Is love needy?

Is love needy? Perhaps this question deals or involves the concept of altruism.

If I love something, I’m only showing affection toards it in order to get something in return. Perhaps that “something” is merely the enjoyment I get from loving (the action, itself) of the object.

If this be so, then can humans ever really truely love anything but themselves? What I mean is, If the subtle essence of our love is technically only for some personal gain, then are we truly loving at all?

Does anybody understand what I’m asking, or should I re-phrase? :confused: :wink:

I think I get what you’re saying.

I believe that I have loved, not for the purpose of reciprocation, but for the feeling I get. This could also be described as being selfish by some, but then all things would.

I would make the distinction, although it is not inherent to the definition, that being selfish is to act in your own self interest above others interests. Now there are definitely good times to do this.

In this situation though, you can love some one/thing, without a conflict of interest arising. I would count this as true love. In that, it is only because you want to, and not for reciprocation. You love them/that and it doesn’t matter what comes of that.

I don’t believe that this is the most common form love takes, but I do believe that it happens.

Hope that I explained that well enough.

You might as well come out and ask: Is love equal to need?

At least one man’s reading of Spinoza would say yes.

Substitute the word ‘need’ for ‘love’ and you will understand An unfaced truth. ‘love’ in its full dimensions. There is no ‘altruism’. When you say “I love you” it is a euphemism for “I need you and—if the love be healthy and lasting—I will fulfill your needs.” When you say “I hate you” you are saying “I do not need you, you are not fulfilling my needs for peace-of-mind.”

°LOVE is belief that an external object (force) will increase one’s °Perpetuation. The intensity is proportional to the increase hoped for.

Well, maybe I am actually saying the same thing as “is love = need?”.

Is there a difference between “loving = reveals need” and “loving = inherently is need”.

Not trying to spilt hairs that were never meant to be spilt…if you catch my drift. :wink:

I agree with the idea that Love, when unadorned is simply need. At its best it is a mutual recognition of the benefits that come from alliance with other people. “I need you to be in alliance with me and you need me to be in alliance with you.” This recognition is quite at odds with our fantasies of absolute self-sufficiency.

There is also a fantasy of altruism as a gift coming from abundance. “I love you because I have such an abundance that I can share and not experience any sensation of diminishment.” But Giving is really a way to build and strengthen alliances. Because circumstances change, the man who has an abundance one day may be destitute when another day comes.

There is this wonderfully odd little pop-psychology idea called [co-dependence] which gets a lot of attention. This is a highly pejorative term. Yet the best partnerships are built by pairs of people who really can depend upon each other.

The effort to maintain the fantasy of absolute self-sufficiency can be costly.

Are we looking around the mountainous bergs of ice and lave, the crzy heart formations that flow through us, the endless folds, nooks and crannies of our souls yearning, learning, etc. for a convenient place to hang a sign displaying a four letter word scrawled by a mere human? Who would this human be…this destroyer of my love. The rope he uses to hang this sign is nothing but a noose killing that which it hazards to name.

Having said that, i think love is identification. I love that which I most identify with. Sometimes it’s a struggle to see this as love. But in the end, it is right. I need nothing from this object of my love, only to know it is there, and perhaps, if I’m lucky, the gift to tell that object of our identification, to hear the mutual identification, to feel less alone, to feel home for one blink and carry that proof in your heart forever. No more is needed. Only then can we share words in common and be right. Words like love for instance.

This has beauty in it. A certain vulnerability even.

Okay, who are you and what have you done with Gamer?

Love may be derived from need but it is not selfish. We would die for someone we love, so the need is two way. Spiders are eaten after mating, needy but unselfish.

Love is a crazy toy…I used to think as a child I could never detect love…where is love? It isn’t tangible. I was always perplexed.

I little older now…I am still perplexed…I often made the obsevration that whether too much love or too much hate…it was always the burden of demonstration…

For example, my Grandfather is a pretty stoic, unemotive, curmudgeonly old man, post-stroke, who doesn’t talk that much or show any genuine affection, or feeling yet paradoxically…this too me completely demonstrates his love…

Love can actually be quite selfish. Quite bitter. Quite unwilling to concede and make itself known. Love is embarassed at itself.

“Love is a big fat turkey and every day is thanksgiving” :wink:
“With all my love, which was never enough…”

Love = needing that person to need you

Thanks for the concern over a possible abduction. I’m really not all that dead inside. Perhaps you’re thinking of Dunamis?

