Sunday, February 12, 2012

Love and In Love

I have been told, in the south, that it is OK to love someone, but it may not be OK to be in love with someone. I have a very dear friend, a male and we tell each other we love each other. A childhood friend, also a male, when we see each other we tell each other we love the other. I love my wife. What does "in" have to do with it? To be "in" love almost sounds like an act of love, then what is just loving another person. I do not know the distinction.

A psychologist I know well described love as an act of choices. I choose to be with this person. I choose to honor that person by being faithful and caring of their emotional well being. I spend time with that person because I derive pleasure from being with them. I care for that person with my material resources because I want them to be provided for. We share intimate thoughts because we trust one another.

Then mix in sex and the equation really goes ballistic. Yet I am not sure sex is an expression of love rather of a physical need that gets fulfilled by two emotionally attached person. After all we read of people who are promiscuous, or we read of swap clubs, or a lot of couples have affairs and dalliances that would seem to be impossible if a person truly loved the other.

There seems to be two aspects to relationships, rational and emotional. The two mix, but sometimes not well. A steady parent loses his head in an emotional relationship with an exciting, enticing woman and all of a sudden a marriage blows up and people are hurt because emotion overrode rational judgement.  On the other hand can a person love a person intensely and yet the rational side defeats the emotional side.? So what is love? I guess love by itself is just that, strong, warm feelings toward another person, mix emotion and you have an increase in intensity, but I'm not sure that love is any greater, just enhanced by hormones.

Then again, what the hell do I know.