TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

What is love? What is friendship? What is infatuation? What is the connection/difference between these three?

Is love simply an infatuation, a biological desire to reproduce? Is it controlled by our biological hormones or is it much more complex? Why is human love different from animal love? Is love what Hollywood portrays? Is love friendship? How are the two different?

Share:
  • thumb
    Jun 17 2012: ..
    Love :- A decision to put the needs of another before your own.
    Friendship :- An enjoyable bond with another with some common interest(s).
    Infatuation :- Temporary chemical reaction to another.

    :-)
    • thumb
      Jun 19 2012: Do you really feel friendship needs common interest. I think common interest may be the part of love but not a part of friendship. And a good friend also put needs of another before own.
      • thumb
        Jun 19 2012: Not always, but often friendships spring from time spent together doing something: work, church, golf, etc. I guess there is no clear divide, one merges into the other.
        Love is a difficult one; we often put the needs of a friend before ourselves. However we are bonded to some extent; loving an enemy, or a complete stranger, is a completely different matter. Boy; are we complex.

        :-)
        • thumb
          Jun 20 2012: When love and friendship comes together then it may make the things complicated...
      • thumb
        Jun 20 2012: You are talking about physical attraction, & sex etc.; Eros rather than Agape, in ancient Greek. We need more words. I agree, friendship & love, in that sense, are best separate. I guess my wife is also my friend, but it's best to just have one of those. I also have many female friends, whom I love in the agape sense, which I would undoubtedly lose if ever Eros raised his ugly head.
        I'm a Christian, which helps, as I have fairly simple rules to follow.

        :-)
  • thumb
    Jun 26 2012: Love is an inner feeling that lives inside of us and can be expressed through other people. A healthy relationship is filled with love where I feel good when I do something good for you and you feel good because of that.

    You may also look into this formulation of a healthy relationship:

    I do my thing and you do your thing.
    I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
    And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
    You are you, and I am I,
    and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
    If not, it can't be helped.

    - Fritz Perls

    Here is a visual summary of Greek words for love - http://goo.gl/wN1uo
  • thumb
    Jul 16 2012: To me being willing to put your entire life force behind another person is actually love. Your head and your heart are in complete agreement.
    Friendship is being willing to put a good portion of your life force behind the other for their good.
    Infatuation is thinking you feel as strongly as when you are in love but having a very self centered view of the other's utlity in your life. They make you feel great but you are not as concerned about how they feel.
  • Jun 21 2012: "Is it controlled by our biological hormones or is it much more complex?"

    As if the interaction of hormones and other mediators isn't complex enough to blow your mind. And these are just the biological and evolutionary roots of human behavior.



    PS: I'm sorry but i simply can not resist XD

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVmbhYKDKfU
  • Jun 20 2012: I heavily think nobody can learn what is love, or infuation (mostly this one) without feeling them. Love is something that you feel to your parents, friends, beggars, poor people... But infuaction is the feeling that you feel to one person. You can love everyone, but fall in love with one. Love is generally mutually, but the other is not like that. Something makes you fall in love without your permission. You can give your life if there's infuation, and you only think about his/her happiness, you don't want any reply. It's mostly like this:D
  • Jun 19 2012: I think that we understand love to be a bond created in its primary form for procreative success, the bonds between mother and father ; between parents and children ; among siblings.

    Of course children can be born without that particular bond. Equally valid is the bond between same sex partners.

    Friendship is very difficult to categorize and define, it may be reciprocal or one person may claim friendship with another although the other may be not so enthusiastic. Friendship may be supportive; a sort of a mutual support society. It may be between social and economic equals or it may be not. It may be that there is a commonality of interest of there may be not.

    Friendship itself may exist with other relationships or may supplant them. Business partners may be friends as well as create an economic union . Such partnership may terminate at the end of a friendship. Friends may become lovers; that relationship may change or not.

    The term friendship has broad conceptual amplitude and may be better able to identify and recognize rather than be given a prescriptive definition. When we see it perhaps we can say it falls under the broad umbrella of its meaning.

    Infatuation to my mind is love in its infancy it may progress to romantic love or it may not. The connection between them is the centrality of friendship, given its wide amorphous meaning; it is the matrix in which infatuation becomes love or is still born, or it may even be a gloss on love..
  • thumb
    Jun 19 2012: all three are the bond between people.
    Friendship is full of understanding and you can have same feeling for more than one. friendship can be converted into a love but not into infatuation.
    Love is a strong feeling for someone who is so important in our life and it is not possible for us to live without communicate with that person. Love doesn't have any boundaries and if you love someone that doesn't mean that he/she also loves you back. Love is not a contract to get something back. it is just to feel good for our love doesn't matter what he/she may feel for us.
    Infatuation is a attraction.
  • thumb
    Jun 17 2012: Love, Friendship & Infatuation

    Understanding:

    - Love is one of intense vibration within our heart to fulfill the needs of a loved one with more emphasis on the loved ones than ourselves.

    - Friendship is one of intense vibration within our heart to fulfill the needs of both with more emphasis on both that involved in the friendship

    - Infatuation is one of intense vibration within our heart to fulfill the needs of ourselves with more emphasis on self pleasure for ourselves.

    Relational:

    - Love obligates us to make additional fulfillment to friendship and infatuation.
    - Friendship obligates us to make additional fulfillment to infatuation
    - Infatuation obligates us to fulfill what should be fulfilled by infatuation itself.

    Infatuation could lead us to make a friendship relation and friendship could lead us to make a love relation.

    And all fulfillment should be provided based on religion or ethic.

    Less or more ...
  • Jun 17 2012: Love s all that u choose a person completely as yours n dedicating u to him/her... its not the concept of slavery r rule... but the sweet feeling of both... my friends describe love as a soul controlling two humans.. its deserves the at most dedication and even death... friendship is of different concept from love.. its a soul that decides to join hands with other at any situation.. both enclose emotions and feelings that make them live for each other... thats what i think about love and friendship.. apart from the biological context...
  • Comment deleted

    • Jun 17 2012: Stewart, Sigmund Freud in Civilization and it's Discontents, contended that the family emerged from a few aspects. The first one is of course the women's desire to remain with her helpless newborns and in doing so obliges for a mans protection . Another comes from the inability of the male to depart from the sexual object. Also it would seem as though in primitive culture it wouldn't be to much of a stretch to assume that the family would help economically in the quest for survival needs. So it seems to be a good bargain to remain in a family and works for all parties involved.

      My take on love is that we experience such powerful emotions when a sexual relationship ends and begins due to the gain and loss of pleasure. The pleasure involved in sex and reproduction rivals almost any other known to man. I would think this is due to evolution as you stated above.

      I also think much credence has been placed on love and family due to what we understand as far as child psychology and the forming of the healthy ego . A child reared properly suits societies benefits vs a child who never truly develops a healthy superego (conscience and ego ideal). We humans must abhor certain primitive instincts in order to function so it would seem necessary to deem love as the ultimate bliss of life as it allows for the reproduction of our species and of society as a whole.

      i think friendship is just an extension of this and we naturally form social relationships as a way to conquer nature more effectively. However friendships are not quite as destructive when they break apart or form. I would say because of the pleasure associated with friendships, although it is present but not nearly as potent as the sexual relationship.

      I don't mean to diminish the subjective experience of love as it is so valuable to a stable mental life and proper personality development. But when examined love seems to be the product of brain chemistry at work to serve the replication of life.