*** Old post from an old blog (http://londonboundgirl.blogspot.com/2011/01/whats-love-got-to-do-with-it-got-to-do.html)… But what I’ve written about before always seems relevant…***
I’ve gotten into pretty heated arguments about what exactly love is. One of my friends, who insists he has loved, seems to only recount me stories of the unrequieted kind: the enthusiasm and affection that he has for the women he pursues are rarely returned with the same intensity. So, for the most part, his relationships and romantic experiences have been largely one-sided.
Most dictionary definitions of love don’t seem to require the participation of another person, except for the ones about or involving sex. But when I really think about it, in my opinion, love is far more than what one person feels for another. It requires some sort of action and reciprocity. How can you have an intense feeling for someone if the other person’s affection for you doesn’t continue to fuel it? The affection of one you care for serves to deepen what you feel for them… this is why you love your friends, because there is a mutual exchange of affection. It doesn’t always have to be physical. In fact, often, it’s not. Hanging out with that person or just appreciating having them in your life is enough for the friendship to mature and deepen. But I think relationships are just more intimate, passionate, and unfortunately more complicated versions of friendship.
So, along the assumption that romantic love is a mutual feeling, I don’t think he’s ever loved before. I think the word love, in cases such as my friend, should be downgraded to obsession, infatuation or idealization. I don’t think he’s felt any less intensely than someone who has been in love, but when you get right down to it, you can’t build a house with one wall. You can’t have a real relationship when the other person doesn’t feel the same as you. So how can you be in love if you’re the only one who feels it?
But what do I know?