The Definition Of Love Essay

1799 words - 7 pages

As dictionaries have been adding new words and revising definitions yearly, we have seen a transition in the definition of love. Today, a commonly accepted definition of love is “an amorous episode” (Webster). This concept of love began with its portrayal in Hollywood media, causing the history and true meaning of the word to become lost. While love used to be defined as the “strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties,” or “affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests” (Webster), the most recent definition is most similar to what it seems Hollywood is portraying as infatuation. This can be defined as “an extravagantly foolish or unreasoning passion” (Oxford). What movies often portray as “love” is, in fact, this infatuation that causes us to believe that when you are in love, you tend to love the act of being in love, not the other person. Mainstream media does not differentiate between love and infatuation; it simply sells a conflation of concepts into the term “love.”
Love, in the terms of husband and wife, can be traced back to the beginning of the Bible:
Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Gen. 2.22-24.).
Furthermore, they serve one another in a loyal commitment to each other. Love began as a mutual feeling with genuine intentions as the two people work together to please and assist one another with care. Love continued from Adam and Eve into Medieval Times, and this notion of love as entailing “service” continues since it is closely tied to the concept of chivalry. Jennifer Wollock defines chivalry in her book Rethinking Chivalry and Courtly Love, by quoting Lancelot who, in the book Le Morte d'Arthur, says “love that time was not as love is nowadays, for men could love together seven years and no lecherous lusts was between them, and then was love truth and faithfulness.” Lancelot urges the readers to be faithful, as their ancestors had been, and to not fall prey to the pressures of lust, and then continues by urging them to turn away from the desires to be momentarily faithless to their lover (Wollock). Many Americans grew up with this chivalrous definition of love, but they are now being taught something different by American media. Instead of loving the person, they love the service given by the relationship.
Unlike this earlier concept of love involving service, infatuation is a selfish, uncontrollable desire to fulfill the lust in a person’s brain. This euphoria is not lasting, but instead, short lived, and often lasting a meager eight months (Devon). While this passion could simply be an instantaneous feeling, such as love at first sight, it could also be a full-blown relationship based on...

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