On the Elements of Love

Authors, Omar Abdelhamid, Philosophy, Society, Uncategorized

by Omar Abdelhamid


To encompass the benefit and the reason for the survival of love in humans, one can describe all forms of “Love” as the basis of all motivation. The reason for doing anything that has ever been done is love.

We can further break down love into 3 different forms.

One kind of love is loving something for what it has done before. Another is loving for what it is doing. And the last is loving for what it can do.

All these forms are similar, despite being listed in the dictionary as three entirely different definitions of the word love. Because all three types of love is giving very passionately because there is something that can, is, or has been given to you before. You love because you were given or will be given and you are grateful. So love is in a sense gratitude as well.

These categories seem vague at first glance, so it would help to provide examples for each kind.

The first Kind of love applies to things like Family and Close Friends and even towards God. Having previously and continuously  helped you and gotten you through hard times, these are loved by you out of appreciation for their past actions.

The second Kind of love applies to Romantic and sexual based love. In this kind of love, you love because you enjoy the presence of the person, and the presence of the person is most usually enjoyed due to the sexual pleasure obtained by being with that person.

There has been some debate on whether or not the second kind of love really does qualify as love. Isn’t it just a kind of enjoyment, a kind of passionless pleasure?  In other words, does sexual based “love” really indicate love towards a person, or just love towards the desired traits? This would make it so that if another person appeared with the same kind of traits, they too would be “loved” in the same kind of way. So the second kind of love is not love towards a person but towards a combination of desirable sexually appealing traits. To enter relationships based on this kind of even materialistic love can be dangerous and troubling to some people.

So while it may not be love, it can very easily pretend to be so. Especially in young adults and adolescents, it is believed that sexual based love is real love. This creates many problems. Boys and girls could find themselves in failed relationship after failed relationship, not realizing that their approach to love and approach to finding a life partner is flawed.

It is a problem that it is not understood by Adolescents and Young adults that the relationship that must be had with a future life partner must look more along the lines of the first kind of love. There needs to be care and kindness, and then that must lead unto love.

But it is also true that the second kind of love creates care and kindness with the goal and expectation that love will be returned. In other words, one person in the pair could have the second kind of love. Motivated by the second kind of love, the first person could give care and help to the other person. That other person will then give the first kind of love to the person and give care and kindness in return to the first person, and in return the first person will have both the first and second kinds of love for the other person. This is one ideal chain of events for a healthy and strong relationship, where if the sexual aspect of the relationship is affected, the two in the pair will still be bound together by kindness and care for each other.

Sexual qualities are of the upper-most importance in the minds of most adolescents. This is the issue.

This is the regular, but flawed, chain of events in adolescent love. Lets say one person is sexually appealing. Many people will give that person kindness and care that is motivated by the second kind of love. The person will only recognize this care and kindness if it comes from someone else who is sexually appealing because of the natural adolescent mindset. The person tricks him or herself into thinking that he or she  is in love because of the kindness and care, when it is really only because of sexual desire. The proof of this is that the person is ignoring all other acts of kindness and only focusing on ones coming from a sexually appealing person. Thus, although both people in the pair give each other kindness and care, the basis of it is sexual desire, and that is a weak and flawed foundation for a relationship.

“For the State is Safety/ When she is steady, then we can steer./Then we can love”(Sophocles 227-229)

Would Sophocles allow us to use this same metaphor of the state as a ship to compare humans and their emotions to a ship? If so, the issue is clear to Sophocles, young love can not seriously truly exist because Emotions and love is not clear to the young. It is not understood well enough. And thus the young are not steady enough to steer and love.

Is there any hope for true adolescent love then? Is an adolescent ready for a real serious relationship, or is this just a lie created by adolescents to justify their pursuit for someone that satisfies their sexual desires? Because this kind of love, and love in general, is selfish. It loves because it wants a favor in return, or needs to return a favor. So because this is the nature of all love, why is it that young love is different?

Young love is a slippery plane. Sure, love based on the enjoyment of someone’s personality is a good thing, but the belief that your case of love is like that may just be you tricking yourself to not feel guilty. Because no one wants to admit that they don’t truly love,and that they are being selfish, and so your subconscious gets rid of those fears so that you don’t have to deal with them. It’s always a risk, and unless you carefully assess why you “love someone”, your relationships could end up badly.

And something else is very essential for young adults to realize about love. Especially those who have been constantly on the search for it and have constantly been disappointed. The problem does not lie in the specific person, but rather a problem that exists among almost all adolescents, that they cannot provide anyone with real love. The problem for people who continue to be disappointed in relationships is not that the person is not right, but that the stage of life is not the right stage of life to be starting relationships. If this important fact is ignored, all that will continue to be found is disappointment, no matter how different the new person or situation may seem.

It is also important to consider what I call the Cache effect. The human naturally loves love. The human enjoys being in love. So the human finds any reason to fall in love with anyone, even circumstance does not allow it. The human therefore plants a seed of love in someone and lets the love towards that person grow. The human tricks himself into viewing whoever the human is in love with as perfect. The human creates perfection in that which he loves, to justify the continued and passionate love for it. And so humans create a picture, like an internet Cache of a webpage, of when the person whom they are in love with is in their best and most perfect state. And so that is why “love looks not with the eyes but with the mind”. When one is in love, the person whom they love always looks beautiful and always is the best person in the world, because that is how the mind wants the human to perceive the situation, to encourage the love to grow and flourish.

The last kind of love refers to extreme materialism, to put it simply. If you have a love of yourself or a love a fame or a love of wealth, you love these things because you think that investing your passion into it will give you benefit in the future. This is commonly perceived as a completely different kind of love from the above two, but it has the same basis of loving because you have been given or will be given.

And this kind of love drives most of the world’s activity, either for good or for evil. Monumental things are done for money, because people love money. Monumental things are done for fame, because people love fame. And although this kind of love could lead to corruption and hubris, It helps the human race accomplish amazing things when it is connected with good intention and does not have full control of the person in love.

Its is essential to not allow this kind of love control you. It can only lead to good if you control it. And because this kind of love is so similar to the others, the same could be said about the other kinds of love. Enjoy love and use it to your advantage. But don’t let it take over your mind and your actions. Don’t always let love replace logic.


Happy Valentines Day!



One thought on “On the Elements of Love

  1. Woah. Beautiful and insightful article. Unfortunately I was only able to skim it because I am actually procrastinating for five minutes while doing my homework, but I will definitely be coming back to read those passages I missed. I find it somewhat humorous how this article delves so deeply into the human psyche, leaving readers somewhat flabbergasted, and then ending on the light note of “Happy Valentine’s Day”. Great work! 🙂

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