What does it mean "to love"? | INFJ Forum

What does it mean "to love"?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Gaze, May 15, 2010.

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  1. Gaze

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    In May's thread on can you love someone you've never met, That Girl brought up the question of what is love.

    So, to piggy back on her question:

    1) What does it mean for you when you say you "love" someone?

    2) What do you understand love to mean when someone says they "love" you?
     
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  2. NiennaLadyOfTears

    NiennaLadyOfTears Goth Hobbit Lass
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    Well, first of all, to understand my concept of love, one must know that I am a Christian. This means that I don't give up on love easily. I believe that divorce, for any other reason than adultery, is wrong. I will say that if abuse were to happen I would separate from my husband, but I would not divorce him.

    While it is true that love should have some affection, it should primarily be based on a decision to treat the other person with respect and honor that they deserve, even on days where they don't deserve it. Honestly, there are days when I feel like I'd rather choke my emo xNFP husband than to do this, but the decision I made to love him overrides my feelings.

    True love is not just a feeling, it is a commitment. But love cannot survive only on commitment.


    Honestly I'm still trying to figure this out, since my husband tends to be rather needy at times. Does he say he loves me because of what I do for him? Or does he love me for who I am? Although he's not usually able to reciprocate emotionally because of how much he's going through at the moment, he's always ready to give non-sexual affection. He thrives on it, whereas I'd rather just screw, thank you very much. :p
     
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  3. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    I'm such a detached individual that love has an almost sacred meaning to me. For those very few people who I have allowed myself some feeling of attachment, I feel a strong sense of gratitude and appreciation. At times, I am almost in awe of them. I can trust them, open myself and my insecurities to them and be honest in my faults. They are the angels in my life and I hold them in almost unconditional regard.

    For everyone else, when I say I love them it feels very empty and meaningless. It feels like nothing more than a hollow ritual. I expect for most people it is the same.

    I guess I run very hot and cold in this respect. I either love you with my entire being or I don't love you at all.
     
  4. bamf

    bamf Is Watching You
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    I think love is simply acceptance. Yes, that does make it feel hollow much of the time, but that's what "love" is to me. To love someone is not hard, the hard part is to accept them as is, and want to spend time with them. You want them to be who they are, and you take the faults with the goods. You want what is best for them, you'll guide them, but you understand that you cannot change them.

    When someone says they love me, I take it as they appreciate me. When someone shows that they love me, possible through all sorts of different means, it tells me that they accept me as-is into their lives. They want me to be a part of their life, and they're willing to work together to make things work. I love a lot of people, I fall in love rather easily, but only a few people really make it into my life. When you're a part of my life, when I really love you, I care with every piece of me about you. You're in, and I'll reorganize anything/everything to help you where I can. You become a center piece of my life, and I'll work through anything to venture life with you. I want you, the good and the bad, to be with me.
     
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  5. Soulful

    Soulful life is good

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    "I love you", to me, means different things coming from different people. Sometimes it's nothing more than that I make them feel good and it's not about me at all.

    I can't tell someone I love them if I don't mean it. I fear it makes me appear cold, especially when people throw the words around casually and expect that they be reciprocated, but if I don't love you I won't say it. That doesn't answer your first question but I'm not sure I have an answer to it yet.

    I don't know how to differentiate between different levels and depths of love. I don't know how to separate love from care either, or if they are separate, and how "like" factors into that. Is it possible to love people altruistically and not like who they are? Or is that only loving their potential and not really them?

    In any relationship, the feeling of love is not enough. It's nice to know someone feels love toward another, but I see that as sometimes being more about them and not always enough. What's equally important is that they take the time and effort to understand how the other can receive that love and then, if they are able to, express it in those ways for that person to receive. To me, this is the ultimate expression of "I love you" because it speaks: "Not only do I feel wonderful love for you, but I want you to feel wonderfully loved as well." It transcends the boundaries of their feelings into a mutual experience.

