Science has only recently turned its attention to the study of love. Philosophers such as F.H. Bradley, hailed as Britain’s greatest philosopher, say that love is an experience of the Absolute, an awareness of the self, and the union of subject and object. All other experiences are merely ‘appearances.’ And, if love can be explained by science, then it can be understood as an important aspect of human nature.
Whether we are born to love or not, love is a complex process that begins with the feelings of attachment and commitment. Love is a defining feature of our worldview, and the objects of that worldview are our beloved. But there’s more to love than the feelings and emotions. Love involves giving and appraisal of the things we value most. But what exactly makes a relationship a love affair? What makes it so unique? How do we define love?
There are four major types of theories of love. Though many theories overlap, they can be roughly classified into four basic categories. Some are quasi-reductionistic, interpreting love in terms of notions such as attachment, affection, and evaluation. Some of these theories, however, reject the idea of love as being a value in and of itself. Love can be considered a human experience whose specificity depends on the circumstances of its expression. This makes it difficult to categorize as a moral virtue.
In addition to these three categories, love is not a selfish emotion. It has to give its recipient space and freedom to live their lives. It is in all the little things, and it encompasses a whole host of emotions, feelings, and attitudes. To truly understand the nature of love, one should consider whether it’s right for them. A relationship in love should be able to survive the ups and downs that often come with relationships.
While romantic love is the best thing in the world, it is also the worst. It is often associated with youth and adolescence. In fact, most of us have our first love at a young age. However, when love goes wrong, it can be devastating. In such a case, it is important to remember that love is a dynamic process that requires trust and vulnerability on both sides. It is not easy to love someone and then have them fail to return the love, but if it is, it has been worth it.
God’s agape (or unconditional) love is the kind of love that never gives up on His adopted children. Even though His people repeatedly fell into idolatry, God always maintained a remnant of His people. In this way, agape love – or God’s love – should be the kind of love we have for Him. So, if we want to live up to this kind of love, we must also adopt God’s ways.
A good example of this is a theory called “intimate identification.” In this view, love is an act of caring for someone as a person and their values. This amounts to sharing identity, and it is a common trait among humans. This is important because sharing identity is not easy to achieve without the consent of the person you love. This is why Helm outlines 4 categories of love – phila, eros, and agape.