What is Love?

What is the Nature of True Love?

– by Jonathan Lockwood Huie

What is Love? Love is a feeling of affection toward someone or something. We can love our comfortable old bathrobe, we can love God, we can love all of humanity, and we can love our Grandmother. All true love is wonderful, but let’s focus here on the feeling of love by one specific person for another specific person. Even so, our love for our spouse is very different from our love for our child, our parent, our friend, or our love for the homeless person we pass a dollar bill to at the corner.

You know you love someone when you know you want them to be happy,
even if their happiness means that you are not a part of it.
– Anonymous

Real love is never a selfish emotion. If you want something from someone – especially if that something is sex – what you are feeling is not love. The wonderful quote above provides an infallible test for love. True love is about wanting happiness for the person you love – and not about seeking happiness for yourself. Fortunately, in most cases our own loving presence is the greatest gift we can give to a person we love. Nonetheless, the litmus test of love is knowing we would choose never to see that person again if we believed that distance would bring them greater happiness.

Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom.
– Rabindranath Tagore

Real love is not possessive or exclusive. When we love someone, we want everyone to love them – we want them to live in the glow of loving and being loved by everyone. If you find the previous sentence challenging, please remember that true love is not sex or lust, and focus on the vital importance of keeping those concepts separate.

Lord, grant that I might not so much seek to be loved as to love.
– St. Francis of Assisi

True love is never conditional. One can never say, “I’ll love you, if you love me.” That would describe some desperate bargain, but nothing approaching real love could be a part of it. True love is not diminished by circumstances. Can you imagine loving someone less because they broke a leg? Got an infection? Lost their job? A love that depends upon the talents and capabilities of the other is conditional, and not real love.

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.
They must be felt with the heart.
– Helen Keller

The truest love cannot be explained. If one were to say, “I love her because she is beautiful,” or “I love him because he is handsome,” one would be describing conditional love. The implication is that if the other suffered an accident that scarred their face, the love would end – the very definition of conditional love.

Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I really need it.
– Swedish Proverb

True love is generous. It is strengthened, rather than weakened, by adversity. In times of trouble, real love shines and sustains both those who love and those who are loved.

The magic words for a great relationship are, “I love you just the way you are.”
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

A long-running off-Broadway musical comedy has the title “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” That title wonderfully summarizes one of the most rampant and destructive tendencies of romantic relationships. Thinking that you would love someone even more if they would only remember to take out the trash, or would enjoy fishing with you, is another form of conditional love.

When you truly love someone, you love them exactly the way they are today – and exactly the way they turn out tomorrow, even if they have a disfiguring accident.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast,
It is not proud. It does not dishonor others,
It is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
It keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
– Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

What is love? Love is generous. Love is kind. Love holds no conditions – there is no “because” for true love. Love is a miraculous gift to the one who loves and the one who is loved.

Here are more quotes that help answer the question “What is Love?” …

Where there is great love there are always miracles.
– Willa Cather

Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.
– Erich Fromm

Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love.
The real miracle is the love that inspires them.
In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle.
– A Course in Miracles

Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it.
Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it.
Hatred darkens life; love illumines it.
– Martin Luther King Jr.

Lovers embrace that which is between them rather than each other.
– Khalil Gibran

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
– Elie Wiesel

Love that does not renew itself every day becomes a habit and in turn a slavery.
– Khalil Gibran

If you love something, set it free; if it comes backs it’s yours, if it doesn’t, it never was.
– Richard Bach

Love one another but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
– Khalil Gibran

Love is saying “I feel differently,” instead of “You’re wrong.”
– Anonymous

Every good relationship, especially marriage, is based on respect. If it’s not based on respect, nothing that appears to be good will last very long.
– Amy Grant

I love you more than yesterday, less than tomorrow.
– Edmond Rostand

What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.
All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.
– Helen Keller

Marriage, ultimately, is the practice of becoming passionate friends.
– Harville Hendrix

There is no remedy for love but to love more.
– Henry David Thoreau

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
– Khalil Gibran

As we light a path for others, we naturally light our own way.
– Mary Anne Radmacher

True love has no limits.
– Anonymous

Where There is Love, Nothing is Missing.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.
– Kahlil Gibran

Love is not a mere sentiment.
Love is the ultimate truth at the heart of creation.
– Rabindranath Tagore

3 responses to “What is Love?

  1. I like this blog of yours

  2. Anonymous

    I love these quotes!! They just fill my heart with love and uplift my spirit!! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. I like this one best…”There is no remedy for love but to love more.”
    – Henry David Thoreau

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s