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 What Is Love?

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kerrick

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PostSubject: What Is Love?    Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:25 pm



Haha but seriously...

I've spoken with a couple folks here privately about this topic, but I'd like to open it up to everyone to hear your thoughts.

Just what IS "love" (in the romantic sense)?  Love in the context of family or close friends I think is a bit more clear cut (though perhaps not?) but the concept of romantic love I find to be much more amorphous.  Perhaps I should've put this in the dating/relationships thread but I felt it deserved its own.  If the mods disagree, feel free to merge it.  sunny

I've heard that "love is a choice" from a few wise people whose opinions I greatly respect.  So then is "falling in love" a misconception and fallacy (or can two people both fall in love AND choose to love)?  Do two people "fall in" lust or infatuation, which - through the building of trust and intimacy over time - yields the decision of consciously choosing to love one another?  Is it all by hormones and pheromones at the beginning (i.e. not by choice) though in time those fade and the transition begins of two people acting on their own accord (by conscious choice) to daily deciding to love one another?  So then just what does it mean to be "in love"... and by extension, what exactly is one communicating when they say "I love you" to their significant other?

Anyways, I have more questions but we'll start with this.  afro   I'm excited to hear what collective wisdom of folks here will be shared!

Also, this guy Hubba hubba because he's my favorite smiley hahaha...
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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: What Is Love?    Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:01 pm

So there's actually four different types of love:

Storge - defined as love by chance. This is what a mother feels for her children - love based on natural connection.

Phileo - "brotherly love" but more closely related to frendship. When people on this board say "I love you guys" this is what they're talking about.

Eros - Romantic love - what you're talking about.

Agape - sacriifcial love, what God has for us. The Thayer Lexicon describes agape beautifully when it says “to take pleasure in the thing, prize it above all other things, be unwilling to abandon it or do without it.”

So, that's out of the way.

You're talking about Eros love here. This website describes it pretty well:
Eros-A love felt particularly within the body, coloured and underpinned by deep and beautiful procreative urges. It leads to children, family, joy and laughter. It is good and right, but it is usually not enough to sustain a relationship long term. Eros is an exulted and beautifully idealistic love, usually between a man and woman, but can also be “platonic” and extend to deeply intimate friendships. Socrates defined Eros as also working with the soul to recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth; While Eros can simply be a hormonal earthy thing, infused and elevated to it’s true position, it speaks deeply of universal mysteries, and is usually most keenly expressed within the most sacred of all relationships, that between husband and wife.

This is the Greek word we get Erotic from.

All that being said, I think "falling in love" is very much a Romantic period idea.

Voddie Baucham said it this way:
"Biblical Love is an act of the will accompanied by emotion that leads to action on behalf of its object. This love it is the one that lasts, it is stable, it is something that stays, it is something that will serve as a foundation on which a marriage can be built.”

So long story short, I think romantic love starts with Eros and transitions to Agape, but the Eros should never go away.

 I hope that helps (and makes sense)...
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xenonlion

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PostSubject: Re: What Is Love?    Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:48 pm

Dude, I was gonna come and say, "Baby don't hurt me don't hurt me no more."
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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: What Is Love?    Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:45 am

xenonlion wrote:
Dude, I was gonna come and say, "Baby don't hurt me don't hurt me no more."
Me too.

Although this isn't a definition of love it reminds me of this:

I remember reading a book back in the 90's that talked about peoples different "love languages".  With married couples and family members we tend to project our love language onto others and then are dissapointed when our loved ones don't reflect back that same love language to us (they are service, quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, and touch).  One of the "tricks" to a happy marriage (or family) is to discover your spouses love language and communicate love to them through their language, and not yours.

For instance my love language is mostly service and my wife's love language is mostly touch.  I spent years washing the dishes and doing her laundry and expected it would show her how much I loved her (it wasn't working).  She spent the first several years of our marriage trying to cuddle with me.....I got kind of tired of it.  Now I know I need to hug her, stroke her hair, and cuddle with her whenever the chance arises to show her I love her.

