I would think there are many definitions of love, and these definitions would vary depending on person, experience, and type of love. There is the love for family, for friends, love of living, and a passionate love for one individual which sets them apart from every other person in their life. My favorite way to look at love is through my favorite bible verse which is from the book 1at Corinthians, chapter 13: 4-8 which says,
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Seeing love in this light puts love in a selfless perspective for anyone unsure if they feel love. The reason for this is our need to be loved is so self-centered, when we find that person that makes us lose our own desires and purely think of the others wellbeing, it allows us to live by the guidelines from this verse.
While I read in chapter 4 from the book Women’s Voices; Feminist Visions, on page 186, from the reading Romance: Sweet Love by Bell Hooks. She quotes from another author saying that romantic love is very destructive, saying that people believe that we have no will or capability to choose the feeling of love. I strongly disagree with this idea and statement. The reason for this is because, I have known a man for 7 years, we were neighbors and we became close friends about 3 years ago. Just recently I started dating him, and after much doubt from myself and people in my life I can truly say I have fallen in love with this man. However, with the many complications that loving him would create, I have chosen to be with him and I have been happy to be with my best friend and first love. Every day, woman and men choose to date people and decide to pursue or discontinue a further relationship. The statement “falling in love” is only because we have chosen to open ourselves up to loving this person unconditionally. I do agree with Hooks when she talks about sexual passion and how it affects a relationship. Hooks says, “Shared passion can be a sustaining and binding force,” however, “not the proving ground for love.” Intimacy does not create a respecting, trusting, caring, committing, and understanding relationship, Abstinence and building a friendship should be the core foundation to a relationship, only then we will be more prepared to receive love both emotionally, and physically.