Do you believe in love?

Greetings Dopers,
Do you believe in love, the kind that lasts forever? Do you believe in love, the feeling that as long as you are together with the apple in your eye, all is right with the world? Do you believe in love, that you would give everything you got to ensure the wellbeing of the target of your affection? Do you believe in love, the love that engenders a feeling, a feeling where angels dance upon the pin of your broach during the waltz of star-crossed destiny and kisses? Do you believe in love, the kind where eros and agape combine in a heavenly sundae, giving and taking and combining in an orgasmic tug of war? Love, the kind that is patient, the kind that is forgiving, the kind that is kind, the kind that is all-embracing, all-defeating, all-loving love!
I truly do, but I realize this sentiment is perhaps naive and outdated. So I query, what about yourself?

As you wish,

I believe that “love” is largely biology driven but that doesn’t make it any less real or powerful in my opinion.

I do. So does the wife. At least, it’s lasted many years so far. :slight_smile:

It exists, but (in my experience) it is a lot more work that in the fairy tales. It is something that has to be protected, by not letting small disagreements become big ones, and by talking out differences before they become critical, and by not allowing yourself to take the loved one for granted, etc, etc. Love is like a nice house–years of neglect can cause even the most solid edifice to spring a leak or two, so maintenance is definitely required. So far, it’s worked for me–married 10 years and counting.

I believe in infatuation - which generally wears off.

I also believe in a very deep affection for someone, which is not so ephemeral.

I am Gay and have been with my SO for 26 years last February 28th.

We have fewer legal rights than squirrels in a park, but together we can, and have, conquered the world - so yes, I truly believe love is the magical glue that holds you together.

Autolycus I’ll tell you a story, about how I came to be.

Sit down on my knee, right here (well, you’re probably bigger than me, so don’t crush me.)

My parents met on an airplane. My Mom was flying to some conference somewhere, and she noticed my dad, who was flying home from his brother’s wedding. He was recently out of the Navy in Vietnam, and she had spent her entire life in western Pennsylvania. Amish country (she’s not Amish, but the only school in town is Catholic, as is she.) (So this would be about 1972.)

She noticed him in the airport, and thought he was cute. They happened to sit together on the plane, and she offered him a stick of gum. They talked, and exchanged addresses. Then they parted ways.

When Mom got home there was a 6-page letter from Dad. I’ve heard stories later that Dad’s family was bemused by his story of a “girl with blue eyes with little gold flecks”.

Dad’s family is very Fundamentalist Christian. Not so happy with him interested in a Catholic. But they did it. Mom came out to Washington, stayed with a different family than his (to stay pure - no sex before marriage).

They had me - very planned. The other two sisters - less planned. There was at least one point where my mom was so frustrated with Dad that divorce seemed an option.

But they’ve been married over 30 years now, and they love each other. “Love” may have changed its definition over time, but I know that they feel strongly for each other, even today. It’s not crazy passion, but it is love. (Including the physical aspects of love.)

They met in July and they were married in October. My Mom moved across the country to be with him.

Now Dad is a truck driver and I think Mom cherishes both her time with him and her time when he’s away.

So yes, I absolutely do believe in love. I just also believe that there is more than one definition.

(Wish my own loves were going more smoothly tonight…)

Yes, I believe in all that, and I believe three other things: I don’t believe such a love needs to be requited to make it real, and I believe that such love can be had for non-sexual partners: for children, for “just friends” and for total strangers and I believe that such love can exist in your heart for more than one person at once. Theoretically, I think such love can even be had for one’s personal enemies and for evil people, but I’m still working on that, personally.

When all is right in the world, I occasionally feel such love for myself, 'though such moments are fleeting.

While I don’t accept a lot of The Church’s stories and teachings, and I do not consider myself a Christian, I have to admit that Jesus really nailed that Love thing. His teachings on Love are an inspiration to me, and his exhortation to Love everyone, even our enemies, is something I’m trying to live up to. But boy, it’s hard sometimes!

I believe it exists, but I believe it is pretty rare, and if you find it, you’re a lucky bastard.

I’m a lucky bastard.

I believe love exists, but it’s not perfect. I remember a lyric from some song that went “It’s not always rainbows and butterflies, it’s compromise that moves us along”, and that’s my attitude towards love. It’s never a perfect thing, but with some work and effort, it can come close.

I don’t know how people find love, though. Some never experience it, some get into a relationship and have it eventually blossom (as was the case with me), and some seem to get it from the get-go.
It varies. It’s very finicky and random. It seems like there are always thousands of factors involved, but when those factors do fall in favor, I think love is possible.

Yes, my marriage is proof of its existence.

