Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
Love Is More Complex Than Most of Us Realize
Do you know what love is? I am sure most of us have heard of this common term and also experienced it on some level. I’m not talking about crushes that we may have had on our classmates when we were growing up and trying to finish school. I am also not talking about the kind of love that we see romanticized in movies all the time. That kind of love does not exist in the real world. Instead of talking about what the dictionary definition of love is, I am going to give my perspective and analysis as to what this powerful feeling and emotion is. I am not the best relationship expert out there but I have learned about love from what life has taught me. Here are some of the things that I have come up with based on my life experience, reading and research.
Love Is Both a Feeling and an Emotion
Love is actually not only a feeling that we have for someone, but it is also an emotion. It is an extremely positive emotion that most of us have felt for another person. This feeling and emotion can be caused by a variety of factors. Some of us are attracted to and fall in love with another person because of how they look on the outside. While this is certainly a factor for love to be established, the old saying that “looks aren’t everything” applies here. If looks were the only criterion for love, that factor alone is very superficial and it does not last. With the way that love is glamorized in the media it is no surprise that many people have the wrong idea of what love is. Love is so much more than sex. If you are addicted to sex then you don’t really know what true love is.
Unconditional Love: What Is It?
Some of us are attracted to and fall in love with a person because of how they make us feel when we are around them. Their very presence causes us to feel that we are worthy of attention. Their physical presence also causes us to feel their positive energy, kindness and caring. It is possible to also love someone if you know that they are responsible adults who strive to make sure that they will be the best that they can be. When you accept someone for whom they are and want the very best for them even if they have to be far away from you this is getting into the true love that I call unconditional love.
This kind of love is the true love because when you love someone unconditionally, you don’t expect anything in return. When you love someone unconditionally, this love comes from deep within your heart and soul. This is the essence of who you are. You are a human being that has a spirit. Your spirit wants to love and be loved. I will admit that I am not the biggest expert on love. I have never been married but I am mature enough that I analyze things in a deep, philosophical way. Yes, it is hard to love someone unconditionally because that person may sometimes do or say something that might turn you off. But my feeling is that unconditional love is the best kind of love to have because this kind of love is sweet, pure and genuine.
Unconditional Love Is the Only Kind of True Love If You Can Do It
Love is not about trying to control someone or expecting them to do this or that. Love is not about just having sex. Love is about something that comes from your heart and that is genuine.
I like to believe that as long as you love someone unconditionally, unrequited love cannot take shape. I think that unrequited love is most likely created by our ego. The ego thrives on drama and stress. This is because when someone is in love with the other person and that love is not returned, the person experiencing the love can engage in irrational, self destructive actions and in some cases, suicide results for the person in distress. Where does all of this come from? It comes from ego of course. Is it challenging to love someone unconditionally? Of course it can be a challenge because all of us have quirks that others cannot stand and this causes stress.
When you love someone unconditionally, you don’t attach conditions on that love. You also love that person for who they are especially in this present moment. It is unhealthy to attach conditions on the love for the other person. That is not real love. That is more like using the emotion of love for your own purposes. When you put conditions on your love for someone, you are trying to control them. You can never control someone and expect it to work. The other person will see that you are trying to control them and they will resent your advances.
Unconditional love is the only kind of true love because it is not superficial, does not attach conditions and it will never hurt any two people. By loving someone unconditionally even if they don’t love you in the same way is the best kind of love to experience and have. The other person may love you back but maybe not in the way that you were expecting them to. We should try to love the other person anyway because when you love someone and make it genuine, that is the most positive and healthy feeling that can exist among humans. Love is a thousand times better than its opposite feeling of hate. Hate can poison you and make you sick while love can make you feel more positive and healthier. Always try to incorporate love into your life whether you are married or not. Love should not be about attaching conditions but it should be about something that you can give to someone and you will make yourself into a better human being in the process.
How to Now Allow Love to Become an Addiction
But love can also be crazy if you become addicted to love. What I am saying here is that if you constantly seek to be in a romantic relationship with someone because you feel that they will help to make you feel better, then you can be addicted to crazy love. A purpose of a romantic relationship is to want to share your life with someone, not to get what you feel lacks in you. I wish all of you all the best and may you find the loves of your life. There are many possible partners out there for all of us. Good luck and have a great day!
How We Can Love Ourselves
You are a person that has been given an incredible opportunity to live a joyful, happy and abundant life as well. If you analyze yourself closely for whom and what you are, you will find that there are things that you can love about who and what you are. And you should love yourself. You are a unique individual that has your own talents, skills and abilities that you have been blessed with. No matter what others may think of you, don’t let their opinions of you bring you down. This is sometimes easier said than done but the alternative to this is not a good one. Most of us have experienced times where we have been bothered, criticized and picked on by others for various reasons.
