What is love?

Seeking oneness.

--Sadhguru

What is love?

Mutual-need.

It's easy to fall in love when you need him, it's easy to fall in love when he needs you. Love turns into burden, the minute he turns incapable and/or unwilling to fulfil your needs.

Mutual-need.

It's easy to fall in love when you need her, it's easy to fall in love when she needs you. Love turns into burden, the minute she turns incapable and/or unwilling to fulfil your needs.

Mutual-need.

Make yourself be needed and you'll be loved. Find out what you need and you'll know where to look for love.

--unknown source

What is love?

Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

--Robert A. Heinlein

What is love?

While having is based on some thing that is diminished by use, being grows by practice. (The "burning bush" that is not consumed is the biblical symbol for this paradox.) The power of reason, of love, of artistic and intellectual creation, all essential powers grow through the process of being expressed. What is spent is not lost, but on the contrary, what is kept is lost.

--Erich Fromm

What is love?

My mind still clung to the image of my wife. A thought crossed my mind: I didn't even know if she were still alive. I knew only one thing - which I have learned well by now: Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not he is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases somehow to be of importance.

--Viktor E. Frankl

What is love?

The variety of feelings and strivings that can be covered by the term love or that are subjectively felt as such is astonishing. It may cover parasitic expectations on the part of a person who feels too weak or too empty to live his own life. In a more aggressive form it may cover a desire to exploit the partner, to gain through him success, prestige, and power. It may express a need to conquer someone and to triumphs over him, or to merge with a partner and live through him, perhaps in a sadistic way. It may mean a need to be admired, and so secure affirmation for one's idealized image. For the very reason that love in our civilization is so rarely a genuine affection, maltreatment and betrayal abount. We are left with the impression, the, that love turns into contempt, hate, or indifference. But love does not swing around easily. The fact is that the feelings and strivings prompting pseudo love eventually come to the surface. Needless to day, this pretense operates in the parent-child relation and in friendship as well as in sexual relationships.

--Karen Horney

What is love?

Love is an activity, not a passive affect; it is a "standing in," not a "falling for."

Love is the active concern for the life and the growth of that which we love.

Love is active penetration of the other person, in which my desire to know is stilled by union. In the act of fusion I know you, I know my self, I know everybody - and I "know" nothing. I know in the only way knowledge of that which is alive is possible for man - by experience of union - not by any knowledge our thought can give. Sadism is motivated by the wish to know the secret, yet I remain as ignorant as I was before. I have torn the other being apart limb from limb, yet all I have done is to destroy him. Love is the only way of knowledge, which in the act of union answers my quest. In the act of loving, of giving myself, in the act of penetrating the other person, I find myself, I discover myself, I discover us both, I discover man.

Sexual desire is one manifestation of the love and union.

I am loved for what I am, or perhaps more accurately, I am loved because I am. This experience of being loved by mother is a passive one. There is nothing I have to do in order to be loved - mother's love is unconditional. All I have to do is to be - to be her child. Mother's love is bliss, is peace, it need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. But there is a negative side, too, to the unconditional quality of mother's love. Not only does it not need to be deserved - it also cannot be acquired, produced, controlled. If it is there, it is like a blessing; if it is not there, it is as if all beauty had gone out of life - and there is nothing I can do to create it.

Motherly love by its very nature is unconditional. Mother loves the newborn infant because it is her child, not because the child has fulfilled any specific condition, or lived up to any specific expectation.

Fatherly love is conditional love. Its principle is "I love you because you fulfill my expectations, because you do your duty, because you are like me."

The negative aspect (of fatherly love) is the very fact that fatherly love has to be deserved, that it can be lost if one does not do what is expected. In the nature of fatherly love lies the fact that obedience becomes the main virtue, that disobedience is the main sin - and its punishment the withdrawal of father love. The positive side is equally important. Since his love is conditioned, I can do something to acquire it, I can work for it; his love is not outside my control as motherly love is.

If I am attached to another person because I cannot stand on my own feet, he or she may be a lifesaver, but the relationship is not one of love. Paradoxically, the ability to be alone is the condition for the ability to love. Anyone who tries to be alone with himself will discover how difficult it is.

To love means to commit oneself without guarantee, to give oneself completely in the hope that our love will produce love in the loved person.

--Erich Fromm

What is love?

Every society and community group tries to express love in a way that is best suited to its preservation.

--unknown source

What is love?

