Why do we choose to put ourselves through love? We suffer and have heartbreaks, but it’s also amazing and scary in a good way and truth be told, we like it. Love makes us feel that our lives are better.
We brought you a philosophical approach on the matter, made by TED-Ed and animated by Avi Ofer and with Skye Cleary, philosopher, author of Existentialism and Romantic Love annotations.
Enjoy the explanation, and maybe you’ll understand a little bit better why do we love.
Truth be told, nor science or psychology has discovered what’s love purpose.
But over the course of history, some of our most respected philosophers has put forward some intriguing theories. According to Plato “Love makes us whole, again.”
So according to Plato and how we approached love, no matter what the flaws may be, we fall perpetually into the idea of love. But there seems to be an issue in how we understand it.
“Love tricks us into having babies,” according to Schopenhauer
Because no matter what approach we take toward love, we seem to fail, why? Well because romantic loving suggests images of perfect happiness that make the lovers feel as if they are made for each other, which is often wrong. Because romantic loving often involves conflicts and disappointments.
“Love is an escape from our loneliness” – Bertrand Russell
According to Nobel prize winner Russell, we love in order to quench our physical and psychological desires. Our fear of the cold dark world tempt us to build hard shells to protect, love helps us overcome our fear and enriches our whole being.
“Love is a misleading affliction” – Siddhartha Gautama
Buddha and Russell disagree big time about why we love. According to Buddha, we love because we are trying to satisfy our base desires but our passionate cravings are defects. And through the eightfold path to help us detach from the material world and reach the Nirvana.
Existential philosophers such as Nietzsche and Kierkegaard acknowledge that we are born into webs of relationships, and they explore how relations with others infuse our world with meaning and modify our possibilities.
They reveal to us the notion that once lovers free themselves from preconceived ideas about how romantic lovers have to behave, they will be free to create relationships that complement themselves.
“Love lets us reach beyond ourselves” – Beauvoir
Beauvoir proposed that love is the desire to integrate with another and that infuses our lives with meaning, but she was less concerned in why we love and a little more interested in how do we love better.
Dependence on another to justify our existence leads to boredom and power games. To avoid this, she recommends loving authentically, which is more like a great friendship.
Though we might never know why we fall in love, we can be certain that’ll be an emotional ride; it’s scary, but it’s also fun and fulfilling. Even though it makes us suffer sometimes, it might be the best thing in life.