More Than Just ‘I Love You’: 6 Awe-Inspiring Definitions Of Love

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So much sweeter than the dictionary version.

My psychoanalyst friend says that love is a strategy to fill the existential void of our lives. My brother thinks that we’re attracted to people who we think will make good babies. I asked a professor “What is love?” and was told that love is really just sex.

There are so many different ways to think about romantic loving and how we end up choosing whom to say “I love you” to, and the science is not clear-cut. Romantic love is a complex web of lust, desire, passion, yearning, intimacy, among other things.

So, what is the definition of love? Below are the six ways we define love (and romance!) in the Western world:


1. Love is salvation.

The ancient Greek philosopher Plato described love as merging. In Symposium, an ancient book about love, the character Aristophanes explains that people used to be round creatures with four arms, four legs and two faces.

They attacked the gods and as punishment, Zeus cut them all in two. Since then, people have desired their other half and yearn to grow back into their original whole.

This myth encouraged the idea of romantic loving as a union of two people who, in compensating for each other’s deficiencies, together make a single entity. That there is only one other person capable of doing this fostered the idea that finding one’s other half would result in perfect happiness, making it a monogamous and eternal bond, as well as one that allows for complete disclosure to, and understanding of, one another.

Many modern definitions of romantic love incorporate aspects of Aristophanes’ myth. For example, we talk about lovers being soulmates, uniting, creating a “we,” and finding “the one.”

2. Love is passion.

Love is an exhilarating rollercoaster ride. Physical attraction is intense, emotions run wild, and we form a deep connection. The problem is that passion fizzles.

Think of the movie Take This Waltz, where Margot trades in companionship with Lou for the intense chemistry with Daniel, which also fizzles out after they tire of experimenting with an array of sexual fantasies.


3. Love is wanting a family.

Love tempts us towards those who seem to promise happiness and pleasure, but really it is a sick illusion that tricks us into propagating the human species. Well, that is what the philosopher Schopenhauer and evolutionary theorists think.

They …

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pexels photo 722245 - 21 Scary-Accurate Love Quotes That Define Love Perfectly

21 Scary-Accurate Love Quotes That Define Love Perfectly

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What is love?

Love is a tricky thing. The word itself inspires so many different emotions, different memories, and different definitions for everyone.

Have I ever been in love? I might have said it to one person, I might have said it to five — but how many times did I really mean it? I might have meant it all the times I’ve said it, but looking back, each ‘love’ felt different.

Maybe you’ve never said the ‘L’ word. Does that mean you’ve never experienced it? How would you know? There are so many different questions.


You can look towards rom coms or Nicholas Sparks books for examples of love, but in reality, they’re still all so different. No one can tell you that your definition of love is wrong, but no one can tell you it’s right either.

There is no set number of times you have to be in love, and there is no limit to how many times you can experience it. But maybe there are some things you think are love that just aren’t. Maybe to an extent, sometimes we are way off with our own definition.

Love is not always true love, and you may not always end up with your true love. That is something I do believe.

Love is painful, but love is also happy and full of joy.

Love is both giving and taking, not one or the other.

I can’t tell you what the correct definition of love is, but I can help you build your own.

These 21 quotes cover the ups and downs and the good and bad of love and may make you think twice about what love really is.…

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