What is it with you two?

Love is the irresistible desire to be desired irresistibly - someone once said…

Love also pretends not to be wanted…not to care…love hates too!

What is love? Tagging up and holding…

What about the man and woman who are married for 50 years and die peacfully together, what is so different between them and so young yuppies today that devorice within 2 years?

Have we no stamina these days? Are we simply SICK of the one-to-one relationships! Where all past relationships based on some kind of practical-delusiion>?

Love is so short and forgetting so long - Neruda!

That is an practical application of love, not the defining-essence of love, itself…if you catch my drift.

I see that you did; however, accurately understand my point. :slight_smile:

Remember when Socrates and Euthyphro(sp?) where debating over was “piety” is? Euthyphro kept trying to define piety & pious-ness by describing what it looks like in the practical world. This is a habit I fall into all too often, but that is a whole other topic altogether. :wink:

Yes, that’s an excellent point. Love is, by definition, an “escape” from selfishness (at least, this is how I see it).

What I struggle with is this:

Is there really such a thing unconditional love, and if so, is anything (except God, perhaps) ever able to achieve or understand such a depth of love?

If I consider laying down my own life so that you might live as the “ultimate sacrifice”, am I really showing any true love at all? Think about it: I’m completely depriving myself of any form of self-value…and doing all for the sake of someone else whom I will no longer be able to enjoy (since I am dead).

Again, I’m not trying to jump back and forth between the topics of love and altruism. I’m simply trying to express some of my own feelings that I think are contradictory. :confused: :wink:

I learned this from watching how my teenage-sister acts on a daily basis… :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:

I dunno. Guys like Nietzche, Schopenhaurer & Dosteyevsky wrote at length about concepts like altruism, will, and selfishness. Now we suck the marrow out of their bones with words like DNA, neurotransmitters and seratonin re-uptake inhibitors. Is there any such thing as true altruism, or is our every action taken only for our own selfish desires, even if we ourselves aren’t aware of our true motives? I’ll leave that sort of mental masturbation for the likes of Psyque-O and TheAddledOne. :wink:

Love can probably be needy, and there is an element of need in it. But the vulnerability inherent to it makes me believe we don’t engage in love simply for some kind of selfish advantage. Be it chemical or spiritual, love is a byproduct of our human existance and lies beyond those concerns.

Wow! I can’t even spell their names right, and they’re in my sig! :blush: :laughing:

Think about it. There must be some form of a difference between altruism, love, and selfishness. For if there were not, we would have one word instead of three.

They may be synonoms of each, but even synonoms are never completely identical. dirty and filty are incredibly similar, but not technically identical in there meaning.

Hence, let us not to too hastey by allowing ourselves to be satisfied with the answer, “there really is no difference between love, altruism, etc.”.

Just my thoughts, anyway. :wink:

“I’ll leave that sort of mental masturbation for the likes of Psyque-O and TheAddledOne.”

Love does require a bit of mental masturbation so then it is right up my alley to speak on. Good call.

Meanwhile, love is needy. I am struck by the thought of Failure to Thrive Syndrome in children, in this regard. Babies that don’t get enough attention (human contact) can die for no clear reason. Also, if not properly interacted with parts of childrens’ brains will not develop correctly. Finally, adults that do not have others to interact with can become depressed and even go crazy.

People need love.

I guess analyzing love is like watching sausage being made- I don’t think I really wanna see the process. But I’m glad someone studies it.

Think about the incongruity in this statement:

  1. I love you more than life itself, and I absolutely have no need of you.

While this statement is acceptable:
2) I need you, and I absolutely have no love for you.

I would argue that love is always need, but need is not always love.

Another question: What separates love from selfishness?

Its the whole package. Things like loyalty, faithfulness, trustworthiness, comittment and dependability. Add in sincerity and truthfulness. A good measure of patience and tolerance. Plus respect and dignity. And you must have fairness and equality.

I need your presence, your support and your companionship. In return I offer my presence, my support and my companionship.

Who is the selfish lover?
The selfish lover is disloyal.
The selfish lover is faithless.
The selfish lover is untrustworthy.
The selfish lover is uncommitted.
The selfish lover is undependable.
The selfish lover is insincere.
The selfish lover is untruthful.
The selfish lover is impatient.
The selfish lover is intolerant.
The selfish lover is disrespectful.
The selfish lover is unfair.

In this, as in the measure of all things human, it is a matter of degree. We are all, to some degree, a selfish lover.