18 September 2007


  • Sep 18, 2007 

  • Love

    My definition:
    Several parts, all absolutely necessary without exception.
    (In no particular order)
    Which I consider to also consist of two parts –
    Trust: one should be willing to tell the other what they think and feel.
    Comfort: one should be as comfortable doing or saying anything in front of the other as they would be if they were alone
    Care: I define this as not only feeling sympathy, but the willingness to make a personal sacrifice for another's gain. One is not only willing, but will take the initiative to give up something they want, or to do something they don't want, in order to make the other happy. This should be up to, and including, a one to one ratio – i.e. a sacrifice of equal magnitude to the gain the other gets from it. In any particular instance the ratio can be higher (I give up something I strongly want to give you something you moderately want) but overall it should not exceed 1:1; that would be an indication of a non-mutual, and ultimately unhealthy, relationship.

    Enjoyment: A desire to be with the person, just for its own sake. Not because it makes the other happy, not because one should, not because they provide some particular useful thing, but just because it is enjoyable to spend time with them.
    Understanding: Both knowledge of and understanding of the reasoning behind the other's beliefs, principals, opinions and preferences, and having one's own beliefs principals, opinions and preferences known and understood. This does not mean that each must necessarily agree with them all, but they should know what they are and why.

    All of these things must be present for me to call it love. Any one or any two of them I would not be comfortable calling love. I certainly have felt one or two of these for others before. Never before all three for the same person. I had to experience it before I could formulate my definition, and so I have used the term in circumstances which I wouldn't today. To me, it is not an easy thing to come by.
    Note that the first 3 can exist without being mutual.
    Any of the four can exist without the other 3, which would constitute a friendship.
    Having, say, 3 of the 4 could make a very special and important relationship. But having all 4 makes a qualitatively different relationship. It is what separates a close friendship from a life partner, or a healthy "long term relationship" from an unhealthy one.
    Each of the 4 can be present in varying amounts. None is likely to be 100%, at least not 100% of the time. In some cases a deficit in one (partial, not complete) may make a relationship unsustainable. Which is more important, and the exact amounts needed may vary from person to person. Ultimately, once all 4 are satisfied, there is no significant advantage to going to someone "better". There is some inherent value to commitment, (both emotional and practical) and any improvement in a new person would be only a quantitative change, not a qualitative one, and therefore would have to be very large indeed to be worth it. In a conflict, as long as all 4 are present (or have been, and can reasonably be expected to be again) it is probably worth the effort and difficulty to work things out. If one is missing, and has little hope of ever being present, it is probably better to let it go. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I can't help but to think that most people would prefer a partner who satisfied each of those requirements (mutually). Perhaps I am mistaken, but I also can't help but to think that there are very few (if any) people who can find all 4 in the same person with relative ease. I think that even the simplest, most easy going person would have trouble finding someone they were compatible with. Perhaps there are some who genuinely, under the layers of pride, distrust, fear, and "principal" really have no desire to have a life partner – but I doubt it.


    1. I think that I will write a blog about this ...

    2. Do you really have to be so logical about something like love? Don't you think that it is different for all of us, and all of us want different things out of love? Sometimes love comes about unexpectedly, and leaves at a random time. It is something you can't control, and that is why it is beautiful. It teaches you how to love unconditionally and how to be comfortable when you have no control what so ever.

    3. i have no idea what love is.


    If you ask a question, I will answer it.

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