The concept of love has always presented an increasing interest tied up to the emotional depth of interpersonal relationships. It is widely acknowledged that this particular concept results from different interpretations that people attach to the patterns of interactions. It is reasonable to admit that the definition of love varies according to the person’s attitude to it. However, certain difficulties in providing the proper definition of love exist even nowadays, as all the interpretations seem to reflect subjectivity. Although the abstract noun of love has a general idea of affection, it is mainly narrowed subjectively by everyone who tries to shed light on its concept. In my humble opinion, love is a true subjective feeling that emanates from people’s mutual understanding and affection at the level of spiritual side, thus creating links between people’s emotional lives.
It is obvious that people’s interpretations and opinions of love are always subjective. To put it another way, every person attaches a special shade of meaning to the definition of love. The turning point in this idea consists in determining the reasons why a person always illustrates love in different contexts and possesses distinctive attitudes toward this matter. Bearing in mind the previous points, it must be noted that the concept of love itself can be marked with subjectivity. That is to say, love is subjective. The subjectivity of love can be explained by means of the simple truth that is not meaningless – although every person is prone to love, he/she expresses it differently. Thus, love is concerned with a free play of meanings and manifestations.
A tremendous variety of anecdotes exist in the context of love; here are some interpretations of love that were given by children:
- “When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.”
- “Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.”
- “Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.”
The above-mentioned interpretations by children support the idea that love is a subjective feeling. Love is treated differently as it has a wide scope of displays.
The definition of love always presupposes positive or negative attitude to it. Love is rather neutral in nature due to the reason that love does not actually lead to suffering or happiness. Suffering or happiness manifest themselves on the level of people’s thoughts that have a tendency to materialize. Suffering and happiness resemble people’s thoughts and attitude to the outside world, while love is something deeper and more complicated. Negative attitude to love is marked with the fear of being disappointed. However, it is worth assuming that disappointment is not a direct consequence of love, it emerges out of people’s understanding that someone does not have the same personal qualities or convictions.
Presumably, mutual understanding is one of the criteria that resemble the nature of love. The level of understanding is a process that results from the congruence of thoughts; however, it can be interpreted differently. A vivid example to support this particular point concerns Emily Bronte’s speculation over the abstract term of love. The justness of the following thought within the context of love is obvious. In Bronte’s interpretation, love takes the stance of a mirror: “He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same” (Bronte n.p.). This particular abstract can be strongly related to the mutual understanding in a way that the same ideas and thoughts usually can be interrelated in the above-mentioned true subjective feeling.
Interestingly, the notion of love is spiritually-bound as it exists on the level of human emotions. However, it is entirely wrong to consider love as an emotion. On the personal scale, Bronte gives an explanation to this point of view as well: “I cannot express it; but surely you and everybody have a notion that there is, or should be an existence of yours beyond you” (Bronte n.p.). Therefore, this idea presupposes the assumption that people do not seek outward appearance. They are more interested in the spiritual sides of each other. The notion of love in this context can be as well proved by considering an example of virtual love and virtual reality that are extremely popular nowadays. People can fall in love without even seeing each other by respecting their spiritual sides, thus creating special links between their emotions. Eventually, people experience affection due to the similar spiritual interests.
Accordingly, love is a subjective feeling since it exists in different interpretations and manifests itself differently. Returning to earlier points, it is important to assume that definition of love as definitions of any other abstract or general nouns are subjective in nature. Bronte’s interpretation seems rather appealing and logical. Briefly, love with all its manifestations presents mutual understanding, is spiritually-bound, and reflects the emotional worlds of people who experience it.