Here is a website with a brief outline.
http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/communication-and-conflict/learn-to-speak-your-spouses-love-language/understanding-the-five-love-languages

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ishmael81

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PostSubject: Re: What Is Love?    Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:06 pm

Staybrite my wife and I are leading a small group about that very topic using this book:http://www.amazon.com/Five-Love-Languages-Heartfelt-Commitment/dp/B006Q2LTRO/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1435262721&sr=1-2&keywords=five+love+languages

Kerrick if you're interested you can also go to 5lovelanguages.com

This book helped save my marriage when I cheated.
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kerrick

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PostSubject: Re: What Is Love?    Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:32 pm

Thanks all for your input.

ishmael81 wrote:
So long story short, I think romantic love starts with Eros and transitions to Agape, but the Eros should never go away.

Yeah, that's the conclusion I'm coming to as well.  I guess it's that blend/combination of Eros and Agape that I find perplexing and difficult to nail down.

I haven't read the book, though I am aware of the five love languages.  I really should take some sort of test to figure out which one(s) is/are stronger for me.  Interestingly, I don't think my preferred avenues of giving love are the same as how I want to receive love.

Keep it coming y'all!  I'm very interested to hear what you have to say and what you have learned through experience.
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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: What Is Love?    Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:53 pm

I have also had quite a few people ask me the success to marriage (back when I was in my 20's).  Mainly because by the time I was 26 I had been married for 7 years already and many of my friends that were the same age were just getting marriage.

I told them all the same thing.  You better have something more in common with your prospective spouse then just lust/desire/infatuation....because all of those things fade over time.  My wife is my best friend, we enjoy doing almost everything together (except Miss America Pageants...I hate those things).  So we enjoy spending time together outside of just being hot and bothered for each other.  I think it is best to have a friendship with someone that develops into love (not that you can always pick that route).

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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: What Is Love?    Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:56 pm

ishmael81 wrote:
Staybrite my wife and I are leading a small group about that very topic using this book:http://www.amazon.com/Five-Love-Languages-Heartfelt-Commitment/dp/B006Q2LTRO/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1435262721&sr=1-2&keywords=five+love+languages

Kerrick if you're interested you can also go to 5lovelanguages.com

This book helped save my marriage when I cheated.

It really helped me understand my wife better, and become a more attentive husband.  I think it speaks volumes to what the author has to say given that the book was written 20 years ago and is still valid and useful today.

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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: Re: What Is Love?    Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:35 am

Quote :
I told them all the same thing.  You better have something more in common with your prospective spouse then just lust/desire/infatuation....because all of those things fade over time.  My wife is my best friend, we enjoy doing almost everything together (except Miss America Pageants...I hate those things).  So we enjoy spending time together outside of just being hot and bothered for each other.  I think it is best to have a friendship with someone that develops into love (not that you can always pick that route).

That sounds a lot like me and my wife.  We've just celebrated 27 years of marriage together.  We are best friends who do a lot together.  Oh, sure we can do things separately as I went on an all day geocaching excursion yesterday.  She went and had a pedicure a couple of nights ago and was late getting home from work.  You need those small diversions to make you miss the other.  But, you need things that you love to do together as well.  The romantic love you have when you first get together will fade and that is when the work comes. 

I've never done the "love languages" study but I do know my wife needs touch. quality time, and words of affirmation.  I am more of the needs quality time and affirmation.  I don't much need gifts and require little human touch.  Sometimes it is nice, though!  LOL  I tell people that I have a 2 foot invisible bubble and I really don't like people getting in that space.

