Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Love

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Question
"Hi! When a person fall in love (or have feelings for someone) it is something emotional. The question is: how much does the person need the emotions or the other person. Most of the time it seems to me that "i love you" is more like "i love certain emotions i get from you". Now I don't know how psychology defines love (i'm a philosopher myself). If you one day lost the emotions/feelings you had would you still want to be with that person? I agree that emotions (etymology: moving out) make us do things and that can be good. Some people say that deep inside our hearts (and brain) we are like little children crying (while not knowing what we long for) and just want to be loved. What do you as a specialist in psychology have to say about this? Please give me some wisdom!"

Answer
Hi, Andrew, thanks for your question. Now, I'm not familiar with this area of research (love). I think that would likely be a part of social psychology. However, as a psychologist, I know that humans can be analyzed from three perspectives - emotions, thoughts, and behavior. When we fall in love, we focus on the emotions, but that is not the only thing that changes - thoughts and behaviors change also. Further, some think that - because our emotions change so frequently, it could be a mark of immaturity to be 'led' by your emotions. IOW, as you say "If you one day lost the emotions/feelings you had would you still want to be with that person?" - that person would be being led/controlled by their feelings.

Alternatively, some people consider it to be the true mark of love to 'act lovingly' to someone you don't love, or even someone you hate. All religions talk about this (e.g., 'love your neighbor as yourself').

This can be especially salient for parents (and especially parents of teens), when the children act hatefully and the parents love them anyway.

Finally, we are probably hard wired to feel this way. IOW, this feeling of 'falling in love' might be nothing more than biology - like locusts waking up after 17 years in the ground, or ants marching in a row. We feel like it's a choice, as if we have free will, but it might be nothing more than "an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato", to quote Charles Dickens.

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Bruce Borkosky, Psy.D.

Expertise

any related to psychology, especially related to forensic psychology

Experience

15 years as a licensed psychologist, 15 years in private practice. My practice began primarily doing individual and group psychotherapy, is now devoted to assessments, but I occasionally do take on clients in therapy.

Organizations
American Psychological Association

Education/Credentials
B.A. psychology, B.A., music, Ohio Wesleyan U., 1978 MCS, computer science, University of Dayton, 1984 MA, psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1991 Psy.D., psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1993 post doctoral training in Neuropsychology, Fielding Institute, 1995-1997

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