Existential Psychology


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Is there any word in the English language more used and abused than love? It can represent anything from mild interest to the deepest and most intense feelings possible for a human being. I see people repost items on social networks with the tag ‘love this!’ and think to myself, ‘at best you think it’s pretty neat, and you’ve probably already forgotten about it’.

When someone tells you they love you sometimes what they mean is that they are masochistically dependent upon you and feel that they need you for their survival. When someone else tells you they love you what they mean is that they feel a hostile sense of ownership over you. Others say the words but feel nothing at all.

We glorify the idea of falling in love but this supposes that something outside of your conscious control, something that just happens to you, is worth glorifying. What many refer to as love is not too much different from the effects of any intoxicating substance.

Love is active not passive. It is concern for the well-being and growth of the other, and with seeing this person for all that they are and can be, rather than what you want or need them to be.

When someone tells you that they love you consider whether the above definition fits or whether what they love about you is the needs you satisfy for them. Everyone deserves to feel loved and to give love, and a major part of experiencing it is stripping back the layers to rid yourself of all of the phony states that use the same word.