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Old 10-23-2006, 02:11 PM   #1
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Question: LOVE? (everyone's responses appreciated!)

Question for everyone who reads this:

What, in your opinion, is love? What constitutes love and how do YOU (that means you personally) know you're in love with someone?

 
Old 10-23-2006, 03:04 PM   #2
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Re: Question: LOVE? (everyone's responses appreciated!)

Love is an unconditional attachment, committment and devotion to someone. This may sound simple, but I personally know that I'm "in love" with someone when I stop desiring other people, if I still find that person sexy even when they look terrible, and if I don't feel that a special moment is complete until I've shared it with them.

 
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Old 10-23-2006, 05:36 PM   #3
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Re: Question: LOVE? (everyone's responses appreciated!)

Love... hmmm... Love is unconditional.. It starts out as a feeling, but then it turns into a choice. There are too many divorces these days because people say "I just dont love them anymore." It is something you have to work at and both has to work hard at. You cannot MAKE someone love you. You have to want to love each other. Even when your mad, you still love them. You may not LIKE them, but you always LOVE them no matter what they have done. That's my definition of love.

 
Old 10-23-2006, 08:00 PM   #4
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Re: Question: LOVE? (everyone's responses appreciated!)

Love? That is a question I ask myself a lot these days. I think there is more than one kind of love, in fact, there could be as many different kinds of love as there are people in your life. For instance, I love my parents, my siblings, and my extended family. I also have friends and co-workers I love. But do those aspects of love dilute the meaning of love you are asking about, and by dilute, i mean take away from the meaning of the word itself when it is referring to that one special person in your life that you hold above all else. (And maybe that too is a contestable definition according to some). It is almost as if "love" the word either needs adjectives to go with it to classify its level, or we just need a new word to describe each facet. Please bear with me while i tell you about my search for the meaning of love (the partner-for-life kind).

I was with a woman for 13 years, married 8 of those, until we divorced a few years back. I loved her, and to a certain degree, I still do. I care for her well-being, her health, her safety, her success, but I know now that we are not meant to be together. Since I was with her, I have had 2 short relationships (each about a year long) that didn't work. I told them I loved them at one point, but realized I really didn't and ultimately that worked its way to the surface, thus me ending both of those relationships.

For a while, i have struggled with the questions of "what is love" and "how do I know if I am in love" and "when do i say I am in love to her." The answer is I still don't totally know. Now obviously i have some baggage, but i know I had a good relationship for 11 years or so before things fell apart because my ex-wife and i didn't try anymore. We didn't work on our love and our marriage like we should have. It was a big regret, but an even bigger lesson, one that if i could help anyone else out, a lesson I would want to convey. Love is not daisies, butterflies and warm fuzzy songs on the radio. Read the other replies. I totally agree with them...it is work, it is caring and loving that person, even when they look like total crap while still having that strange attraction (mentally and physically) to them. It is the idea of NOT wanting anyone else but them.

After a lot of time by myself (and some counseling) I have started seeing a woman. I have known her for about 5 years...not real well, but we were acquainted with each other. We had misconceptions about each other (we thought we disliked each other for one) but found out that wasn't the case. We each did our homework on one another (you know, asking friends and all) and what do you know, things are going great in our third month. I'm actually getting the chance to apply some of the things I've learned. The learning came from my experiences, both good and bad, but probably more from the bad. One thing I've learned is how I would want to be treated and I applied that to this relationship. Counseling was great in that it allowed me to organize my jumble of thoughts about everything and think more clearly than I had before.

