What is love?
Love is any of a number of emotions and experiences related to a sense of strong affection and attachment. The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure to intense interpersonal attraction. This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states.
As is an abstract concept, love usually refers to a deep, ineffable feeling of tenderly caring for another person. Even this limited conception of love, however, encompasses a wealth of different feelings, from the passionate desire and intimacy of romantic love to the nonsexual emotional closeness of familial and platonic love to the profound oneness or devotion of religious love. Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.
“One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.” – Sophocles
“Attention is the most basic form of love; through it we bless and are blessed.” – John Tarrant
“We love because it’s the only true adventure.” – Nikki Giovanni
“Love is like quicksilver in the hand. Leave the fingers open and it stays. Clutch it, and it darts away.” – Dorothy Parker
“Love is friendship set on fire.” – unknown
“Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing.” – Goethe
“To be in love is merely to be in a state of perceptual anesthesia.” – H.L. Mencken
“Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it…It really is worth fighting for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk everything, you risk even more.” – Erica Jong
“Sometimes love is stronger than a man’s convictions.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer
“Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
“Maybe love is like luck. You have to go all the way to find it.” – Robert Mitchum
“Love stretches your heart and makes you big inside.” – Margaret Walker
“Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
“Where love is, no room is too small.” – Talmud
“Loves makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.” – Zora Neale Hurston
“Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” – Mark Twain
“Love is more than three words mumbled before bedtime. Love is sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we do for each other every day.” – Nicholas Sparks
“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.” – Peter Ustinov
“Love is like a violin. The music may stop now and then, but the strings remain forever.” – unknown
“Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.” – Erich Fromm
“In the final analysis, love is the only reflection of man’s worth.” – Bill Wundram, Iowa Quad Cities Times
“Love doesn’t make the world go round, love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” – Elizabeth Browning
“Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Roumania.”
– Dorothy Parker
“To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer. To suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy then is to suffer. But suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you’re getting this down.”
– Woody Allen,
Definitions of Love
The English word “love” can have a variety of related but distinct meanings in different contexts. Often, other languages use multiple words to express some of the different concepts that English relies mainly on “love” to encapsulate; one example is the plurality of Greek words for “love.” Cultural differences in conceptualizing love thus make it doubly difficult to establish any universal definition.
Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.