What is love?

What is love?

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When man is not able to relate to his peers, to participate, to fraternize, to make friends, to develop affection, in other words he is not able to love, he can enter into an isolation process that can eventually lead him to behaviors of social inhibition and ultimately a mental illness that can acquire serious characteristics over time.


  • 1 The need for love and affection
  • 2 What conditions love?
  • 3 Love does not exist without conflict
  • 4 Entertainment and consumerism to alleviate loneliness
  • 5 The basis of a satisfying love relationship

The need for love and affection

Man acting as an individual within society tends to isolation. One way to overcome the loneliness of isolation is your ability to interact with another person or group of people, developing affection, shared feelings, sympathy, tolerance, understanding, commitment. All these feelings have to do with the individual's ability to develop their own faculty to exercise them and not by external action to the person, be it God, another individual, an animal or any institution. In other words, man relates to his fellow men according to a faculty or ability to express love.

But what is love really? What is the concept that people have of this feeling that has been the object of the ingenuity of so many writers, writers, thinkers and poets from ancient times to the present day?

In the values ​​of our western culture, some people have seen love as an article or a good that provides happiness, which adorns our life and allows the full exercise of it.

Others have seen love as a means to discharge their passions, which conditions and disrupts their lives. As an uncontrollable force that can bring gratifying consequences or on the contrary very negative consequences; They still accept it come as it comes.

Other people believe that love is simply being loved by the other. In other words, the fundamental thing for them is not to love but to receive love.

Naturally, these reflections refer to love as a couple and not exactly to fraternal, maternal love, love for a friend or love for groups of people that make up a particular institution.

What conditions love?

If it is a pleasant sensation, what produces it, what does it depend on? Is it very common for people to think that it is a matter that is beyond their control, that it is a matter of chance, of luck, something that one is at a certain moment? It is being at the right time and place.

For most people the problem of love is being loved. On how to be love objects. To achieve this they resort to certain mechanisms to conquer the love of others. For example, men dream of success, which leads them to conquer power and money that turn them into objects susceptible to love. Women want to remain attractive, for example taking extreme care of their physical appearance, their wardrobe, using expensive jewelry, to fix the attention of the person who should love them. In general, there are many ways to become attractive that both men and women use, ranging from fine manners, interesting conversations, false modesty, splendid gifts, special attention, etc., are all these ways of making oneself loved?

All these conceptions of love are wrong because they start from a mistaken premise that is to believe that love is a feeling that depends or is conditioned by an object external to the person himself and not to his own faculty of feeling it, of developing it according to Your own abilities. Perhaps here lies one of the most important causes why couples do not achieve lasting relationships. It is that man does not develop his own faculty of love.

It is not the fire of a passionate love, which after a time is extinguished, if not the relentless, permanent effort to approach a human being of the other sex, which allows love between a couple to remain alive. And this encounter must be sought with all the qualities that depend on human maturity and reason, such as feelings of responsibility, respect and self-knowledge and of the other person. He who can assume responsibility, both his own and others, may know what the task of love is. But for this it is necessary that the personality of the one who is loved be respected. And you can only respect what is known. On these bases you can develop a true love relationship, which will last and grow over time and the difficult circumstances that you will surely have to face.

Love does not exist without conflict

Many people, of course mistakenly, dream of a love without conflicts or problems. The media by circumstances of audience, marketing, often build through movies and soap operas an ideal image of love, which in reality does not exist. Together with the ignorance of the world and in some cases naivety, it ends up producing great disappointments in people. Faced with this circumstance, it must be said that there is no authentic love relationship that is free from adverse situations. A relationship that comes from the depths of the personality will always be subject to remesons and shocks of different kinds. He will always be in difficulties, risks, threats and suffering will exist. Enduring the inconveniences and contradictions of two people, but at the same time allowing their unmoved reciprocal adhesion is the characteristic of a true love relationship. Discrepancies must always pass without hurting or assaulting the other person, within the framework of responsibility, respect and mutual knowledge.

Understood the love as a faculty of man that can be developed and cultivated through its existenceIt is important to analyze the influence of the environment in the development of the capacity to love of an individual. There is no doubt the importance that the culture of a society exerts on the character of people. Modern capitalist society has created an automated man, lonely and alienated from himself, his peers and nature. Their human relationships are characterized by the routine imposed by the production model at work, in the immediacy of their daily lives, in the acceleration of time and space, in the standardization imposed by the media through communication. advertising and virtual images with ideal models of man, which prevent the individual from stimulating the ability to dissent, to reflect on their own feelings. This medium is what man confronts or finds in order to develop his faculty of love, of course inappropriate and inconvenient, ends up producing rickety love relationships, or different forms of true love, the product of human reason and feeling.

Entertainment and consumerism to alleviate loneliness

But this modern society somehow offers certain palliatives or contentillos, which help people ignore their loneliness. Apart from the strict routine of mechanized work that helps people not become aware of their fundamental human desires, society also provides a whole routine of fun, which is nothing more than the passive consumption of images and sounds it offers The entertainment industry. Under the postulate that the happiness of modern man lies in having fun, it induces him to consume and assimilate articles, shows, food, drinks, cigarettes, people, books, movies, etc.

Couples find in fun whether in the movies, on television or in discos, a "valid" way of enduring a relationship that is nothing more than a way of avoiding the encounter with a true way of loving each other. It is possible that in many cases these forms of love are supported not by feelings born from the background of the personality but by an external setting that will not last over time. The image of the beauty of a woman who has motivated a man to experience a feeling of love towards her disappears over time. Then also disappears the love he thought he felt for that person.

The case of relationships between very young people where the relationship develops within a framework of apparent happiness, between parties, dancing, movies, fun, free of pressure, begins to get complicated when everyone has to face the harsh reality of assuming their own responsibility Then the environment that favored that relationship disappears and the love they thought they felt also begins to leave. In these and many other cases men and women have developed certain ways of pseudo love, more induced by social patterns that shape them and lead them towards automated attitudes, that by true feelings of mutual commitment, respect and knowledge.

The basis of a satisfying love relationship

To conclude this broad topic that among other things it is very difficult to deal with in such a short space I will quote Dr. Melaine Klein, psychoanalyst, Austrian when she says: a stable and satisfactory relationship between a man and a woman, such as that which may exist in a happy marriage. It involves a deep bond and capacity for mutual sacrifice and for sharing both pain and pleasure, both sexual interests and enjoyments. Such a relationship opens an extensive scope for the most diverse manifestations of love.

Regarding sexuality, some believe that sexual attraction and satisfaction are a sufficient condition to feel and consolidate love for the other person. But Over time, sexual desire is lost and then love, which is determined by that sexual attraction, also leaves. There are couples that the fire of sexual attraction leads them to build very passionate relationships, but lacking commitment of responsibility, respect and mutual knowledge, which makes them with the passage of time and difficulties, in non-sustainable relationships. It should be clarified that love does not mean sexual satisfaction; rather, we can say that sexual enjoyment and understanding are given as a product of authentic love between two people.

Lilian Chartuni

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