We reached out to each other and touched and it was as if layers of us fell away. We moved closer and it was like two separate energy fields fusing into one. There was a wonder about it, a wonder about how we felt different, and actual difference to the skin tone. And our eyes felt different and the touch of our lips caused a wave of excitement and pleasure that traveled up and down and around and through us. And a touch of hand to body was almost more than could be borne, every place touched awakened another place. And through it all, there was a sense of differentness, that we were different than we had been before and that we were different from other people. But there was a sense of sameness, too, a feeling of belonging, of experiencing what someone in a meadow in Asia or on a hill in California might be experiencing and of making contact with everyone else at the very moment that we felt unique and separate. We felt totally come together, with the universe fallen away from us and yet we felt more a part of it than ever before. The sheer wonder of it simply amazed us, the wonder of the pleasure - we knew that we had never known what pleasure was before - and the awesomeness of the feelings we felt, the deepness of them, the tenderness and the horniness coming all together. To be able to feel deep, deep, tender love and almost unbearable horniness all at the same time was like everything we had ever wished for in the most private recesses of our minds. Finally to come together in ourselves, to bring the two separate halves together and not to feel guilty because it's right and we know it in every fiber and in every secret, terrible part of us. Deeper and deeper we melted into each other and how can you think about a breast and a planet and a universe and all the vibrant life in it at the same time as you are laughing and crying because you never, never knew what love was before, you only had an inkling?

--Orson Bean

What is love?

Love is omni-inclusive, progressively exquisite, understanding and compassionately attuned to other than self.

--Richard Buckminster Fuller

What is love?

Love is living the experience of another person in all his uniqueness and singularity.

Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.

For where the quality of happiness in love is lacking, the lack must be compensated by quantity of sexual pleasure.

Awareness of values can only enrich a person. In fact, this inner enrichment partly constitutes the meaning of his life, as we have seen in our discussion of experiential values. Therefore, love must necessarily enrich the lover. This being so, there can be no such thing as "unrequited, unhappy love"; the term is self-contradictory. Either you really love - in which case you must feel enriched, whether or not the love is returned; or you do not really love, do not actually intend the inner being of another person, but rather miss it completely and look only for something physical "about" him or some (psychological) character trait which he "has."

The normally functioning eye does not see itself, it is rather overlooking itself; likewise man is human to the extent that he overlooks and forgets himself by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love. By being immersed in work or in love, we are transcending ourselves and, thereby, actualizing ourselves.

--Viktor E. Frank

What is love?

Love sees a person the way God meant him.

--Von Hattingberg

What is love?

Falling in love is madness. No treatment is required, indeed none is effective. It is self-limited in time, recovery is certain and spontaneous. In the aftermath, however, one may find oneself joined for life to a partner one would not in any normal state have chosen.

Two things I know for sure about love: no one ever gets enough, and you can't get more by asking. To the beggar for money a few real coins may fall, but the beggar for love is a fool. Into his upturned hat, along with the humiliation, will fall only scraps of guilt and duty falsely labeled as love. The only way to get more love is to give more love.

--Allen Wheelis

What is love?

Happiness is not something you acquire; love is not something you produce; love is not something that you have; love is something that has you. You do not have the wind, the stars, and the rain. You don't possess these things; you surrender to them. And surrender occurs when you are aware of your illusions, when you are aware of your addictions; when you are aware of your desires and fears.

--Anthony de Mello

What is love?

Love is not just looking at each other, it's looking in the same direction.

--unknown source

What is love?

He's not perfect. You aren't either. And the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once. Causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes. Hold on to him and give him the most you can. He isn't going to quote poetry, he's not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don't hurt him. Don't change him, and don't expect more than he can give. Don't analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he's not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don't exist, but there's always one guy that is perfect for you.

--Bob Marley

What is love?

At the neural level, my "getting to know you" means my acquiring a resonance with with your emotional patterns and mental maps. And the more our maps overlap, the more identified we feel and the greater the shared reality we create.

In the terrain of the human heart, scientists tell us, at least three independent but interrelated brain systems are at play, all moving us in their own way. To untangle love's mysteries, neuroscience distinguishes between neural networks for attachment, for care giving, and for sex. Each is fueled by a different set of brain chemicals and hormones, and each runs through a disparate neuronal circuit. Each adds its own chemical spice to the many varieties of love. Attachment determines who we turn to for succor; these are the people we miss the most when they are absent. Care giving gives us the urge to nurture the people for whom we feel most concern. When we are attached, we cling; when we are care giving we provide. And sex is, well, sex. … When attachment entwines with caring and sexual attraction, we can savor full-blown romance. But when any of these three goes missing, romantic love stumbles.

