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Love: A Definition?

Quite some time ago, a person who loves me very much asked me to come up with a working definition for "love." I didn't have an answer for her. Poets and songwriters and old people know all about love, which is why they can write and sing and patronize their children when the subject comes up. I'm not a poet or songwriter, and I wasn't that old when the question came up, so I didn't have a clue. I don't know whether I have a clue now, either. But maybe I have a hint.

I learned this hint from Bruce Kuhn, who presented a play entitled The Accounts of Luke two days ago, and presented the sequel, The Book of Acts last night. Based on the titles, you might think that these plays were religious in nature. You would be correct -- but they are entertaining nonetheless, and I would recommend that anybody who would appreciate two nights of intelligent thought should go see Kuhn's shows if he drops by, regardless of your affiliations.

Having plugged his show (again, depending on whether my religious rant ever gets published), I should mention how Bruce and God figure into my definition of love. After each play, Bruce held a Question and Question (he claimed not to have any answers) session. During one of those sessions, he explained his relationship to God in terms of his wife. He told us that he trusts his wife and loves her, and knows that she would never cheat on him. He then said that he feels the same way about his relationship with God.

This confession got me thinking. I don't know whether I ever will have the faith to believe in God wholeheartedly. Even if I do end up believing, I don't know whether I would end up being able to initiate a loving relationship with Him. But then again, I never thought I would have to deal with the painful roller-coaster of being in a voluntary human relationship, either. I was thinking about these things, and I think I understood how one could live in peaceful coexistence with God (or Jesus, in this case) a little better. What struck me even more than the nature of Bruce Kuhn and God was the nature of love. Describing love in terms of the flu or hallucinations or lustful desires to copulate seems false to me. For quite some time now, I have been wondering how to distinguish love from infatuation from lust from friendship, so that I could figure out whether I had fallen prey to it. Bruce described love in a way that makes sense to me. He described love in terms of trust.

That, of course, got me thinking more. I tried to come up with refinements and manifestations of trust/love. I tried to come up with related attributes that could all come together to provide me with some definitive definition -- even if said definition would be dynamic, and only work for me during the very moment I thought of it. I wasn't able to do it. I came up with some attributes that I think are related to love. Here is my list, for what it is worth:

And that is my insignificant list. I still have questions, though. Do you have answers?