Yes I do. But if you think of it a magical sundae you might be in troblble. I think it’s a desison. Once you find someone who is good and decent and makes your heart go pitter-pat (and other parts of your body) you have decide for him. And pay attention to him and do things for him and get, as much as possible, interested in the things he’s interested in, and be GGG. I hate to call it work 'cause so much ot it so much fun. But…basically you have to pay attention. You have to water your plants. You have to clear off the aphids. Ok, end of metaphor.

There are probably tons of people you could be happy with out there. But, at least once you’re out of college, love gets deeper when you stick with it.

And yes this has to go both ways.

That’s the big issue I have with the idea of “There’s one true love out there for everyone”

It’s perfectly possible to be compatible with more than one person and it’s perfectly possible to be so messed up that you can’t hold down a relationship with anyone.

Real love, love that lasts, needs work as others have said. Sometimes it needs a lot of work. You don’t have to be ‘destined’ to be together, if both parties put in the work then love can grow from a small start. The initial stage of infatuation is just to keep you together while you learn all the scary stuff about the other person that would normally make you run away. Other times I’ve seen marriages where obligation put them together and two people grew love from that.

I’d also add this: Don’t be afraid of going in “too deep”. The worst that can happen is you get hurt. If you don’t risk the worst that can happed is nothing. Which is much worse than being hurt.

Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved”.

Also: I agree with this, too.

My parents are legally separated, and I read somewhere that your own history with relationships is supposed to be wrecked if your parents divorce or separate or whatever, but I honestly think it’s the best thing that could have happened for them and me.

I learned that staying in a relationship doesn’t take precedence over your own self-worth. I learned that love is complicated, and sometimes difficult, and people who are in love will always need to work at it, always need to make the effort, without making it any less of a love. I learned that sometimes it doesn’t work out, but that’s okay, because it hurts, but then you can fall in love again, and still love the person you were with before without being in love, and things can be all right.

I believe in love. I believe in love at first sight and I even believe in true love. I think it’s out there for anyone, and it’s real and it’s good, and I hope it comes to everyone in their lives.

All you need, folks. :slight_smile:

I don’t think the sentiment is naive and outdated. I do, however, think that too many people grew up with the pop-culture image of ‘love’ as some magical feeling that lasts without needing to be nurtured. And so they left it alone rather than nurture it and it died of neglect.

I think the trick in finding love is finding someone who believes that love requires that work and nurturing and who has made putting that effort a lifetime commitment.

I spent a good chunk of time on a relationship board. What I saw, far too often IMHO, is people asking ‘why isn’t X doing this for me? why isn’t X giving me what I want/need/deserve?’ without feeling an obligation to return same.

What I saw there was a lot of people who put themselves and their needs first and demanded what they wanted but didn’t seem to think that they should be doing any giving. Which made it unsurprising to me that they had relationship troubles, but what did surprise me was how resistant some people were to the suggestion that they might be contributing to their problems because of their own attitudes.

Bottom line; love is wonderful but it’s not some magic fairy dust that just is. As someone (don’t have a reference handy) has said, ‘love is a verb, not a noun’.

I believe in love.
I believe in love at first meeting.
In being able to love more than one person.
And, rather painfully, unrequited love.

Love means so many different things to so many different people that it’s a certainty that at least one of those meanings exists.

I do not believe that the fairy-tale / movie / TV image of True Love is real. Love cannot last forever, since nothing that loves can last forever. Love cannot conquer all, since your love and my love may be mutually exclusive. Not all love is healthy.

But love, nonetheless, is still worthwhile; it may be the only thing that is.

I believe in the kind of love described by the OP. So does the man I married 27 years ago. What I do not believe is that this kind of love just “happens” to you, or that you are “lucky to find it.” There is a hell of a lot of effort involved. The payoff is incredible, but it doesn’t happen (and stay happening) unless you try, and try hard.

It has been my experience that a long-term loving commitment is something that must be nurtured, tweaked, and maintained on a day-to-day basis. It may start small and grow, or it may spring up quickly, but without constant attention from both partners, it won’t linger. That, I think, is why so many relationships fail after a brief time: they starve and thirst to death because people take them for granted and fail to actively maintain them.

Love is a dance. You don’t just stand there. You move, and you move in perpetual awareness of the other person. Sometimes you are in synchrony, and sometimes your rhythm changes, but the dance continues as long as you both hear the music.

I believe in love. So does my husband - he said so after reading the OP over my shoulder and then kissed me and went in to cook dinner.

I believe in love. I believe in love at first sight. I believe in being in love with someone before you even meet them. I believe that love can happen at any time, any age, any circumstance. I believe in all forms of love. I believe staying in love requires effort, respect and work - all of which is rewarding in the end.

And whether it’s sappy or not, I do believe that love makes the world go around.