Few words in the English language convey such a range of meanings as the word "love". For many, love is the point of existence, for others it's the manifestation of the divine, for some it is a tool of oppression. No subject has spawned so much poetry. But what is love? Is it an animalistic urge, a mystical aspiration, a social construct, a neurological glitch, or nothing at all?
Love is pure emotionShow moreShow less
Love is the sensation, feeling and emotions you feel when you find the right person.
Love is not the pleasurable, light-hearted experience it is framed as being. Fundamentally, it is destined to bring the individual nothing but pain.
Most incidents of love end painfully, either from being unrequited, from one party having their heart broken, or from the sustained heartache of two people growing apart. This tendency to be hurt so deeply by love not being returned is, in reality, love's pivotal feature. Many things can make us happy, but nothing can make us heart so deeply, be so vulnerable, or be so raw as love can.
Philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre proposes that even that act of being in mutual love is a constant act of pain. We rely on the other person in our relationship to make us exist, we constantly are focussed on the other person seeing us how we want them to, on ensuring they continually love us. This is not a pleasurable experience; rather, love is a "hazardous, painful struggle" in which each party is treating the other or themselves as an object.
Other explanations of love focus on the positives - the happiness, the endorphins. However, the true epitome of love is in reality the pain that comes with it.
[P1] Rather than being a pleasurable experience, love is fundamentally painful.