The Gateway to Love
What is love? Love is an emotional association characterized by deep caring, emotional intimacy, commitment, and passion. It often involves affection, close sharing, caring, protection, respect, and trust. Love can range from a simple bond to a deeply profound relationship filled with intimacy and creativity. No doubt, love is subjective, personal, heartfelt and integral to human existence.
The following are just some of the definitions found in literary works, non-fiction books about love, and in religious texts: Ennis, by Irish poet Donalll Crodsch, where love is described as a “great river flowing with strange secrets, that no man could fathom; in which every heart in it is calmed by the knowledge that the heart of another person is always open.” In other words, Ennis describes romantic love as an intimate connection and sharing of feelings and emotions between two people. This love can vary in intensity, yet is based on a deep sense of intimacy.
This type of love differs greatly from the more commonly known form of physical affection. Physical affection between two people is usually defined as a union of the physical body or the sexual interaction between two people, such as that experienced during a kiss, hugging, touching, or sex. Although physical affection can be rewarding, it also can come with the risk of getting hurt or even killed. When two people are romantically involved, there is a lot more honor associated with the relationship. Emotions and feelings play a much larger role in romantic love, and these can range from being one of the most sincere forms of attachment to being merely a passing passion. In the case of infatuation, the romantic relationship tends to be fleeting.
The following is from the love dictionary of a famous French writer, Jean Sibelius: “Empathie est pulcherrima, especialement amours de lui, fille amour, et eux romantique.” This means, literally, that passionate love is the most special of all romances. Erotic love, on the other hand, is a type of sexual attraction that is often used as a lure for marriages. To be more literal, erotic love is described as “the desire for sex.” This type of love often involves fantasies of sexual encounters with another person, but the ultimate goal is often marriage and/or procreation.
People who have romantic intimacy often have feelings of guilt and shame. Fortunately, most people who have this type of love are not actively aware of their actions. Intimate relationships are a wonderful way to express feelings and friendship to another individual. People who have feelings of guilt or shame, however, use their romantic intimacy as a way to avoid dealing with their emotions.
People who do not have intimate relationships may experience guilt and shame. Intimacy, in addition to being a great way to connect with another person, is also a wonderful way to express one’s feelings towards another person. When a person does not feel guilty or shameful, he or she can be drawn into developing and expressing feelings towards another person. Intimacy, therefore, can act as a gateway toward sharing ones deepest feelings with another person. While it is important that a couple maintain their own sense of individuality, they should definitely spend time developing intimacy.