The World’s Best Definition of Love

loving coupleOkay, I guess I should have added “in my opinion” to the title. But everything on this blog is my opinion. I searched online for a definition of love and the results were muddled and confusing. Some even stated sexual desire was love. Really?

The reason there are so many varying and contradictory definitions is because love is not being studied. It’s been explored in countless poems, musical lyrics and other artistic endeavors, but there has been very little hard research, investigation or analysis of love.

There’s an accepted mindset that love is indefinable. I find this beyond weird. Love! One the most extraordinary and satisfying experiences we can have as human beings. We’re like engineers who never bothered to study math. It doesn’t make sense.

Taking off from Brene Brown’s work, let’s start the discussion and answer the question…

What is love?

“An intangible connection between two people that feels exceptionally good.”

The strength and depth of the connection is determined by two conditions.

  1. The level of self-acceptance each person has for themselves.
  2. How open, honest and exposed each individual is willing to be.

Qualities always present with these connections are:

  • Trust – believing in their integrity and good intentions towards you.
  • Respect – concluding they are good and worthy of appreciation.
  • Affection – demonstrating your good intentions through your actions.

Love is not an emotion. Love is the connection. Your feelings are a reaction to the quality of that connection.


Loving Yourself First

The part I find most interesting in this definition is the conditions that make love more powerful. First, self-acceptance. You’ve heard the phrase “you can’t love someone more than you love yourself.” What exactly does that mean and how does it work?

If there are aspects of yourself you reject, these issues are your hot buttons. They’re a source of discomfort. When someone hits or gets near one your buttons, you’ll unmindfully react to the discomfort with blame, shame, disrespect and withhold your affection until the discomfort dissipates. So even if you are a parent who profoundly loves your child, you will not be loving towards them when they tickle your insecurities.

If this is true in a parent-child relationship, considered by many the most intense version of love a person can experience, you can imagine what it’s like with a friend or lover. If they trigger something painful inside you, you’ll react with fear, hurt or anger, not love. That’s why accepting all of yourself, creates ideal conditions for experiencing more and deeper love. There’s less button-stuff to get in the way.

Letting It All Hang Out

open honest realThe second condition necessary is openness. Think of two people you feel the closest to in your life. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

I bet one of the common denominators in both relationships is – you have let them see who you really are. They have witnessed you being strong, capable and exceptional, but they have also seen you be scared, neurotic and weak. You’re honest with them about what you’re facing and feeling. You let it all hang out. It’s not surprising the love is palpable, it’s real! Love is genuine when you take off the masks, otherwise it’s a ruse. All of us crave truth and relationships that are real.

With most everyone else, you hide your imperfections. When you don’t let someone see the icky parts of you, you question their love. Would they love me if they knew I was [ fill in the blank ]? This unanswered question lingers between the two of you as an impenetrable web. Open up to them and the barrier easily splits in two. The more you let them know your shortcomings, AND they stick around, the more powerful the love.

Being honest and open is not easy. Working at being at peace with the things you wish weren’t a part of you is hard work. Not only is it a tough internal process, but you’re also working against a culture that doesn’t understand, appreciate or support these changes. You’ll need to be Don Quixote, fighting dragons only you can see and tilting at windmills as far as anyone else is concerned. Be prepared, you’re going to get bumped around.

In the end, the love you experience will make it all worthwhile. You might end up having less relationships, but the ones you have, will be infinitely more precious. Try it and see for yourself.

10 thoughts on “The World’s Best Definition of Love

  1. Pingback: Love Definition: What is the meaning of love - DeeDee's Blog

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  4. I loved your article. How can I totally love myself? Can I fall in love with myself?

    • The way I did it was by doing Option dialogues and The Work on all the qualities I didn’t like about myself. Once those were gone, love bubbled up. I think love is there all along, it’s all the crappy beliefs that block it.

  5. I really enjoy reading ur definition of love, which has been a real motivation to me. Thanks a million.

  6. I would love to read your e book once its up… I am in the process of starting a blog about love and this article has helped me greatly.. thank you for sharing 🙂 x

  7. I recently was forced into A sort of half break-up with my soul mate because she was unsure what love is and felt she had said it too soon,which I understand. Told her that I will spend every day trying to show her what llove is. So I came to find advice and guidance since, like yousay, it. Has been mostly undefined in the past.

    But your article has shownn me that I need to start with myself first. It showed me that in order for her to know love, I need to be able to open up to her more than I have, which is pretty much all the way already, but I need to do so without. Fear of what’s inside me. I have had many demons, and she knows them all, she accepts them, but I do not. I think thwe had been fighting, and why she concluded that she doesn’t know what love is.

    Thank you for this article . And thank you for inspiring me to start with me again. It was laid out for me in such a way that it made sense to me for almost the first time.

  8. Have you ever thought about creating an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs?

    I have a blog based on the same topics you discuss and would love to
    have you share some stories/information. I know my audience
    would value your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

    • I am in the process of working on an e-book! I’m still writing some of the chapters, others are at the editors. Its a slow process. If you subscribe to the blog, you’ll know when I release the book.

      I’m not doing any guest authoring right now. Maybe some time in the future!

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