What is love?

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What is love?

Postby Casey » Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:14 pm

Sometimes if we grow up with or experience abuse from those who tell us they love us, it can be confusing what love actually should look like for a healthy relationship. I like to remind myself about what healthy love looks like.

To me, true love is...

  • Knowing I can trust someone completely because they always respect my wishes.
  • Always feeling safe, even if I make a mistake.
  • The wonderful "feedback loop" of it being extremely enjoyable to please someone, and they feel the same about me.
  • Feeling valued for being myself.
  • No violence or threat of violence.
  • Feeling wonderful and "warm and fuzzy".

What is love to you?
Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper
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Re: What is love?

Postby Kaizen » Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:04 pm

There was a topic kind of like this on the old boards! Here's what I put there:

* Having someone care about things you're interested in, even subjects that wouldn't interest them otherwise

* Seeing someone make an effort to get along with, or at least tolerate, the other people you are close to

* Being able to argue with someone and feel like the goal is to understand each other and find a solution you are both happy with, not for someone to "win" or prove that they're right and the other person is wrong

* Having your opinions respected

* Not being afraid of embarrassing yourself

* Feeling comfortable asking for things, or for things to be done for you

* Feeling comfortable talking about feelings, including negative ones

* Having those feelings taken seriously (for example, if you tell someone they upset you, having them apologize, or reassure you)

* Knowing that someone wants to spend time with you
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Re: What is love?

Postby Mo » Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:50 pm

I always have a hard time pinning this down, "love" feels like such a huge thing that it's hard to break down into describable components.

For me, a huge component of being in a loving relationship comes down to comfort: comfort in talking about intimate personal information, in bringing up fears or worries because I know the other person is safe to talk to, in spending time together in a lot of different situations. I don't ever dread spending time with them, or find it stressful, and I feel like time spent with someone I love will recharge my energy and not drain it.
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Re: What is love?

Postby Stephanie » Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:28 am

Anyone else see this and automatically start singing "Baby don't hurt me..."?

Love to me is complicated yet easy at the same time. It's complicated to explain to someone that doesn't get it, see it, or understand t about your relationship. It's possible that they never will and you may not be able to fully explain it yourself.

It's easy because you can't help but do it. They make you smile and laugh, think happy thoughts, and feel good about being you. They also sometimes make you cry (not on purpose) and make you want to fight to make it work no matter what struggles you face. They're your friends, your everything just because they're there and just what you need and want. That's love to me. I'm glad I found it in my partner and best of friends.
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Re: What is love?

Postby zeitvogel » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:13 am

I think my definition of love (at least whether they love me) boils down to three things:
- your happiness is important to them
- they show this in their actions
- they know you well enough to know what makes you happy

The third one becomes important when you have someone who tells you what should make you happy. That's not love.
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Re: What is love?

Postby Jacob » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:15 am

Oh stephanie you got there before me!

'Don't hurt me, don't hurt me... no more. '

I actually quit using love to describe romantic relationship things a few years go, just to make things easier for myself. Now I might talk about wants, and how someone makes me feel and so on, much more.

I think actually the ambiguity of love and what might differentiate it from liking-a-lot is one one the nice things about it as well as a thing that can at other times suck. There is something very trusting and also brave about stepping into the unknown with a partner and being open to and accepting of some possibility of getting hurt, and 'love' can sometimes sound like that sort of agreement "I am in love".

In case anyone is feeling left out with my and stephanie's pop reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhrBDcQq2DM
*Dance round the room*
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Re: What is love?

Postby Sam W » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:57 am

I actually started using "love" as a term much more broadly a few years ago, because it was clear that I felt love for my friends as well as my partner and I wanted to acknowledge that (this was part of a bigger project of reminding myself that my emotional life was not tied only to my romantic partner). It just manifests itself differently depending on the person, both in terms of how it feels to me and how I express it. I think the most general definition of it is similar to the one Mo gave. When I feel love for someone, I feel comfortable with them, and my interactions with them (in general) leave me feeling happy or content when they're over, instead of stressed or anxious.
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