Three Women Answer the Question: What Is Love?

Ah, the age old question. It is no wonder that this was once one of the most Googled questions. 

Well, we wish the answer were that simple. While we all continue to ponder and formulate our own personal definitions, here are some bits of wisdom we’ve enjoyed recently…

“‘I can’t live,’ wails the singer, ‘if living is without you.’ It sounds so tragically deep to say that losing your lover’s affections would make life unlivable—but have you ever been in a relationship with someone whose survival truly seemed to depend on your love?…Or have you found yourself on the grasping side of the equation, needing your partner the way you need oxygen? The emotion that fuels this kind of relationship isn’t love; it’s desperation. It can feel romantic at first, but over time it invariably fails to meet either partner’s needs.”

-Martha Beck describing real love vs “mutual strangulation” (

“Honoré de Balzac, who knew a thing or two about all-consuming love, in Physiologie Du Mariage: ‘The more one judges, the less one loves.'”

-Maria Popova sharing one of her many selected definitions of love pulled from 400 years of literary history (

“Contrary to the formulaic meet-cute, guy-loses-girl, gets-girl all in a perfect 90-minutes of film, love in real life takes time, it evolves and sometimes ends without being tidy. Within this culture of rom-coms and love fantasies have come silly clichés and advice about love, sex, romance and commitment. For example, in my opinion, the worst quote ever is ‘Love is never having to say your sorry,’ from Love Story. Blech.”

-Caroline Gerdes on her curated collection of “actually really smart” love advice, bound to make you smile (

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