But you know what, those questions still remain. I realize it is very early in this relationship, so I'm not expecting miracles and answers...just yet. I think the first two questions..."what is love" and "how do I know if I am in love"...I am able to at least begin to define in some way, much like the other 2 posts have done. But the last one "when do i tell her I'm in love with her" scares the crap out of me. Maybe I'm gun shy because of past failed relationships, or maybe its because I've said it when I didn't mean it...not intentionally, but more-so being misguided in my feelings...i.e. not knowing what love is or how to recognize it. When I ask friends or family, they always answer "you just know." Over the years, I think I forgot that feeling. I know I had it with my ex-wife starting a long time ago, but like I said earlier, we stopped working at it and that affected a lot of things between us and it doomed us. Things faded and it was our fault, we freely admit that.

Back to "saying I love you." I feel like the concept of loving someone is inside of me, like it is possible and I can do it and I do do it. But saying it is almost like the words won't have the potency to describe how i actually feel. I like the line in the new song (Chasing Cars) by Snow Patrol..."those three words...are said too much...but not enough." Its seems weird that I am hung-up on this...like i don't want to say it until i know for sure, and then, I'm afraid they won't reflect enough as to how I actually feel. On the other side, this woman has made me feel happy and wanted in ways I haven't felt for a very long time, if ever. My ex-wife maybe made me feel this way, but it would have been early in our relationship.

I've rambled long enough, so to finish this long reply, let me just say that I feel like I am coming out of the fog and things are getting clearer. I think I recognize something ahead, but i am going to proceed slowly until i know for sure this time, beacuse the last two times it wasn't what i thought it was...not even close. I hate to answer your question(s) in the same way family and friends have done for me, because it seemed so rhetorical, but I "think you just know." I think love is also how you alone define it, not by someone else's standard. As you can tell, I'm not an expert, but just maybe thought a person searching for the same type of answers could provide a little insight from past experience, good or bad. Take care and best wishes!

Last edited by Smokey Bear; 10-23-2006 at 08:15 PM.

 
Old 10-24-2006, 12:58 AM   #5
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caringhubby HB User
Re: Question: LOVE? (everyone's responses appreciated!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kendram
Love... hmmm... Love is unconditional.. It starts out as a feeling, but then it turns into a choice. There are too many divorces these days because people say "I just dont love them anymore." It is something you have to work at and both has to work hard at. You cannot MAKE someone love you. You have to want to love each other. Even when your mad, you still love them. You may not LIKE them, but you always LOVE them no matter what they have done. That's my definition of love.
Agree with that one - you'll see by my other posts whats gone on with us - my wife even said she loves me but is not in love with me, she has told me that and her family/friends - I have asked so many women i know who have been married or with long term partners the same question and they say they love them but are not in love with them that is in the early days of a relationship - its like you say to love someone means you go through thick and thin good and bad together and work at it - as someone mentioned in one of my replies - love and affection/lust can be totally confusing

 
Old 10-24-2006, 01:25 AM   #6
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brazilman HB User
Re: Question: LOVE? (everyone's responses appreciated!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by glycolysis123
Question for everyone who reads this:

What, in your opinion, is love? What constitutes love and how do YOU (that means you personally) know you're in love with someone?
I think that a good (albeit too general) definition of love is: to love someone is to want his welfare no matter what, that is, under all circumstances.

JC

 
Old 10-24-2006, 04:22 AM   #7
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caringhubby HB User
Re: Question: LOVE? (everyone's responses appreciated!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokey Bear
Love? That is a question I ask myself a lot these days. I think there is more than one kind of love, in fact, there could be as many different kinds of love as there are people in your life. For instance, I love my parents, my siblings, and my extended family. I also have friends and co-workers I love. But do those aspects of love dilute the meaning of love you are asking about, and by dilute, i mean take away from the meaning of the word itself when it is referring to that one special person in your life that you hold above all else. (And maybe that too is a contestable definition according to some). It is almost as if "love" the word either needs adjectives to go with it to classify its level, or we just need a new word to describe each facet. Please bear with me while i tell you about my search for the meaning of love (the partner-for-life kind).

