figure out lesbians). There will be constant attempts by the lovers to limit each others freedom. The relationship itself is a limit of freedom. While this is understandable, agreeable, and necessary to a large extent (at least in my opinion), it does, in many cases, become excessive. The result is that one partner becomes too controlling of the other, limits who they are friends with, limits who they are and what they think. And there are many methods that can be used to control another person.

I have a hard time believing that the love portrayed on television exists. What I see in love often amounts to misery and servitude, on one or both partner's parts. The partner will become depressed and self-loathing, and they will become psychologically dependent on their partner, believing that they cannot go on without their partner.

I regard this kind of mindset, however common or uncommon it may be, as extremely unhealthy. I have no explanation why other than the sorrow it brings me to see other people in this state. I also have no good arguments in favor of modern relationships and marriage in the face of people who value polyamorous relationships. "That is the way it has always been" is not a good argument and probably not true either.

What do you think? How can you justify having an exclusive relationship with another person? What do you think about existential love? And what do you think about love as ownership?
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Hmm, interesting points. I couldn't help but notice, however, that the points you made about ownership are eerily similar to how governments function. The citizen must give up a few rights and freedoms in order to obtain protection and security. While I can see where you are coming from, I can also see how relationships are beneficial to people. Love, in a healthy state, should be more beneficial to both parties than it is damaging. It is a trade-off, if you will. Besides, we can't have anarchy. Relationships thrive with some limitations.

For me, love boils down to respect of your partner. If you love your partner, and your partner would like you to be his/hers exclusively, then naturally you should/would respect that. I think love can be corrupted by manipulative people who do seek such ownership, but most of the time, I feel as though it falls under the category of "compromise".
Well, marriage is a legal contract, and the person you marry is not very different from a business partner.

How would love benefit both parties? And why can't we have anarchy?

What do you mean by respect?
Well, marriage is a legal contract, and the person you marry is not very different from a business partner.

How would love benefit both parties? And why can't we have anarchy?

What do you mean by respect?

1. Not all relationships are sealed by marriage. Some people just prefer this bond.
2. Not all people view marriage as a legal contract, although in form, it is that. It depends greatly upon perception.
3. Anarchy can't sustain relationships. It's far too vacillating. If you have a friend, and you go buck wild and embarass them (multiple offenses, that is), I'm pretty sure that anarchy wouldn't benefit this relationship too much.

Love, in my humble opinion, is a commitment to fulfill eachother's spiritual (which may include but is not limited to physical, emotional, and sexual) needs. Love in it's purest form is not and cannot be a negative thing. It is when people do not reach this ideal that it becomes a corrupt and disgusting "legal contract".

And that is the problem with love. Love, like religion, philosophy, and every other thing based on idealistic principles, has a great potential for corruption, simply because it is impossible to factor every variable into a principle, i.e. human faultiness.

But it greatly depends upon perception. I view love as a friendship but with deeper and somewhat more solemn bonds.

in short: Love in it's idealistic sense is inherently good. Love as imitated by humans has the potential to fall utterly flat.
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So it all depends on how much of an idealist you are and the extent to which you are able to live up to your ideals?
So it all depends on how much of an idealist you are and the extent to which you are able to live up to your ideals?

The success does, yes.

I just cannot believe that love is inherently bad. I think some relationships today are just not founded in respect for the other individual.
I think it's very simple: you love what you know and are used to. Your friends, language, neighbourhood, sports team, musicians, writers; when people list their favourite things, they usually list most things they know. And they reject some others, based on the accumulated influence of those sources they got used to already.

Compare with your dog. It gets used to you, it likes you, it misses you etc. At the core of things are just some neurons greedy for more of what makes them tick. And what made them tick was just what was there anyway.

Another example: go live among unknown and unseen race, after some age your brain may find it difficult to be able to find appeal in them, even though they are just the same humans. And within one race too, only if you switch "tribes", because people's faces and bodies are a little different if you travel and compare the areas. Usually those who were most exposed to you at early age will always remain the most favourable to your brain.

From all the patterns the brain has a vague image of "perfect partners" (it's more like a fuzzy set), so when you meet someone there could be love of first sight, or not - then the match is realized later. I'd say there's no real reason for obligation and bond between partners, except that they may feel likewise so good with each other that they would like to not be separated. And there's also the raising of children and family.
Actual love isn't restricting. Actual love isn't suffocating. Actual love doesn't have to be romantic.

Hollywood love does exist. I see in couples from time to time in real life. It's definitely not the norm, but I've seen it. It's not something I can describe in words, so I won't even try. Yeah, that's really vague but I can't help it. You can just feel the deep connection the two have to each other, the tiny little body motions, the facial expressions, and that air the couple gives off. I find it extremely refreshing to be in the company of such a couple. Gives that little heart of mine hope.
I think the problems with love, like the ownership and exclusiveness, are caused by fear. Fear of losing what is most dear to you. It is the fear that corrupts what ones was a loving respectful relationship.

With love comes the desire to become one with our partner. But on the other hand, there is the opposite desire to stay yourself and independent. A lot of times people lose themselfs in a relationship, giving up there independent life. With that comes the fear of losing the realationship because without the relationship this person has nothing left (because he/she gave up him/herself) with all the problems (exclusiveness, ownership, jealousy) as a result.

A good loving relationship is to find the balance between these desires. To be one with your partner but with respect for your own and his/her independency. You are not a couple but two indepentdent persons who choose to be together on that moment. Love is a choice you make every day. The choice to be together, or not.
Much of our disenchantment of what real love is, from those awesome descriptions up above, come from our increased exposure to popular media. Many people do not want to see real love, because it is not easy to express something so profound and subtle and when it is, it is perceived as boring. Interestingly enough, the unnecessary controversy is what people end up idealizing underneath the perfect television relationship. Call me a walking hypocrite though.

And once again I feel the need to add that love is very different for different people. I think that plays into compatibility.
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