l o v e is any of a number of emotions and experiences related to a sense of strong affection. The word l o v e can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure ("I l o v ed that meal") to intense interpersonal attraction ("I l o v e my girlfriend"). This diversity of meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes l o v e unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states.
As an abstract concept, l o v e usually refers to a deep, ineffable feeling of tenderly caring for another person. Even this limited conception of l o v e, however, encompasses a wealth of different feelings, from the passionate desire and intimacy of romantic l o v e to the nons e xual emotional closeness of familial and Platonic l o v e to the profound oneness or devotion of religious l o v e. l o v e 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.
The English word l o v e 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 which English relies mainly on l o v e to encapsulate; one example is the plurality of Greek words for "l o v e". Cultural differences in conceptualizing l o v e thus make it doubly difficult to establish any universal definition.
Although the nature or essence of l o v e is a subject of frequent debate, different aspects of the word can be clarified by determining what isnt "l o v e". As a general expression of positive sentiment (a stronger form of like), l o v e is commonly contrasted with hate (or neutral apathy); as a less s e xual and more emotionally intimate form of romantic attachment, l o v e is commonly contrasted with lust; and as an interpersonal relationship with romantic overtones, l o v e is commonly contrasted with friendship, though other definitions of the word l o v e may be applied to close friendships in certain contexts.
When discussed in the abstract, l o v e usually refers to interpersonal l o v e, an experience felt by a person for another person. l o v e often involves caring for or identifying with a person or thing, including oneself (cf. narcissism).
In addition to cross-cultural differences in understanding l o v e, ideas about l o v e have also changed greatly over time. Some historians date modern conceptions of romantic l o v e to courtly Europe during or after the Middle Ages, though the prior existence of romantic attachments is attested by ancient l o v e poetry.
Because of the complex and abstract nature of l o v e, discourse on l o v e is commonly reduced to a thought-terminating cliché, and there are a number of common proverbs regarding l o v e, from Virgils "l o v e conquers all" to The Beatles "All you need is l o v e". Bertrand Russell describes l o v e as a condition of "absolute value", as opposed to relative value. Theologian Thomas Jay Oord said that to l o v e is to "act intentionally, in sympathetic response to others, to promote overall well-being".
Category: Artistic, Digital arts, Dream
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