What does love mean? Understanding our most powerful, conflicted, and complex emotion may not be easy. However, we can break down the definition to try and understand what love means. Hopefully, we can be more successful in our relationships as a result, or more forgiving of ourselves when it doesn’t work out.
Read on to learn the major aspects of the meaning of love, from how we feel it to what it means to us to do so. This may not be a comprehensive study of love philosophy, but it’s a good starting point for people who want to better understand our most complicated feeling.
When you Feel Love
The biggest aspect of love from the first time we feel it to the last is just … the feeling. Most people don’t know how to describe or define it. “I got this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach” – that’s what Tim Allen said in The Santa Clause 2 and it’s about as useful a description as the most treasured philosophical treatises. That’s because the feeling is complicated.
But here’s a bit of a breakdown for you. If you look at someone and feel purely physically attracted, we would call that “lust.” That’s not exactly the same feeling, though they can overlap. The love feeling is when good news for them feels like good news for you. It’s when you can’t stand to not be around them. If someone intimidates you, they might be making you feel only lust. If they empower you – that’s love.
Acting on the Feeling
Of course, we can’t just “feel” love. We have to act on it! Taking someone out to dinner and complimenting and kissing them, buying their meal, taking them back to your place … all of that is “romance.” It’s often mistaken for love, however, it’s more involved than that.
If you get a huge doctor’s bill and it’s the last straw on an already stressful day, that’s not romantic. But if you discuss it with your partner reassuringly and hopefully – that’s love. You’re putting their feelings above yours. You’re making the tough call to love them despite the distractions of your own fears.
This doesn’t mean you have to blind yourself to the problems of everyday life. But it means that it should be the priority when your emotions are on the line. Remember, if your partner loves you, they’ll be doing the exact same thing. You’ll be able to share the tough spots together and empower each other. While that’s not a romantic situation, it is a loving one.
The Takeaway for Couples
What does love mean? None of us really know. It means something different for you, me, and Tim Allen. However, we gave you this short description of how love is and is not both a feeling and an action in order to help you get started on boxing in your own definition. You may never stop changing what you think it means. But that’s fine – so long as you keeping living it.