Real love between a man and woman encompasses so much more than just the romantic feelings we have when the relationship is new.  You have to combine that, meeting one another's human needs (you can't fill her God need), choosing to love one another even on days when they are unlovable (it is gonna happen), and being committed to your commitments to one another and to God.  God needs to be a part of this relationship if you are a Christian or the relationship/marriage is going to break down if only one of you is a true follower of Christ.  Throw all of that into a blender and you've got love.

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messiaen77

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PostSubject: Re: What Is Love?    Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:10 pm

alldatndensum wrote:
I don't much need gifts and require little human touch.  Sometimes it is nice, though!  LOL  I tell people that I have a 2 foot invisible bubble and I really don't like people getting in that space.

Real love between a man and woman encompasses so much more than just the romantic feelings we have when the relationship is new.  You have to combine that, meeting one another's human needs (you can't fill her God need), choosing to love one another even on days when they are unlovable (it is gonna happen), and being committed to your commitments to one another and to God.  God needs to be a part of this relationship if you are a Christian or the relationship/marriage is going to break down if only one of you is a true follower of Christ.  Throw all of that into a blender and you've got love.
I can't really say it any better than this.  I'm kinda like you with the invisible bubble thing, but there are about five people who are welcome in any time--my wife, my kids, and two very, very dear friends.
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kerrick

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PostSubject: Re: What Is Love?    Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:18 pm

Thanks guys!  Ok, so then when do you think is appropriate to say, "I love you" to someone?  I've only ever said those words to one girl before and looking back, I think I can pretty safely say that it would have been more accurate to have said, "I puppy-love you."  She was my first girlfriend and we were together for well over a year.  While I still may not know fully just what romantic love is, I am pretty certain that was not it.

p.s. M77, your avatar is making me really want a popsicle right now... bounce
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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: What Is Love?    Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:28 pm

kerrick wrote:
Thanks guys!  Ok, so then when do you think is appropriate to say, "I love you" to someone?  I've only ever said those words to one girl before and looking back, I think I can pretty safely say that it would have been more accurate to have said, "I puppy-love you."  She was my first girlfriend and we were together for well over a year.  While I still may not know fully just what romantic love is, I am pretty certain that was not it.

p.s. M77, your avatar is making me really want a popsicle right now... bounce

You have to have been seeing each other for exactly 187 days with a interest intensity of at least 8 or 9 (on a scale of 1-10).  If your intensity scale is closer to 9 or 10 you can say it within as early as 99 days (but no later than 120 days).  If you have never been in a serious relationship before multiply the number of days by 1.375.  If you have been in more than 20 serious relationships without having ever said it, then forget it....it won't matter what you say.  (get out your HP48 or TI-85 calculator and program in the formula...)

Dude, sorry but in all seriousness I don't think there is an "appropriate time" try not to read too much into it, hopefully it will come at a natural pace and time.  I would say if after several weeks (or months) of being apart from each other you still find yourself thinking of her daily you are probably really in love (assuming your thoughts are mostly pure and not just filled with lust).  If after a month of being apart you can go a whole week without thinking of her....maybe it was just a brief infatuation.  I have been married to my wife since 1987 and I still think of her once almost everyday while I am at work.

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MikeInFla

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PostSubject: Re: What Is Love?    Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:04 am

I can't define it myself but I can say we have been married for 20 years this August. I know from my experience it started out as Eros and a ton of lust. We were both Christians at the time but lust did get the best of us... Needless to say everything has worked out fine for 20 years. We want to be best friends but sometimes my work schedule keeps me from home a LOT. I even take my showers at work and sometimes she feels like I am a visitor. That is why we cherish our time as a FAMILY on the weekends but that leaves us little time as a COUPLE. However, we do have date night once a month on Friday nights and we have seasons passes to a Theater here and go to plays. We love doing it and no longer need a sitter because the 13 year old can watch the 5 year old and even tho they are ages apart they are best friends and like the same TV shows and games. Since she is a stay at home mom she has little interaction with other adults and 95% of the time it is just me to listen to problems or share stories of the day.
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