Rethinking Love: Is love an emotion?

Just my thoughts!!!

Is love an emotion? Let’s put aside loving your job or a piece of clothing or anything, in which the use of the word “love” is as a superlative. That still leaves romantic love and parental love: Are either of these emotions? I think not and here’s why: the time frame for emotions and love are radically different. Emotions come and go, sometimes lasting as little as a few seconds, and rarely more than an hour. If we recollect that we were once mad or afraid for an hour in times past, close examination will reveal that actually we felt that emotion a number of times within the hour, it wasn’t one continuous emotional episode.

Both parental love and romantic love involve long-term commitments, intense attachments to a specific other person. Neither is itself an emotion. Emotions can be very brief, but love endures. However, while romantic love can endure throughout a lifetime, it often does not. Parental love, more typically, is a lifelong commitment, although there are exceptions in which parents disown their children. Loving your child doesn’t mean that you might not be afraid of the risks that they take, annoyed when they don’t show up for a meeting with you, sad when they are disappointed, or happy when they succeed.

While romantic love does not usually endure as long as parental love, sometimes it does, and even when it doesn’t, it’s not a momentary state but, again, a committed attachment during which many different emotions are felt. In parental love and romantic love, you care, you’re involved, and you’re more susceptible to experiencing a variety of emotions. And those emotions don’t endure, they come and go, lasting only seconds or at most minutes, not a lifetime as is found in parental love and hoped for in romantic love.

Like I said, just my thoughts.

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