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What is love

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Raggamuffin, Aug 4, 2021.

Have you ever been in love?

  1. Yes

    22 vote(s)
    71.0%
  2. No

    4 vote(s)
    12.9%
  3. Not sure

    5 vote(s)
    16.1%
  1. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    Just a quick question really: have those who have dated ever felt truly in love? To me, I say the words and it feels hollow. I'd be interested to run this poll and see the results.

    Ed
     
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  2. Magna

    Magna Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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  3. Martha Ferris

    Martha Ferris Seeking answers

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    There's a difference between being in love and love. Being in love is often the first bloom of attraction. Loving someone comes when you can accept all that they are, both the good and the bad, and still love them anyway.
    My experience with love is that it is often a matter of negotiation. We seek out those who can give us what we need and want and vice versa. It really doesn't have anything to do with love. I think this is why so many relationships fall apart. Expectations are not met and verbal and non verbal negotiations that were made were not kept. When people don't get what they need or want from a relationships they move on. It doesn't have to be a mutual thing.
    For me the only real love is the love you feel toward someone just becasue they are. Just because you are glad they exist. A love from which one derives no benefit whatsoever. Would you still love a person when there was nothing in it for you? That's not love that is a negotiation.
    How many people stay in relationships that don't meet their wants and needs? One that they get no benefit from? Don't we "love" those who meet our needs and wants?
    This seems like a cold way to go about the whole thing but look at the track record of the romantics. Look at how many relationships fail every single day.
    Viewing relationships the way I do means it ends the blame game. I am not good enough, I was rejected, there is something "wrong" with me rhetoric etc. etc. etc. It comes down that peoples needs and wants are the peices on the field of play and these needs and wants can change over time in relatioships. What was working before not longer does thus relationships end. This also applies to friendships. Ultimately we are all self serving individuals. No one is out there looking to "love" anyone. They are all looking for someone to "love" them.
    The bottom line in friendships and romantic relationships is do you meet each others needs and wants?That doesn't mean that real love can't exist in these relationships as well.
    If we viewed relationships for what they really are, negotiations for the mutual meeting of needs and wants, it would save a lot of heartache.
     
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  4. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    There are actually different forms of love. Romantic love and plotanic love ie agape, which is wide spread.

    The romantic kind is when you cannot get the person out of your head and you feel only alive when they are around. No one comes close to them and even their negative traits seem to deminish or are endearing to you.

    However, there is a steady kind of love, which is when you are either married or in a long term relationship. Some are blessed to be in love with their partner, even after many years. So, they have two types of love: romantic love and just love.
     
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  5. LadyS

    LadyS Work in Progess

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    Darn, you beat me to it!
     
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  6. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Martha Ferris speaks for me perfectly.

    Before I met my husband I had decided that love really had nothing to do with a compatible reciprocal relationship. It was much more important that we just LIKE one another. And here we are, still likeing each other. It took 8 years to grow into love with each other.
     
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  7. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yeah, but it was an illusion. It's brain chemicals being pumped out.
     
  8. Trophonius

    Trophonius Well-Known Member

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    Baby don't hurt me
     
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  9. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think I fell in love several times. Huge attraction, always on my mind, want to be with them as often as possible (until recharge deprivation set in). I could relate to the term 'lovesick' when we were apart. But they were mostly when I was quite young and did not have a good understanding of compatibility. In retrospect I am glad they didn't work out. It was only the last one that we both had the strong feelings, determination, sufficient maturity (just), similarity in outlook and views and willingness to adapt/compromise necessary to have a good chance. 36 years and still going.
     
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  10. James45

    James45 James

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    I have never understood it, I get caring about someone and understand strong attraction but when I think about how love feels or what it is, I draw a total blank.
     
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  11. Alexej

    Alexej Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    If you are talking of the head over heels type of love where you are fully infatuated and cant think of anything other than the beloved, then I must pass.

    Does alexithymia have a place in this discussion?
     
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  12. zurb

    zurb Eschewer of Obfuscation

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    There are 5 kinds of love. But don’t confuse love with either infatuation or lust. Love isn’t a feeling, it’s what you do.
     