    Maybe love means caring for/about, seeing, and considering another. It means valuing and appreciating both who/how they are and their efforts, as well as accepting and prioritizing their needs alongside yours. It means being able to stand on even ground with them and recognize their validity.

    I hope that made sense.
     
    #5 Soulful, May 17, 2010
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
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  6. That Girl

    That Girl Do you have my answers?
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    First and foremost, love is a choice. Everyone talks about this whole falling in love experience as if you're walking along in the dark one day, fall in a hole, and break your legs. That is not love at all; it is simply infatuation and attraction caused by chemical reaction. Hell, it's possible that the other person's immune system has something to do with it. As humans we are created to reproduce and survive; picking out the most suitable mate (the one that will produce the offspring more likely to survive) is ingrained into our DNA. That's hormones talking to you; that isn't what love is in today's society. Another thing that attributes to infatuation is a cute butt, well, physical attributes in general. Most people are going to look at someone they consider "hot" and have the unconscious want to sex them. Once again, in today's world, that isn't love. We have learned to control these emotions created by chemical reactions and physical attributes which just set you up for unrealistic expectations.
    That infatuation, that tug on the heart, won't deal with all the mundane day to day which relationships have to survive. Sometimes, things are going to be boring. It's not going to be as exciting as when you first met and everything was new. Eventually that collar bone you found exhilarating is going to be just a collar bone. You may still find it sexy but it won't cause the same spark anymore. Believing that original attraction is going to stay is naive and unhealthy when deciding to be in a relationship.
    You have to make the decision to love someone every day regardless of how tough things are. You're going to fight, you have to accept that. It's impossible to agree on everything. It is your choice to work through it or walk away. Love without action is nothing at all. Love is a commitment, it means you have decided to take the good, the bad, the straight up ugly, and accept it.
    Think of love as both a noun and a verb. The noun part is the feeling you get, the heart part. As a verb love is in the mind. It is the actions you take to create and feed your relationship. There is always going to be someone better out there. Again, that's just how life works. However, no one is going to be perfect for you. There is no soul mate waiting with shining armor to whisk you away. It's like that Bright Eyes line, "I'd rather be working for a paycheck then waiting to win the lottery."
    You decide who you love and you decide when to stop loving them. The test is whether or not you can accept that.
     
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  7. Tutti Frutti

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    I have absolutely no idea.


    But I like the idea of acceptance - that's what love is. I must say I tend to agree with that.
     
  8. OP
    Gaze

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    I agree.
     
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  9. WaeV

    WaeV Community Member

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    I forget where I found this:

    Concerning Love
    The process of falling in love is insubstantial and an unperceivable shift in circumstance. The state of Being in Love, however is a glorious time at the beginning of relationships where lust and emotion are mixed on a quite ethereal level. This is quite different for the concept of Love itself. Love is what's left over when Being in Love has burnt itself out and the novelty of the passion and habits is but a cinder. It is the comfort which demands a certain reverence. Perhaps after years of just being "comfortable" with each other, two will begin to experience Love on a purely intellectual and emotional level. THAT is Love. A majority of people do not realize this truth and instead fall into two major misconceptions.

    Misconception One: Being in Love is Love and there will be no settling.
    This creates a situation for heartbreak every time. Being in Love is, by definition, a temporary state. If one approaches Being in Love as a permanent institution, then betrayal and heart ache is sure to follow. These people may sift through dozens of relationships looking for one in which this temporary state lasts forever (e.g. True Love). The result may be a tragically embittered individual whom abandons the quest or accepts one of the other ideologies concerning the subject.

    Misconception Two: Being in Love is Love and I will take what I can get.
    Naturally, this person will run into a relationship in which they enter the state of Being in Love. After this initial bundle of emotions has run its course, they may attempt for months, if not decades, to recapture the lost state. In the end there is an atrocious shattering of the mistaken ideal, an embittering of the mate, or a defeated acceptance of the relationship.
     
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  10. Seeking_Self

    Seeking_Self Regular Poster

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    Maybe I'm werid..

