Why Do We Love?

April 07, 2020


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Image Credits: unsplash.com
As negativity infiltrate social media and as unfortunate events make noise, it takes conscious effort to highlight the goodness in the world. Hence, I steered my focus on love. Why do we love? 

Love is addicting, beautiful, heart-breaking, and exciting! Often, these descriptions are felt at the same time. Why do we choose to put ourselves inside this emotional roller-coaster? Does love make our lives meaningful or does it help us to escape from existential loneliness? If romantic love serves a purpose, what is it exactly? 


Not one law has been put to place regarding the reason why human beings fall in love. Nonetheless, here are some interesting theories. 


#1: LOVE IS AN ARTISTIC EXPRESSION


I have gathered the opinions of my Interior Designer and Photographer friends to elaborate the reason why love exists. To them, love is a form of self-expression that binds society. Acts of love are performative and creative. You perform the acts of service, time, and touch. On the other hand, you creatively express through giving gifts and words. There is a sense of fulfillment in receiving validation from your partner (or "audience"). 


Much like art, love helps us to connect to our audience given our imperfections. It makes life worth living!



"We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for." 
- Dead Poets Society movie


#2: LOVE COMPLETES US

As cliche as this may sound, ancient Greek philosopher named Plato explored the idea that we love in order to feel complete. In his Symposium, he wrote a story about love. According to him: "humans were once creatures with four arms, four legs, and two faces.  One day they angered the gods, and Zeus sliced them all in two. Since then, every person has been missing half of him or herself. Love is the longing to find a soulmate who will make us feel whole again." 


Simply put, a soulmate is someone who is biologically designed for you. Meeting a person who will fill the void in your heart and who will inspire you to live is Plato's definition of love. 


A friend of mine shared her views of love as an Occupational Therapist. For her, love is seeing the person as a whole despite his or her dysfunctions and difficulties. Love is looking at someone with a smile knowing completely well that you are accepted and embraced. Love is understanding all the circumstances without judgment and patiently waiting for them to engage and participate. In short, love is a process of unconditional service. This process allows the recipient to completely love himself or herself. 

#3: LOVE IS NATURE'S WAY TO YIELD PROCREATION


German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer saw love as a “voluptuous illusion” based in sexual desire. He suggested that we love because our desires lead us to believe that another person will make us happy, but we are sorely mistaken. It is nature's way of tricking us into procreating. Our fusion of love leads to consummating our children. 


In contrast, a friend of mine who is a mother herself, believe that she loves her child because she can. She is generous of what her heart can give. She is useful and capable whenever she extends her love to others.


#4: LOVE IS MARKED BY BIOLOGICAL PROCESSES


Love is a biological bond marked with physiological processes such as increased levels of oxytocin and autonomic nervous system arousal specific to being in proximity to one’s partner.


Love motivates you to be near your partner. It motivates you to help your partner and allows you to be kind to him or her. All these things are believed to be essential in the evolutionary sense. 


#5: LOVE LETS US REACH BEYOND OURSELVES


French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir proposed that love is the desire to integrate with another to put meaning in each other's lives. However, she was less concerned with why we love and more interested in how we can love better.


According to her, we can love better when we move away from traditional love. She saw that the problem with traditional romantic love is it can be so captivating that we are tempted to make it our only reason for being. Partners become better people, if they work together to strive for purposes that are beyond themselves. 



Image Credits: The Cramming Company
Why do we love? It is better to fuse these theories together and come up with your own definition. When couples bond, there is a lot more going on than it may seem!

Sources: 1 &



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