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  13. Nairobi

    Nairobi Active Member

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    I have definitely felt like I was in love in romantic relationships. I agree with others here that "in love" is not the same as simply loving someone. I have trouble with feeling simple love. When I am madly "in love", I easily say that I love them and mean it. But the words really feel hollow to me outside of that specific context - this has caused problems for my relationships. I have had friends who say they don't feel like I love them, and they don't like that I don't say that I love them back. My family never felt like I loved them, most painfully my mother. I have godchildren who want to share in all of this "love" that I simply don't feel. I would just say it if it weren't a big thing, and sometimes I have managed to - but the truth is, it feels like such a large dishonest discrepancy that I usually cannot bring myself to say it, it feels so completely wrong. I don't know what I feel - I might not feel much of anything, other than concern for their well-being if something is wrong, or respect or admiration for their characteristics. But "love"? If I do, I can't detect it. I do believe I really loved my mother - and I think you would say my actions, back when I had energy, would show lots of devotion to some people in my life - but they would still say they didn't feel "loved", I'm not sure why. Maybe my overall demeanor, maybe inconsistency, who knows - I sure don't. I wish people didn't want me to say it. I don't even know what most people even mean if they say it to me (which is a precious few souls).
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
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  14. Nairobi

    Nairobi Active Member

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    Well....I'm only honest here. How on earth can I explain to small children why I won't say, "I love you" back to them? I honestly don't know what they are talking about. But I think I'm going to have to start saying "I love you, too", though I have no idea what that means. :( Because people seem really hurt if you leave them hanging, and I don't feel right doing that to kids. I don't have much hope that any NT is going to understand much of anything about my Aspie ways. I'm not even great at explaining it. What's nice about this forum is that I don't have to try very hard, you all get it because we're already on the same or similar wavelengths already. One thing I like is that I have had more than one pastor tell me that "love" is not a feeling, it is an action. So maybe I will try focusing on that, maybe I can better understand that? I have no idea why people love me at all, or what they are feeling when they say that, or what they might mean? Maybe they are just meaning something rather than feeling something? Maybe I'm just too tired to feel love. I just want to feel rest and peace. I want to know that others are okay, then I want to seek refuge in my hobbit hole away from them.
     
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  15. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes! Love is very much an action and the choice not to act if your actions hurt another.

    To say "I love you too" to your children because you know they would be hurt if you did not, is very much a loving action.
     
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  16. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I also want to comment on love as a feeling.

    When you think of feelings, you might be referring to the gross (meaning big) emotions of joy or anger. These feeling are accompanied by physical symptoms, elation from dopamine released by your brain in response to stimuli. Or adreniline and noradreniline that make your heart pump blood faster. It is easy to relate to emotions that prompt our brains and bodies to respond.

    For me "love" is more an intellectual understanding than an emotion like I described above. I can balance action and inaction into a picture I call "love" but it is not accompanied by anything but the softest of physical sensation.

    The raw physical sensation I equate with lust or infatuation.

    I hope this helps some.
     
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  17. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That is an interesting point of view. I think you are right, kids should not be lied to, nor should you gas light them just to feel better about yourself.

    No matter what a person decides to say, or not say, it is your actions that matter.

    Though, to be honest, I think "Isn't that sweet" is a little patronizing. I suggest "Thank you".
     
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  18. zurb

    zurb Eschewer of Obfuscation

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    When little kid’s say ‘I love you’, it can be for many different reasons. Maybe they genuinely like you, or think you’re funny, or their parents have taught them that’s what you have to say to everyone regardless. If you don’t respond in kind, or ‘downgrade’ to a more honest ‘I like you too’, it may be seen as rude. But something similar may work like ‘I think you’re the best’, ‘let’s be friends’, or ‘give me a hug’ (last one may not be PC in some cases).
     
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  19. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Gosh, this word is confusing.

    It's tough to feel if you aren't entirely clear that the other wants it or can even feel it, or if it causes them anxiety. That makes me dial my feelings completely down.

    But l think time and commitment are shown and kindness and love shown with sincerity can't hurt the relationship. To me it means out of all the people on the planet, l wish to be with you,because you help me feel so giddy and elated and l forget everything because l am in the moment with you.
     
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  20. Alexej

    Alexej Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    5? - I am familiar with 4 - from the Greek
     
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