What is love and what is your definition of love you know psychologist and philosophers and authors and all sorts of people over the years have actually been pondering the meaning of love but nobody can decide what love is.
In my personal experience love can be contradictory, it’s pretty complicated but it’s also really straightforward at the same time. But I won’t deny that it takes effort, alot of it.
And… many people are not ready or want to put in that amount of effort, to be honest, either in themselves or in someone else. Which is why it seems so difficult.
What is the difference between love and carthexis?
So, recently, to unpack more about what love really is, I’ve actually been reading this amazing book by bell hooks, the late feminist writer, and it’s called All About Love. In it she describes what love actually means, and she takes reference from that of psychoanalyst M. Scott Peck where he describes love as,
Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growthM. Scott Peck/bell hooks
And I absolutely love this definition because it’s so all-encompassing and drives home the point about how sacrifical and selfless love can be. And spiritual here does not mean like oh religious beings or religion or whatever. It’s what I describe to be a soul recognition. It’s amazinggg when you actually get to experience it and I feel that many people don’t.
Can you spot red flags in love/on dates? Find out below!
What is carthexis?
Carthexis on the other hand is what we usually see and experience in modern-day dating and relationships. It’s where people pour their emotions and invest their time into someone else, they attach, invest and depend on their partner so much to prop them up.
I spoke about selfish love in another post, and carthexis sounds just like that. Where we passively love someone else and expect them to give all the care, investment and attachment in us.
And according to the both of them, this isn’t love. Also, love is not about trauma bonding or abuse or hurting one another. Love has no space for any of that, but I do think quite a few modern day relationships are hurtful in their own ways.
The 7 components of love
Of course love, besides soul recognition also contains the following components: care, affection, recognition, respect, commitment, and trust, as well as honest and open communication.
Hmm.. ha. I don’t think the majority of relationships contain these components.
And well, that may be okay, if achieving that level of love that they speak about is not something that you yearn for.
But for me.. I want, yearn, desire that kind of love. I’ve not experienced it in my life, but there’s a long road ahead of me and I do want to have that with someone, my forever someone. I’m pretty sure he’s out there and is yearning for the same thing too.
So if you are interested in what else bell hooks says about love, do grab her book All About Love. If anything, it’d give you a new perspective of love and encourage you to rethink your romantic life and what is it you want from your future partner, and from yourself.
Remember, that we always end up with the love that we think we deserve. So what do you think you deserve in love? And how would you define love today?