    I felt so strongly about this post, I created an account just to reply. So, this is both a hello and a eye opener.

    Love.. I am very very sure about this topic.. I believe in God, and you'll see this deeply in this post. But as I make my small talk, I'm wondering where the hell to begin. I guess here. Love is only grantable thru God. It is a gift, a purely divine gift, and as such, it shouldn't be abused, ignored, or dismissed. Now don't get me wrong.. yes, there are many types of emotions we perceive as love.. The love of family, the love towards your child, the love of friendship, and the casual "I feel good when your around" love. But then.. there is that true meaning of love.. the one only God can give us.. We tend to call this True Love. This will be a long post - be warned. :)

    Love of Family - we view our families as loved ones, people we care for, remember, grew up with, taught by, etc. We love our parents, our sisters and brothers.. but that love is one that grows with time. We learn to love, respect and honor them. Its a learned devotion.

    Love of a Child - or Paternal Love. Most of us, (I'd love to say all of us) would die for our children willingly. They are an extension of ourselfs. And as such, we have a bond that pulls us to protect them, teach them, show them love and caring, We would fight for, live for, and die for our kids. This is also known as the Parental Instinct.

    Love of Friendship - This is much like Love of a Family. You care for them, you would go out of your way to help them, you support them, and over all enjoy their company. But are you drawn to them? No. You feel good to have them around - but they are not a required part of us. Yet, we would tell them we love them, if we felt they needed to hear that they weren't alone.

    "Feel Good" Love - The most common in relationships. The "I'll settle for this" love, and in truth, the most abundant kind of love. One post here said that There are hundreds of thousands of matches for every person. This is true. We match with many people, we spend time with them, get to know them, a -grow- to love them. This is when you enjoy their company, their cuddles, you feel good when they are around. You miss them when they are not, but they lack the essence of True Love. They touch your heart, but not your soul. You may hurt when you lose this love, but you can still go forward, move on.. hopefully take something positive and learn for the negative. But in the end, you remember them as loved, but the memory grows dimmer, and hurts less and less. Or even, not at all. This is almost more of a habitual love.. where you miss what you did with them, or where you would go with them.. you think of them because your USED TO IT.

    Now before I go into True Love.. I want to say, to have it, you must know God. See.. God is Love. Love - Is God. I'm not a bible thumper.. matter of fact, I own one, but haven't really read it much. I don't go to Church, or believe much of the man made hype. I know God, because I can feel him/her in everything I do. Because when I look for God, I feel God in my HEART. It isn't logical, it isn't a thought process.. you don't hear a voice.. instead its like.. your heart screaming at you. Your soul radiates its truth.. See, God isn't someone/something to be feared. God is Love. God doesn't set out to hurt you - he sets out to lead you. That feeling from your heart that says - "help this person" - that's God. Selfless, loving, kind, acts of compassion and humbleness - that's God. That drive to do right by and to another being - is a drive given by God. Now, that being said.. lets talk about True Love.

    We all hear stories of "Love at first sight" and the like.. yes, I believe in it. True love is rare.. so rare, less then a fifth of the world even believes in it. So much lower is the percent of the world who is blessed by it. Yes, there are many matches for all of us.. but then.. there is one.. You can feel them, even when they are not around. You just - KNOW - that person is meant for something in your life.. the moment you meet them. The connection can be so strong, that distance means nothing. You could see their picture and be drawn to them. Even before ever saying a word. They make you live. They complete you, and touch every part of you. This isn't something that "grew" on you.. it is there from day one. When your apart - your soul aches for them. They aren't your every thought - they are your reason, your drive, your partner, your soulmate. When you make a choice, no matter how small or large - you want their input, their advice.. And if life gets in the way and your torn apart - it like.. death. You forget how the breath, eat, you merely exist without them. Your soul feels empty, and it is usually here that your able to open your eyes and know - "Holy Shit - they were my everything". "Love is Blind" - when its real, your damn right. You never see it.. till its takes over and either your left fighting to correct the wrongs that you did while running from love, or your blessed with seeing it while everything was whole and right. True Lovers often break up once.. just to find they can't leave the other.. the bond is so great, a few months feels like the bulk of your life. You can't remember them not there, and you can't see your future without them. True Lovers seldom stay apart - they learn quickly what that bonds means, and they are in fact - true.

