Philosophy of Love – Why Am I Still Here?


When you’re in love, the world can seem magical. You can’t help daydreaming about him or her, you can’t stop thinking about them and you think of your future with them all the time. And that’s a good thing.

But it’s also normal to have days or weeks or even longer when you’re not all mushy-gushy in love. And sometimes you might wonder, “Why am I still here?”

The answer, according to some philosophers, is that true love can be a lot harder than the highs of being in love. It’s the kind of love that requires hard work, like taking care of someone who has an illness, cleaning up bodily fluids or dealing with the annoying little things they do to irritate you. But it’s also the kind of love that brings true happiness, not just a series of highs.

Philosophers have argued for four main theories of what love is. These include love as union, love as robust concern, love as valuing and love as an emotion. It should be noted, however, that theories classified under one of these categories often incorporate, without contradiction, ideas central to the other three. For this reason, pigeonholing individual theories might be misleading.

The most popular biological view of love is that it’s a mammalian drive, not unlike hunger or thirst. Others view it as a complex tying together of a person’s emotions and a special kind of emotional interdependence. It’s generally assumed that both people and domesticated animals can feel this kind of love, and the word can be applied to any sort of deep affection for a living creature (and to some inanimate objects). The term is usually reserved for human beings, but it can apply to anything from a beloved pet to your spouse.