I was with a woman for 13 years, married 8 of those, until we divorced a few years back. I loved her, and to a certain degree, I still do. I care for her well-being, her health, her safety, her success, but I know now that we are not meant to be together. Since I was with her, I have had 2 short relationships (each about a year long) that didn't work. I told them I loved them at one point, but realized I really didn't and ultimately that worked its way to the surface, thus me ending both of those relationships.

For a while, i have struggled with the questions of "what is love" and "how do I know if I am in love" and "when do i say I am in love to her." The answer is I still don't totally know. Now obviously i have some baggage, but i know I had a good relationship for 11 years or so before things fell apart because my ex-wife and i didn't try anymore. We didn't work on our love and our marriage like we should have. It was a big regret, but an even bigger lesson, one that if i could help anyone else out, a lesson I would want to convey. Love is not daisies, butterflies and warm fuzzy songs on the radio. Read the other replies. I totally agree with them...it is work, it is caring and loving that person, even when they look like total crap while still having that strange attraction (mentally and physically) to them. It is the idea of NOT wanting anyone else but them.

After a lot of time by myself (and some counseling) I have started seeing a woman. I have known her for about 5 years...not real well, but we were acquainted with each other. We had misconceptions about each other (we thought we disliked each other for one) but found out that wasn't the case. We each did our homework on one another (you know, asking friends and all) and what do you know, things are going great in our third month. I'm actually getting the chance to apply some of the things I've learned. The learning came from my experiences, both good and bad, but probably more from the bad. One thing I've learned is how I would want to be treated and I applied that to this relationship. Counseling was great in that it allowed me to organize my jumble of thoughts about everything and think more clearly than I had before.

But you know what, those questions still remain. I realize it is very early in this relationship, so I'm not expecting miracles and answers...just yet. I think the first two questions..."what is love" and "how do I know if I am in love"...I am able to at least begin to define in some way, much like the other 2 posts have done. But the last one "when do i tell her I'm in love with her" scares the crap out of me. Maybe I'm gun shy because of past failed relationships, or maybe its because I've said it when I didn't mean it...not intentionally, but more-so being misguided in my feelings...i.e. not knowing what love is or how to recognize it. When I ask friends or family, they always answer "you just know." Over the years, I think I forgot that feeling. I know I had it with my ex-wife starting a long time ago, but like I said earlier, we stopped working at it and that affected a lot of things between us and it doomed us. Things faded and it was our fault, we freely admit that.

Back to "saying I love you." I feel like the concept of loving someone is inside of me, like it is possible and I can do it and I do do it. But saying it is almost like the words won't have the potency to describe how i actually feel. I like the line in the new song (Chasing Cars) by Snow Patrol..."those three words...are said too much...but not enough." Its seems weird that I am hung-up on this...like i don't want to say it until i know for sure, and then, I'm afraid they won't reflect enough as to how I actually feel. On the other side, this woman has made me feel happy and wanted in ways I haven't felt for a very long time, if ever. My ex-wife maybe made me feel this way, but it would have been early in our relationship.

I've rambled long enough, so to finish this long reply, let me just say that I feel like I am coming out of the fog and things are getting clearer. I think I recognize something ahead, but i am going to proceed slowly until i know for sure this time, beacuse the last two times it wasn't what i thought it was...not even close. I hate to answer your question(s) in the same way family and friends have done for me, because it seemed so rhetorical, but I "think you just know." I think love is also how you alone define it, not by someone else's standard. As you can tell, I'm not an expert, but just maybe thought a person searching for the same type of answers could provide a little insight from past experience, good or bad. Take care and best wishes!
Excellent post and one that i fully relate to like i said earlier - confusion between love and attraction - when your together with your partner for so long you learn to love each other deeply - the lust/in love feelings go to be replaced by a permanent true love - you cannot make someone love you but when problems arise they should be addressed together - remember the vows - im only 5-6 months down the line and like you i am scared of love now - yes i know because i know what love is i really still do feel that somewhere down teh line me and my wife will reconcile, mistakes may be made but as you say "you just know" when you are destined to be together into old age - i may wrong but i feel this is a phase in her life, a blip where she will come to realise the difference between love and attraction - i too now know so much - ive resisted counselling - i just wish we had gone together

Last edited by caringhubby; 10-24-2006 at 04:30 AM.