    So what is love? What isn't love. Without love, who are we? Why try or fight for anything? Love really is - everything.

    Oh and.. hi. :)
     
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  11. TurtleTrooper

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    Love is wishing the highest good for another person.

    But not really. Love grows in me like a tumor.
     
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  12. OP
    Gaze

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    Love is a goal, not just a feeling. Love is not a noun but an action. It's not simply "i have love" but i love. It must do in order to be.
     
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    #12 Gaze, Jun 10, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
  13. Holden On

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    Very well described - this is exactly what I think.

    I heard a quote recently, on Gray's Anatomy of all places, that I really thought made sense. I don't remember it precisely, but it was something to this effect: "I chose my husband 30 years ago when I said 'I do.' I make that same choice every day."

    The initial attraction is important. Over time it grows to a deep mutual respect and care. The attraction, albeit in a less intense form, can and should stick around, but it takes a little nurturing. But the most important thing is the choice.

    I've been married one year (on Monday!), and since I met my husband 4 years ago, I've certainly found other men attractive, but I've made the choice to be wedded to my husband. I think infidelity can happen when people forget about that choice. There will always be temptation, and if you let yourself succumb to it, you're a goner. But it's that choice that makes an attractive person just momentary, private amusement, instead of the potential beginning of the end.

    Just my two cents. :)
     
  14. Billy

    Billy Contents Under Pressure
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    When I tell someone I love them, I am basically telling them that they are inside enough of my walls that I would sacrifice my life for their safety and that their happiness means more to me then my own.
     
  15. dneecey

    dneecey I am who I am.

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    @Seeking_Self: Wow! Welcome. I have no reason to write in this thread because you already did it for me. I have to say I would have probably written something along those very lines. Except that maybe you said them with more conviction. The loves you're describing, are much like the definitions of Eros, Agape, and Philia. Something I've always been interested in...

    Thanks for this post, and welcome to the forum. I hope you stay.
     
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  16. Seeking_Self

    Seeking_Self Regular Poster

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    I so agree.. Love has be nurtured. You make that choice every day. Not saying that love will go away, not when you find true love - but it can be clouded by lust, greed, and other emotions and actions that hamper the way. Love is perfect - we are not. It takes alot to listen and follow our hearts, logic tends to get in the way of that. Logic leads to error. Love doesn't. :)
     
  17. Seeking_Self

    Seeking_Self Regular Poster

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    oh! And Thank you! :"> I plan on it.. I am on a mission to find myself, my true self - and I really like it here. It is helping so much to see and talk to people alot like my self. And.. @ Aquarelle99 -> Happy Anniversary. :) May a lifetime together follow :)
     
  18. Lotus Blossom

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    When most people use the word love they are usually referring to a 'feeling' of closeness and intimacy. However, that isn't what love really is, you can love a stranger, and you can love someone you don't even like. Love is more of an action than a feeling.
     
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  19. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    I very much want to be in love with someone, and up to this point, I have not gotten there. I know enough that when I feel the urge to say "I love you" even with someone I have romantic interests with, it is not actually true. I am very much for accuracy of such statement so I will never say it until I feel like it is truthful. I know and trust once I am actually in love with someone, I will feel it and know it to be true, then I will say it.

    I also have reason to believe that the other person pretty much would have to be in love with me, or pretty close to it. Otherwise, I likely would not be able to get to that point, love really does involve the inner emotions of the other person, so its a very mutual thing.

    It is a major life goal of mine to be truly in love with someone. In a sense I feel like it will "complete me".
     
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  20. Seeking_Self

    Seeking_Self Regular Poster

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    All I can say here is - It does and will. Follow your heart.
     
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