What is Love?

Hank Davis has an insightful take:

We don’t fall in love with a person because of their qualities, per se. Rather, we fall in love with ourselves in their presence. In other words, we fall in love with the version of ourselves that we become when we are around them.

In general, the concept of having an emotion about somebody based on their behavior is a misnomer.  These emotions are actually all about ourselves. We like people who make us feel happy. We don’t like people who make us feel unhappy. In this sense, “love” is simply an emotion we feel towards people who consistently make us very happy.

Davis focuses on the specific instance where a person makes you feel happy by making you like yourself, and his leads him to bemoan how unromantic and pathetic this view makes us appear. But that same view makes us seem more noble in the opposite scenario. If we explain our hatred of somebody as a response to them making us view ourselves in a negative light, it makes being overly judgmental or prejudiced seem a less “evil.”

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