But through these hard times we must persevere and be resilient and get back up and go on with our lives. And you obviously have persevered and you are looking to make your life even better than it is. And by loving yourself, that is one of the many ways that you can make your life better.
As you think highly of yourself, you will continue to find qualities and traits to love about yourself. So what do you love about yourself? Do you love how you look on the outside? Do you love your caring, gentle nature? Do you love the fact that you are very considerate of others? Do you love and appreciate your ability to have great health? Do you appreciate your given ability to still be able to see? Do you appreciate the fact that you can still read this?
Often times when things are not going our way or when we are feeling sad, angry or depressed, we may think that there is something wrong with us. The truth is that there is really nothing wrong with you. Everyone has their ups and downs in life. If someone does not think highly of you it has nothing to do with your attitude or behavior. If most people that you come into contact with enjoy being around you and appreciate your company that is all that matters and that is already a good sign there right in front of you. That shows and foreshadows that your future will be filled with blissful moments, happiness, prosperity and success, for it is the positive people of this world that have the best careers and most successful lives and this can be proven. Their success is not only measured in financial terms. Positive people are generally successful in all areas of their life.
If you think of yourself negatively, you will only feel more miserable and you will attract only the negative, bitter and angry people towards you and that’s not a good way to live. You want to think of yourself in a positive way so that you can live a good life. This is so simple yet it is so true. Positive thinking done every day leads to good results. Surely you do have likeable and admirable qualities especially if you want to see every person you know live a great life. I am not saying that you can be positive and cheerful all the time. In order to do that, you would have to be totally spiritually enlightened and aware of your inner being. Your inner being is the essence of who you are. You have a name, I have a name and every other human on Earth has a name. But we are not our name. We are all spirits in human form and we inhabit this planet in a physical form. But at the end of the day, our bodies have a spirit form. Our spirits need to be fed positive information for them to thrive and prosper. The best kind of positive information that you can feed it is by loving who you are.
Our job is to love ourselves for who we are. If we love ourselves, others will love us also. Loving who you are is one of the most positive things that you can do. With a positive attitude, you will feel better physically, mentally and emotionally as well. So take the time to really think about what you find loveable about you. This is your life to live and try to do what you can to live a life of love. In order to be able to love someone you have to be able to love who you are first. Be well and have a nice day. And remember that loving yourself is priceless!
Author's note: I extend my deep gratitude for the experience that I have had on HubPages.
© 2017 Ara Vahanian
Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on June 14, 2019:
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Bbijumon on June 14, 2019:
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Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on January 29, 2017:
Dashingscorpio: thank you for your detailed analysis of the issue. That's what we usually hear, that unconditional love comes from GOD and our mothers. The problem though as I alluded to in the article is that many people really don't know what love is. They think that they know yet they confuse love with sex. That isn't real love. I do know that there are different kinds of love but there is an unhealthy obsession with sex in the Western world. It is VERY tough to love unconditionally. However, being a sex addict isn't healthy either. You're right that in relationships and marriages boundaries should be set. Thanks for commenting.
dashingscorpio from Chicago on January 29, 2017:
Most people who "love unconditionally" don't love themselves enough to establish "deal breakers" and boundaries when dealing with others.
Most victims of abusive toxic relationships have low self-esteem.
Know yourself, Love yourself, Trust yourself!
If you love yourself there are certain things you're not going to tolerate.
"Unconditional love" is a (romantic notion) not a healthy way to live!
dashingscorpio from Chicago on January 29, 2017:
"Some of us are attracted to and fall in love with a person because of how they make us feel when we are around them." - Very true!
In fact over the years I have come to realize there is no one size fits all definition for love. Each individual defines love for them self based upon their wants, needs, and desires.
Essentially we all have our own idea of what "love" is suppose to (feel like, look like, and how people "in love" should behave.)
If someone does not love us (the way) we want or (expect) then we do not "feel loved". This leads to people saying things like:
"If you loved me you would....etc"
Ultimately it's not about how your mate truly feels about you as much as they are not expressing their love on (your terms).
A married woman may have a husband who forgets her birthday, anniversary, fails to make romantic gestures which cause her to feel taken for granted or unloved.
And yet if an intruder broke into their home he would die to protect her. Can anyone really say the husband doesn't love his wife?
The goal then becomes finding a mate who (naturally) loves us "the way" we want/need in order for us to (feel) loved.
Otherwise one becomes frustrated trying to get their mate to "change" how they express their love.
"When you put conditions on your love for someone, you are trying to control them." Not necessarily!
Everyone is entitled to have their own "deal breakers" and "boundaries" when it comes to (choosing a mate) as well as (staying in a relationship).
Such things as verbal/physical abuse, cheating, drug/alcohol addition or financial instability that effects your living standards are all (reasonable) "conditions" for why one might elect to walk away.
"Unconditional love" has been said to exist only from God and mothers! :)