Are love and humanity the same

Love and being in love

by Ulrich Mees

What thoughts, feelings and actions characterize love? What is the difference between love and being in love? Do you expect more or other "proofs of love" from your partner than you are willing to show yourself? And finally: what circumstances lead to a "falling out of love"? These are questions about human love that have been empirically investigated. Another article deals with a child of love, jealousy ("Jealousy - a child of love").

Anyone who has experienced love will probably agree with the claim that this feeling is the most beautiful and most important that people can experience. However, anyone who wants to deal scientifically with the subject of "love" must quickly discover that the supply of indisputable opinions on love that is shared by everyone seems to be exhausted. Even the question of whether love can and should be scientifically analyzed at all is answered controversially.

Two popular "myths" in particular doubt the possibility or the value of a scientific research into love: The first myth says that the task of defining and explaining the phenomenon of human love is in principle unsolvable. They have tried for thousands of years, but to this day nobody can say exactly what love is. Love is something puzzling, an unfathomable secret.

The second myth goes beyond the first and claims: Even if we could solve the riddle of love, we shouldn't do it: love as a mystery should stay that way! In the 1970s, then US Senator William Proxmire issued a press release in which he justified the cancellation of funds for a research project on the subject of love as follows: "I believe that 200 million Americans share my view that certain things are Life should remain mysterious, and at the top of the list of things we don't want to know is why two people fall in love! "

The claim that no one knows what love is (as the first myth suggests) does not apply in this form. We know a lot more than we can expressly say, otherwise we would never be able to tell when we love another person and when that love might end. But of course we still know far too little explicitly about love overall. However, this knowledge should give rise to in-depth research and not to resignation.

The second myth is probably based on the fear that love may be trivialized by a scientific definition or explanation, which could lead to a "disenchantment" of love, possibly even to a weakening of the love experience. However, it must be countered that love is too important for human well-being and the flourishing of intimate social relationships to be scientifically ignored. B. the vast majority of married couples assume that love has been their main reason for marriage; on the other hand, well over 30% of all marriages in western industrial societies currently fail. Erich Fromm formulated the problem in his classic "The Art of Loving" as follows: "There is hardly an undertaking that is started with such enormous hopes and expectations and that fails with such regularity as love. If that were in any other field of If so, one would do everything possible to find out the reasons for the failure and to learn how to do better - or one would give up. Since the latter is impossible in the case of love, it seems only one right way to give in order to avoid failure: to find out the causes of this failure and also to investigate what love actually means. "