Love is one of those concepts that people seem like they have no real idea about what it is.
I mean, there are plenty of metaphors for love, and plenty of people will describe love as a “metaconcept”, but I tend to think that love is a pretty simple concept that people imagine is far more complex than it really is.
To me: Love is putting the happiness of another person before your own.
People hesitate to say, “I love you,” because of the way our society and culture suggest that there is an implied guarantee in that statement. “I love you and only you and from now on will only imagine you as being more important to me than my own happiness and desires,” seems to be the imagined promise.
Now, I can only address the concept of love subjectively, and as I stated, it’s pretty simple to me. The confusion seems to be that people think that there’s an equation that Love=Relationship=Sex. This equation, however, is insane.
Think with me. I love my pets. I do not want to be in a relationship with my pets. I do not want to have sex with my pets. Therefore, Love =/= Relationship and Love =/= Sex. To take it a bit further, I have any number of relationships where I may or may not love the other party, and have no desire to have sex with them. This leads to Relationship =/= Sex either.
It would seem to me that maybe people just need to be a bit more specific, and open to specifics. Think of how simple things would be if a person who was in a social group could simply say what it was they were seeking from another person without implying other things which were unsaid.
Love is a verb. Something done. Love can be shown by example, but its nature doesn’t change in the showing. No matter what you do, love is what it is, and everything else is everything else.
Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but wouldn’t it be nice to be able to just love freely and openly as we pleased, without other assumptions being made as to our intentions?
My advice is this: Just love and find happiness in that love. Whatever comes of doing this comes of it, but let the love be something on its own, without conditions. You never know, this could be the very thing that leads the whole human race to a happier existence.