Panksepp finds a neural corollary between the dynamics of opiate addiction and our dependence on the people fro whom we feel our strongest attachments. All positive interactions with people, he proposes, owe part of their pleasure to the opioid system, the very circuitry that links with heroin and other addictive substances.

Panksepp theorizes that the gratification that addicts get from their drugs biologically mimics the natural pleasure we get from feeling connected to those we love; the neural circuitry for both are largely shared. Even animals, he finds, prefer to spend time with those in whose presence they have secreted oxytocin and natural opioids, which induce a relaxed serenity - suggesting that these brain chemicals cement our family ties and friendships as well as our love relationships.

--Daniel Goleman

What is love?

Love is being on the side of the other person. Love is approval. I know that children learn slowly that freedom is something totally different from licence. But they can learn this truth and do learn it. In the end, it works - nearly every time.

I am often spoken of as the man who loves children. Love is hardly the world to use when a problem boy is breaking my school windows. One cannot love masses, only individuals, and not all individuals are lovable. No, I reject the word love; I prefer Homer Lane's "being on the side of the child", which means approval, sympathy, kindness, plus a complete absence of adult authority. It is of more value to understand children than to love them.

--A. S. Neill

What is love?

But I believe in love, you know; love is a uniquely portable magic. I don't think it's in the stars, but I do believe that blood calls to blood and mind calls to mind and heart to heart.

--Stephen King

What is love?

Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only with what you are expecting to give - which is everything.

--Katharine Hepburn

What is love?

Love is a cruel goddess, who like all deities, wants to possess the whole man and who is not content until he has sacrificed to her not only his soul but also his physical self. Her cult is suffering; the peak of this cult is self-sacrifice, is suicide.

--Bauer

What is love?

Conscious love is not an emotion; it is serene merging with yourself, with other people, with other forms of energy. Love cannot exist in an emotional state.

--Timothy Francis Leary

What is love?

Agápe (ἀγάπη) means love in a "spiritual" sense. In the term s'agapo (Σ'αγαπώ), which means "I love you" in Ancient Greek, it often refers to a general affection or deeper sense of "true unconditional love" rather than the attraction suggested by "eros." This love is selfless; it gives and expects nothing in return.

Éros (ἔρως) is "physical" passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. Romantic, pure emotion without the balance of logic. "Love at first sight". The Modern Greek word "erotas" means "intimate love;" however, eros does not have to be sexual in nature.

Philia (φιλία) is "mental" love. It means affectionate regard or friendship in both ancient and modern Greek. This type of love has give and take. It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. In ancient texts, philos denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers.

Storge (στοργή) means "affection" in ancient and modern Greek. It is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring. Rarely used in ancient works, and then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family. It is also known to express mere acceptance or putting up with situations, as in "loving" the tyrant.

What is love?

A young couple have been married for a few weeks, and the young man comes home to find his new wife sitting on the couch in tears. He wants to know why she is cryinga clearly appropriate and expected, rational response to her crying that makes perfect sense. She responds to his questioning: Why do you love me? He searches his rational mind and begins to offer rational explanations: I love you because you are so clean; I love you because you can cook better than your Mother; I love you because you are such a great driver. None of the rational explanations that rise from the searching of his mind come close to working. She continues to cry. In exasperation, but really wanting to help, he says: What did you want me say? Trance-like, she responds: I don't want you to love me because of what I am. I want you to love me that I am.

--unknown source

What is love?

In the healthy person, the sex drive is not separated from love but is, rather, the physical counterpart of it. The truly self-regulated person never uses sex for self-aggrandizement or power or control or subjugation. Rather, he feel it as an overpowering need to melt into another, to become physically one with his love object. He is filled with tenderness and caring and concern for his partner at the height of the sex act. The world falls away and indeed they do become one for the moment, for at orgasm, true orgasm, the energy fields of the partners fuse and merge as they excess energy is released through the genitals.

This, he (Wilhelm Reich) found, occurs when the unarmored person is able to surrender totally with mind and body, without fantasies or reservations, to the partner and the sexual experience. When this happens, the total organism is involved, with nothing held back. It is the most transcendent experience possible in life. At the apex of the act when the union is complete and the two separate energy fields merge and become one, the partners feel unity with the entire universe. For a person capable of achieving this, even once, the question of what life is all about never has to be asked again.

--Orson Bean