TED Conversations

Tibor V. Varga

PhD student, Lund University

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Love is overrated

You will never find your true love, there is no perfect relationship.
Or is there?
Isn't love overrated? Shouldn't we aim for other types of relationships (eg. open relationships, not monogamous relationships, communes)?

Topics: love

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    Sep 21 2012: I don't like the word "love". What is "love" anyhow? Can anyone define it? I can say what is loving, but I can't say what love is.

    Even "loving" acts vary from person to person. I was once traveling through a very fundamentalist christian part of the USA, and I saw a billboard. It read - "Spare not the rod, lest your children spend eternity in HELL" When parents spank a child and then say, "I'm only doing this because I love you", is that really love?

    Some people say that they love one another, but do they really? Or have they found a suitable unspoken (or spoken) contract, such as, "I expect you to do this and in return I will do that". Is a secret agreement that requires one to remain stagnant and not "become" really loving?

    But I do think that we are somewhat hard-wired to connect. Those hormones are pretty powerful. But it's hard to answer the question when systemic oppression still penalizes women more than men, and cause women to look for a protector with whom she hopes she will remain friends throughout life. If women had equal power, would they look for a man? Studies do show that men with wives do better in life. Perhaps the shoe would be on the other foot then.

    But love? I think that it's a hormonal thing. But whatever it is that exists as a connection between people, I believe that IT is real. I would much prefer friendship over blind love. I want to see my partner with clarity, and not see him through rose colored glasses. And I want him to see me with equal clarity - flaws and all. That way, we avoid (I hope) the obstacle of not living up to the other's hidden expectations.

    As to perfect relationship? What was perfect for me at 20 would stifle me today. People change. People grow. People become.
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      Sep 22 2012: "I don't like the word love" from TED Lover. Nice! :))

      I agree with you, a real friendship is powerful, but many couples end up being friends after few years or months of the "rose coloured glasses". For some, it is enough and they remain together, but for many, I think, this is not and they end it. And sincerely, that sucks, because they were together for a reason, they started their own "friendship", they surely had a lot in common and it could have been something powerful. But they ended loving each other as a couple and it makes a friendship after the break-up impossible. A lot of potentially awesome friendships go down the toilet this way...

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