To me, real love is wanting what's best for another, even if it's not what you want for yourself. I think there are two primary examples of good love, which can be defined through two ostensive definitions. (Ostensive definitions define terms through citing examples.
Parental love, often shown through sacrificing for the benefit of a child. Saving for an education for the child. Urging them to take a job across the country because it looks like a good opportunity.
Friendship. At its best, a friend is there for you and wants to see you happy and successful. When you have an opportunity that will take you far away, your friend buries their grief to wish you well and offers to stay in touch.
Contrast those examples with romantic love:
When you're in romantic love, you want the other for yourself. You would happily monopolize their time. You think about them constantly. You check up on them if you think they might be with other people. You analyze what they say for hidden meanings.
Sounds like an ostensive definition of an obsession to me.
I think the same way every time I hear or read someone mentioning things like what a "good boyfriend would do." Text you first thing in the morning, last thing at night. Say good morning, goodnight etc.
And I ask myself, don't these people have their own lives? Isn't this insanely selfish?
Rand used to say that love should be, and is, a selfish thing. She argued you should love a person not for their sakes, because that would be insulting, but for your own sake and see them as a reflection of your own values and the happiness you derive from it. I'm inclined to agree with this. More often than not love is selfish, and that explains why the very same emotion can turn into destructive hatred so easily. (3..2..1.. until someone bitches about Ayn Rand)
Yeah, well Rand is not someone I would cite as an expert on relationships. Her own love life was a mess.
Another indication that romantic love is obsession is the frequency with which romantic love results in murder or murder-suicide scenarios. Instances where a parent murders a child out of love are very rare. Friends killing friends is even more rare, and when it happens is likely to be a mercy killing, often agreed to or instigated by the deceased party.
Can't blame someone for having a messed up love life. Most people don't ever get it right.
But back on topic, isn't obsessive love really in our nature? After all, all our feelings boil down to chemical reactions. Jealousy, the urge to protect and serve the partner, breeding.
It seems evolutionarily hardwired. So then, is romantic love really any different from a trade? We use someone to satisfy our needs, in return for the same privileges, or not? Whether this be kids, not wanting to be lonely or wanting to feel good. Doesn't a person use his or her partner just as a tool to induce chemical reactions in the own body, the same way we'd use a drug? Personally I see not much difference, other than this process happening implicitly, without any of the parties involved being aware that they're really just buddies trading drugs for their personal amusement. It's easy to get hooked on happiness. No wonder people want to kill their dealers when they get cut off.
Comparing romantic love to drug addiction is something I can't argue with. Lovers often act like addicts. Whether it's hardwired into our neurons or hormonally induced, it bears comparison to an OCD.
" isn't obsessive love really in our nature?"
It's just for the short term, lasts about 2 years apparently.
Thats the lenghth of the average marriage now a days.
Intimacy - Can anyone define that?
What is intimacy within a relationship?
noun, plural in·ti·ma·cies.
1. the state of being intimate.
2. a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group.
3. a close association with or detailed knowledge or deep understanding of a place, subject, period of history, etc.: an intimacy with Japan.
4. an act or expression serving as a token of familiarity, affection, or the like: to allow the intimacy ofusing first names.
5. an amorously familiar act; liberty.
1635–45; intim(ate) + -acy
2. closeness, familiarity, warmth, affection.
The way I see love is that when a person in in love, he or she values another person's life as greatly as his or her own. One's joy, success, tribulation, and sorrow are shared by the other. One person's life becomes the life of the other person and vice versa (at least in a healthy relationship), which changes both of their actions to be considerate of and to look out for the welfare of the other.
I think you have a point that romance can equate obsession, but I think romance can also foster those emotional connections that lead to empathic feelings associated with love. There are other ways then to do it through romance, but being romantic with a person is kind of like a human mating ritual.
Woo Hoo - echo echo echo
Intimacy? - anyone? ...
Here Lies the Death of Intimacy - R.I.P
I bet a religious person could tell us because theyre good at it ....
I think romantic relationships are actually less intimate than, say, a close friendship.
One is so worried about losing the other that one creates a shell around anything about oneself that one fears might muck things up.
True friends truly open up to each other in a way that people enmeshed in a romantic relationship cannot, because friends trust each other much more.
You can't have intimacy without trust, and trust is lacking in a relationship until the romantic aspect begins to turn into deep friendship.
unless you're in a same-sex relationship. Honest.
I'm sure you believe that.