What is love

Socrates People nowadays seem to be overly joyful especially during the month of February. They say that it is the time where love is in its ultimate blossoming. Do you agree with that

Travis I dont have any contention with that. I certainly agree that you will see a lot of couple in restaurants, parks and beaches holding hands and whispering words of endearment to one another during that season.

Socrates So does it mean that when you hold a persons hand and whisper words of endearment that love is already present

Travis Certainly One shows his love to someone by the special acts shown to that particular person alone.

Socrates Does it mean then that love is addressed to one and only one person alone

Travis No, you must be confused.

Socrates Yes, I surely am. I see mothers caressing their toddlers and children returning such a gesture by embracing or kissing them. When I ask them why they do such a thing, they simply tell me that it is because they love that particular individual. But you are trying to tell me that love is given to a particular individual alone. Can that love that you are referring to when you kiss someone or whisper words of endearment to someones ear be extended to others

Travis Certainly not You cannot kiss your son or daughter in like manner that you kiss your wife or your lover. Those two kisses will be different There are varying degrees among the love you extend to people.

Socrates So what then do they mean when they say that love is in its ultimate bloom during the month of February

Travis It meant that romantic love is in the air - the kind of love that you give your lover.

Socrates Are there different kinds of love then

Travis Of course there are different kinds of love. There is a love for animals, love for plants, love for work, love for mother, love for father, love for friends, love for music and many other types of love.

( Socrates suddenly gestures his hand so Travis will pause for a while)

Socrates You are going to fast for me young man. You are stating that there are different types of love. How did it ever arrive to that How did love happen to reproduce itself Or did it reproduce itself Do they share the same mother or the same father perhaps

Travis Love has many faces but ultimately love is an act of unselfishness especially if it is addressed to a being. It is an ultimate sacrifice for the happiness of someone. At times, it can also be an appreciation towards something that provides pleasure to you just like a wonderful work of art or a melodious orchestra which manages to touch your heart. Love is simply indescribable because it is something that we feel rather than analyze.

Socrates That is a boulder of information which you have just provided. Let me just dissect it one by one so that my fragile mind can easily grasp what you are trying to convey.

Travis Please do not make fun of me.

Socrates No, I am not certainly making fun of you in any way. I highly appreciate the thoughts which you have shared with me regarding this matter. And I do hope you will grant me the satisfaction of further asking you to elaborate on some of these facts which you have provided.

Love as you have stated is an act of unselfishness. Does it mean that when I start arguing with her because I saw her chatting or flirting with another man cannot be equivalent to love

Travis You are trying to complicate the matter. Love is an act of unselfishness and it must not involve any possessive character in the part of the lover. If love is present in a relationship then you ought to give her your full trust and understanding. It is a give and take relationship.

Socrates So when jealousy occurs in a relationship, I can safely say that love does not exist in such a relationship

Travis That is selfish love.

Socrates But that is still love isnt it

Travis Yes, but it is a dangerous love.

Socrates Are there not multiple types of love or two types of love namely the dangerous and the safe type of love What then distinguishes one from the other

Travis The safe type of love which you have just labeled is the nurturing type of love. It is the love given by a horticulturist to a flower. He waters it, trims and prunes it and keeps it protected from pests and extreme sunlight. It is like the love that a father provides to his children. He gives them shelter to protect them from the environment and evil of society. He works hard so he may give them their daily needs.

Socrates Will it pass your qualification of nurturing love when a father provides all the material needs of his children and protects them in such a manner that he does not allow them to go out of their house because he fears that terrorists may kidnap or hurt them

Travis Not exactly. When a horticulturist protects his beloved flower from pests and extreme sunlight he does not suffocate it in such a manner that it cannot breath. He still provides it the luxury of breathing the oxygen available in the air.

Socrates So safe love and freedom are related towards one another.

Travis In such a way, yes Freedom is given when trust is developed. Trust is developed when a person performs all the responsibilities assigned to him.

Socrates If that is the case, when I feel jealous towards my lover because I catch her glancing at the good looking man next door I am acting irresponsibly and does not feel love towards her

Travis Yes. Romantic love involves trusting your partner. Jealousy exists because of the lack of trust.

Socrates It seems to me then that trust is a vital element in love.

Travis It certainly is, especially when it comes to romantic love. I said earlier that there are different types of love. You may even state that there are actually multiple which are also faces of love aside from the two types of love which we have earlier discussed.

Socrates What distinguishes romantic love from that of the other multiple types of love that you are referring to

Travis Man, biologically speaking, is part of the animal kingdom. We are greatly influenced by our genes and the environment which we live in and one of our survival instincts is the need to procreate. This element moves us to search a partner which will fit our wants and desires.

Socrates But isnt that a form of selfishness You want to be with the person just for the sake of procreating and saving your DNA genes from extinction

Travis Well, both of us would like to save our DNA So you cannot say that it is an act of selfishness because it is not a one way road. It is based on mutual understanding and necessity.

Socrates Are both of the parties aware of these reasons when they engage in a relationship Does reason guide them when they decide on this matter or are they purely moved by body hormones

Travis It is hard to assess if they practice critical thinking before saying I love you to their partner but if they do then it will be even problematic for us because such expressions often lead to unwanted teen pregnancies, abortion or even divorce at the latter stage of a relationship.

Socrates So is there no rationality behind love It is simply moved by our emotions Is it something that is destructive to human nature and thus be eliminated from our system because it clouds are reason at times and forces us to act foolishly

Travis Love is like a coin with two obvious sides. It is a matter on how you look at it.

Socrates Love is a social construct which man created to justify his sexual urges and instincts.

Travis That may be true to your eyes, dear Socrates. But experience will better teach you the truth which is hard to put on words.


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