Love is defined as a combination of eros and philia. Eros expresses ‘strong passion or desire’, and philia expresses having ‘pleasure or hedonism’. Love is considered to be something ‘good’ for us, and allows us to become better people. There are so many different types and forms of love. There can be love within family, relationship, or friendship that is shown by behavior or actions of each other, and some other types of love can be towards celebrities, non-existent people (such as characters from animation or online games), or even objects, and these are usually non reciprocal love.
I have been thinking for a while, why people continue to love when they know that they will get hurt from it? Does unconditional love exist? I do agree that love is good, and it motivates us to become better. When you are about to become involved in a new relationship, why do you choose to do so? We always want to make our significant people happy, but because we have feelings of passion and care for them, it is easy for us to become deeply hurt by the partner’s action, or for you to hurt your partner. If this is the case, can we say that love is always ‘good’ for us? Once you start loving someone, it is inevitable that one day you will get hurt, and that love will end in some way (could be break ups, divorce, or death). However, humans are living things that are always in search of new knowledge and experience, and I think that is why we are obsessed with love. We love because it becomes one of our reasons to live. Also, I believe that people continue to find love so that they could forget their painful memories from past relationship. Each time we experience a relationship, we learn something new to become better people, and we repeat the process over and over again to gain more, knowing that we will experience pain at times.
On the other hand, there are types of love where there is no hope for a reciprocal emotional payback. If so, why do people continue to have feelings? The idea that triggered this question is from a topic that was covered in another class, and it was about Japanese anime/manga and ‘otaku’ fans. Many otaku fans have strong feelings of affection toward their favorite characters, but of course, they do not exist so it will always be a one-way love. Not being able to communicate or interact with them, many otaku fans do feel lonely. Then how do they express or legitimate their feelings? Passion is the most important factor, and fans spend tons of money on various books, character goods, posters, games, etc., and they are satisfied because that is how they show their love. By doing these things, the otaku fans adopt a new value that then becomes their motivations in life.
These are only a few examples, but they really have made me start thinking deeply. By stating that ‘love is good’, it does not necessary mean to have positive outcomes or unconditional love. It all depends on the perspective, and what’s important the most is whether that experience gives an opportunity for that person to ‘become a better person’ in many different ways, no matter what kind of emotional feelings it brings.