 
Old 10-24-2006, 06:18 AM   #8
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Re: Question: LOVE? (everyone's responses appreciated!)

A few things come to mind when I think of the definition of love:

A feeling of completion, of inner peace. A feeling at the end of the day, laying in bed with my hubby watching the Tonight Show and thinking that there's no place in the world I'd rather be -- and vacations don't count! And remembering that I felt this way last week, last month, last year, five years ago, ten years ago, etc. This is the feeling that followed the initial dating period, the butterflies in the stomach, the insatiable lust. I knew my guy was "the one" when a lot of those initial dating feelings were over, but these new feelings set in that felt better in a lot of ways than those initial ones.

Another definition IMO is when you put the needs of the one you love above your own. And I'm not talking about being taken advantage of. I'm talking about the warm and fuzzy feeling you get inside when you see the face of someone you love light up. This could be a spouse, your children, a family member, etc. I don't get this feeling with strangers, colleagues, etc. Not to say I don't feel good if I light up someone's face, but the warmth and satisfaction I feel from doing something for, say, my mother or my hubby, even if this meant putting their needs over my own in a particular instance, is indescribable.

 
Old 10-24-2006, 03:41 PM   #9
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Re: Question: LOVE? (everyone's responses appreciated!)

Thanks "Caring Hubby" and I can also relate to what you said "StenoLady." I know I've experienced love, but it seems to be in the distant past. However, things are happening inside of me with this new relationship that i am starting to recognize and for once in a long time I feel like i want to be with this person every moment of every day and i miss her when she is not around...even 15 minutes after we go our separate ways for the time being. Its a great feeling and when i worry about it coming crashing down, I put it out of my mind and just relish the feelings I do have, for who wants to put energy into worrying about failure...something that may never happen, and if it does, it is beyond my control anyway. I may not be ready to tell her I love her just yet, as it is so new, but from the vibes I get back, I think we are definitely on the same page.

I wish you the best "Caring Hubby" and hope things work out as you would like. "Steno"...may the company of Jay Leno always keep the two of you happy!

 
Old 10-25-2006, 05:46 AM   #10
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Re: Question: LOVE? (everyone's responses appreciated!)

One theory posits 3 different types of love -- romantic, companionate and sexual (well, something like that...). Ideally, one would have all 3. Most people seem to start with the romantic and/or sexual and go from there, from which companionate love can grow, given enough time, but in my current relationship it is like I have started with the companionate, which if you ask me makes a huge difference....

I used to live by the adage "love at first sight" -- that spark from the first moment was, in my opinion, the only way to judge if someone was right to be with. After 3 long term relationships on that basis, I came to realise that that "love" feeling, although more than lust, is still just a chemical reaction kinda thing... they may well turn out to be someone that you just don't LIKE that much as a person. Of course, after a decent amount of time, you can still CARE about them, you can still be IN LOVE with them, but you have gotten to know them and found that you just don't want to keep being with them, and that's not LOVE. Ideally, one would have that spark and find that they have just happened to be with someone that they LOVE in the LIKE sense as well, but it's always a bit of a gamble... it takes a long time to get to know someone that well.

