Love is an emotion of a strong affection and personal attachment. Love is also said to be a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection —"the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another". Love may describe compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans, one's self or animals.
In English, love refers to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from pleasure ("I loved that meal") to interpersonal attraction ("I love my partner"). "Love" may refer specifically to the passionate desire and intimacy of romantic love, to the sexual love of eros, to the emotional closeness of familial love, to the platonic love that defines friendship, or to the profound oneness or devotion of religious love, or to a concept of love that encompasses all of those feelings. This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.
Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.
Love may be understood as part of the survival instinct, a function to keep human beings together against menaces and to facilitate the continuation of the species.
Famous quotes containing the word love:
“All other things to their destruction draw,
Only our love hath no decay;
This no tomorrow hath, nor yesterday,”
—John Donne (15721631)
“There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers. Yet it is admirable to profess because it was once admirable to live. To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“And this disease that was Swanns love had so multiplied, it was so intimately tied to all of Swanns habits, to all his acts, to his thoughts, to his health, to his sleep, to his life, even to what he desired for his afterlife, his love was so much a part of him that it could not be extracted from him without destroying him entirely: as is said in surgery, his love was inoperable.”
—Marcel Proust (18711922)