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Dating From the Inside Out
by Susan S. Davis

The Significance of Love

Much has been said and written about the significance and “importance” of love. In order to assess the gravity of love, we first have to have a greater understanding of what it actually is.

For the most part, based upon definition, love is not the same as passion. While love can involve passion, love itself, may not even be considered an emotion, given the fact that emotion is typically categorized as a response, more adequately described as a motor and physiological response, usually to a particular situation, or set of events.

And yet, when it comes to dating and relationships, passion is often referred to as a very important component, especially in terms of attraction.

Scientists relegate love as a capacity derived from the neural interaction of a number of components, which includes a decisive event, involving a neural restructuring, to accommodate the idea of another's self with and into the idea of one's own self. As complicated as this may sound, in actuality, it is quite simple. In order to understand and to actually love, we must be in a position to empathize with the situation and/or individual.


Thus, love is something that can endure. Unlike sexual desire, it cannot be satisfied or dissipated by any behavioral response. While sexual desire is a powerful drive, and also considered important in relationships, it is more likely to conflict with love, rather than strengthen it. In actual fact, it has been reported by psychologists, that sexual desire, when its object is achieved, may even eliminate love.

The actual capacity for love, reportedly comes from a combination of other human capacities. The decisive event in "falling in love" - which happens almost automatically on the parental level, takes an entirely different form on other levels. Apart from the parental relative connection, the capacity to love exists, regardless of whether or not the object of the love is an actuality. The capacity to love, has been known to alter social relationships, deepen awareness of character, attitudes, and tendencies, so has shown to have a general effect within a community. When the capacity finds its object – usually another person, the neural structuring of the loving individual, undergoes a massive change, within the center of gravity, that alters as a result of the continuous awareness and sensitivity to the object, with regard to its needs, emotions, physical condition, happiness, and response.

According to science, the degrees of love, for the individual, depend on individual neural structure, much the same that self-awareness varies between individuals, perceptiveness and empathy. Between individuals, the degree of love for the other may vary. Love is a restructuring, incorporating a model of the object’s self with one's own.

Therefore, on that basis, one could assume that love is all or nothing, and that other relations, and the like, should be given another description, such as “affection” or “kindness.” There clearly may be mistakes in the perception of the character and attitudes of another, just as there can be mistakes in all forms of other perception. If, despite a mistaken perception, love establishes itself, then the love is not mistaken. However, it is entirely possible, that expectations as to what may follow from that love may be mistaken.

In particular, one of the ways that love may be misunderstood or mistaken is in the belief that the other person experiences it in the same way as one does. It goes without saying, that experiencing love does not require that it should be returned. It has been proven, by most of us, that we can love those who do not love us.

While we experience dating and relationship ups and downs, there are the objective or external effects of love and the internal or subjective effects to deal with. In those romantic relations, the objective effect of love is to promote the interests, security and happiness of the loved person. By doing this, it creates a willingness to sacrifice everything, sometimes, even life, for the loved person.

With regard to the subjective or internal effects of love, the creation of a new directedness occurs in the one who loves, with an overflow of energy, and a reduction in concentration on the self.

The genetic capacity for love is dependent upon the parents of an individual, which comes from a complex of genes, and can have a startling affect on a person’s current capacity for love. And, that, of course, can have a profound effect on how much success we have in finding love within the dating and relationship arena.

The physiological or neurological basis of love can also be affected by our genetic capacities of love. It is readily apparent that love can have many kinds of physiological effects, such as sharpening of perception, increase of energy, purposefulness, all the way to improvement of health and other physical characteristics.

Perhaps the most important effect is the greater neural integration, reduction of conflicts, and other negative aspects. Since love depends on perception, particularly on empathy, the "resonance" of love is an effect of the potential for the perception of empathy. In other words, if one can empathize with an emotional state or attitude, then the empathy can alter the situation, which can also alter the personal state of a person. A kind of continuous reflection between, mirrors back and forth, reflecting back on the other.

The capacity to love already exists in humans, along with the capacities for consciousness, self-awareness, empathy, and language. The families, the group, the nation, ultimately depend for their strength on it. If love is weakened, absent or replaced by drugs and sexuality, then the family, the group and ultimately humanity are weakened. The more adequate the capacity for love, in serving the transmission of social and cultural structures in the community, the better able we are to participate within it.

Without love, there is an evolutionary vicious circle. The distortion or absence of love, damages the capacity not only for love itself, but also for all positive empathetic relationships within humanity, and then reduces the chances of an adequate future for it. A world without love is, most definitely unimaginable.

Therefore, the importance and significance of love must never be trivialized. That is why it is so important to choose the people that we decide we will love, with great care. And in order to do that, we must understand what love is, respect how important it is, and that the utmost care must be taken in whom we choose to empathize and align with romantically. This may be easier said than done, but the first step, is in understanding what it is, and in so doing, acknowledging its importance. After that, we can address the how and the why associated with finding the kinds of emotional connections that we desire to have in our lives, that make life worth living, and are essential to our core as spiritual beings.

Susan S. Davis is a published book author and writer, currently doing research for a romantic screenplay she is writing. Her Dating From The Inside Out column is published every Tuesday.

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