So now I am with a friend that I have known for years. I have LOVED this friend in the LIKE sense for a long time, but never saw him as someone I could be with -- mostly because I'd never felt that spark, so saw him as a perpetual friend. Anyway, we ended up together (that's a whole nother story!) and really it is great. Months later, I LOVE him in the LIKE sense far more than anyone ever before, and have also come to LOVE him in the CARE sense, both of which are far more important than that chemical love/attraction crap! So overrated.... unless, like I said, you start with that and are lucky enough to find yourself 2 years down the line with someone that you LIKE as well! This LOVE as LIKE feeling amounts to this person simply being somebody that I like as a person, that I want to be around, that I respect or admire, even with all his faults (and he has plenty!). So after years of friendship I came to CARE about him too, hence it almost seems it was inevitable that we would end up together in some sense of the word. The more traditionally ROMANTIC feelings, as well as sexual attraction, have actually been growing out of the LIKE and CARE feelings, which seems a better way to go than the other way around, as romance/sexual attraction are far less reliable indicators of relationship potential! In fact, I never found myself sexually attracted to him at all until I realised the depth of my LIKE and CARE based feelings for him...

Anyway, that's my experience/thoughts.. hope my rant made sense! And hey, Smokey Bear, don't worry about saying I love you -- it really is over used. You're better off to explain how you feel, (and/or demonstrate), not fall back on a phrase. Or, do like my guy does -- he has only said it to when actually feeling loving towards me. He doesn't say it just because, nor pretend that it means anything grander than immediate loving feelings. Meanwhile, I have never said it to him, partly because at this stage of things it is expected to mean a particular thing, and i don't want to limit it to that meaning. I would rather tell him how much I like him, or how happy I am to be with him, etc etc.

Last edited by rasaht; 10-25-2006 at 05:57 AM.

 
Old 10-26-2006, 07:20 AM   #11
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Re: Question: LOVE? (everyone's responses appreciated!)

I didn't have the time to read all the other stories, but will. I just wanted to share a funny thing about love that I experienced with my husband. We married young, at 17 and 19, and our pastor had agreed to marry us only if we attended counseling with him. He felt we would make it, so he married us, but told me something I never would have believed....until it happened.

He said their is love in the beginning, the can't eat, sleep or think without the other one by your side and then there's the day that true and lasting love happens....and that's the day that you roll over to the person you're married to and think....geez, I don't feel that same way, but you have developed a different kind of love...that was the day love became a CHOICE, not just a feeling.

The choice to tuff it out through whatever life hands you, days when you look at that person next to you and can't decide whether you want to hug him or strangle him, but you know in your heart, he's the missing piece and missing peace, if you know what I mean.

I still remember, about a year or so after getting married to him and rolling over and that feeling that makes your heart flip, seemed to have vanished. Well, because of the pastor's prior 'warning' I found it hilarious. I didn't tell him for years, until I thought he'd think it was funny too....but we still laugh about it.

Love goes through stages...sometimes you stay together just because you made the commitment and you know that although you do not like them today, you love them always, and that's why you stay. I'm happy to say that after 12 years of marriage to my high school sweetheart, he still makes my heart skip a beat (although it definitely was not always this way....it took a while to get it back) but I get excited to see him if he drops in on me or visa versa....and there are days when I jump off the front porch right onto him to hold him and thank God the man's strong enough to catch me! I've gained a few since having babies!!!!

I also know that I still love him and he loves me when I get in bed at night. If he goes to sleep before me, he crunches up a pillow so he's holding something until I come in and in a dead sleep, he'll roll over and hold me. His heartbeat also puts me to sleep at night. Can't beat that....hahah, no pun intended.

We still have our days where one or the other drives the other crazy, but there's more good than bad and at the end of the day, all I have to do is curl up on his chest and I know everything is okay.

Funny thing...if for some reason I don't sleep curled up next to him for a few nights in a row, I'm a cranky SOB....problem is solved as soon as I curl up.

Another funny thing....is when one of us is hurting, the other physically feels it. And no matter how bad the day, the stress, or the pain, when one of us holds the one who is hurting or stressed, that immediately melts away. It's a great feeling.

Well, I have to say, I gotta go, just realized how much I am missing him right now and have to call and say hi!

Toodles...don't know if that answered anything and was not intended to get that long winded, but just got caught up in the moment. Thanks for reminding me that I'm a spoiled little turd.
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