Mapping the world's opinions

argument top image

< Back to question What defines the word "love"? Show more Show less

Few words in the English language convey such a range of meanings as the word "love". For many, love is the point of existence, for others it's the manifestation of the divine, for some it is a tool of oppression. No other subject has spawned so much poetry. But what is love? Is it an animalistic urge, a mystical aspiration, a social construct, a neurological glitch, or nothing at all?

Love is pure emotion Show more Show less

Love is the sensation, feeling and emotions you feel when you find the right person.
(1 of 6) Next position >

Love is about building a 'We'

Love is the abandonment of two 'I's and the formation of a single 'We'
< (4 of 5) Next argument >

Context

When two people fall in love, they leave behind their former selves as an 'I' and become a 'We'.

The Argument

When an individual is in love, they go from looking out for their own interests to looking out for the couple’s interests. They stop acting in a way that benefits the 'I' and begin acting in the interests of the 'We'. Love refers to the dissolution of distinctions between ‘my’ interests and ‘your’ interests and the formation of ‘our’ interests. This doesn’t have to be a black and white situation. It is possible to have some shared concerns and interests and others that remain as ‘my’ interests and ‘your’ interests. However, the deeper the love becomes, the deeper the union becomes and the less distinction between the two remains. Love is both the desire to form a union and the construction of the union, the merging of two 'I's with their own personal interests into one 'We' with shared interests and concerns.[1]

Counter arguments

This theory for love only holds up in a metaphorical sense. It does away with individual autonomy in couples and removes the individual from the relationship. It is possible to be in love and remain independent. Two people can have different interests, values, concerns, fears, priorities and goals and still be in love. Respecting this individual autonomy can actually bring people together and make for a healthier relationship.[2] This view of love also fails to account for selfish agents who fall in love, who may not act in the benefit of the union but according to their personal interests and goals. Is this person not experiencing real love?[1] Alternatively, love may be unrequited or one-sided. Therefore, the union itself is not the love.[3] This view of love is particularly damaging for women. As women are encouraged by society to marry "up" and wed someone of a higher social standing than themselves, with a better job and a larger salary. When the 'we' is created, the dominant party will likely have a larger stake in the new identity. This often means the male in the relationship can assert dominance. If we want to establish equality in our relationships and avoid the overt oppression of women, we must abandon this union definition of love.

Premises

[P1] When we fall in love, both individual's concerns and interests become shared. [P2] The process of unifying these interests and concerns is the process of falling in love. [P3] Therefore, love is the union of two individuals into one shared entity.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] This is not an essential part of being in love. People can be in love and maintain their individual goals, interests and concerns.

Proponents


References

  1. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/what-is-love-longing-unio_b_11493822?utm_hp_ref=spirituality
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11406-017-9860-x
  3. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/what-is-love-longing-unio_b_11493822?utm_hp_ref=spirituality

This page was last edited on Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 12:14 UTC

Vote

Not sure yet? Read more before voting ↑

Explore related arguments