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  • What is love?

  • Seriously, though, what is it?

  • What is love?

  • A verb?

  • A noun?

  • A universal truth?

  • An ideal?

  • A common thread of all religions?

  • A cult?

  • A neurological phenomenon?

  • There's no shortage of answers.

  • Some are all-encompassing.

  • It conquers all.

  • It's all you need.

  • It's all there is.

  • These are all comparisons, though,

  • ways of defining it by contrast,

  • by saying it's more important

  • than all other things,

  • but is it?

  • Sure, love matters more

  • than your standard turkey sandwich,

  • but does it matter more than shelter?

  • Or sanity?

  • Or an exceptional turkey sandwich?

  • No matter your answer,

  • you're just ranking it,

  • not defining it.

  • Another challenge to defining love

  • is we often try to do so

  • while falling into it

  • or out of it.

  • Would you trust someone who just won the lottery

  • to accurately define the concept of currency?

  • Or, I don't know, ask a guy to define bears

  • while he's fending them off?

  • Or is romance not like winning the lottery?

  • Are break ups not like bear attacks?

  • Bad comparisons?

  • That's my point.

  • I'm not thinking right

  • because I'm in love,

  • so ha!

  • Taking a step back,

  • or taking a cold shower,

  • whatever,

  • love is potentially the most intensely thought about thing

  • in all of human history.

  • And despite centuries upon centuries of obsession,

  • it still overwhelms us.

  • Some say it's a feeling,

  • a magical emotion,

  • a feeling for someone like you've never felt before.

  • But feelings are fluid,

  • not very concrete foundation for a definition.

  • Sometimes you hate the person you love.

  • Plus, come on, you've felt feelings like it before,

  • sort of in miniature.

  • Your relationships with your family

  • shape your relationships with partners.

  • And your love for your partner

  • may be in its own dynamic relationship,

  • healthy or totally weird,

  • with the love of your parents and siblings.

  • Love is also a set of behaviors

  • we associate with the feeling:

  • Holding hands,

  • kissing,

  • hugging,

  • public displays of affection,

  • dating,

  • marriage,

  • having kids,

  • or just sex.

  • But these loving actions can be subjective

  • or culturally relative.

  • You may love or be someone who can't have kids

  • or doesn't want to,

  • who believes in marriage but also in divorce,

  • who's from a culture where people don't really date

  • the way we think of dating,

  • or who just doesn't want to make out on the bus.

  • But if love is a thing that we can define,

  • then how can it mean opposite things

  • for so many people?

  • So, maybe love's just all in your head,

  • a personal mystery winding through your neural pathways

  • and lighting up pleasing, natural rewards

  • in your nervous system.

  • Perhaps these rewards are addictive.

  • Perhaps love is a temporary

  • or permanent addiction to a person,

  • just like a person can be addicted to a drug.

  • I don't know mean to be edgy

  • like some pop song.

  • Evidence shows that chemicals in your brain

  • stimulated by another person

  • can make you develop a habit for that person.

  • The person comes to satisfy

  • a physiological craving,

  • and you want more.

  • But then sometimes,

  • slowly or suddenly,

  • you don't.

  • You've fallen out of love,

  • become unaddicted,

  • for a spell.

  • What happened?

  • Does one develop a tolerance or hit a limit?

  • Why do some lovers stay addicted

  • to each other their entire lives?

  • Perhaps to create new lives,

  • to proliferate their species?

  • Maybe love is just human DNA's optimal method

  • for bringing about its own replication.

  • There are evolutionary arguments

  • regarding every human mating behavior,

  • from how we display ourselves to potential mates,

  • to how we treat each other in relationships,

  • to how we raise kids.

  • Thus, some argue that the feeling

  • you think you feel in your soul

  • is just biology's way to make you continue our species.

  • Nature has selected you

  • to have crushes on hotties,

  • just like it makes monkeys

  • have crushes on hot monkeys,

  • and biology marches on.

  • But is that all love is?

  • Or, perhaps worse, is it just a construct,

  • some fake concept we all convince each other

  • to try to live up to

  • for a fake sense of purpose?

  • Maybe it is a construct,

  • but let's be more precise

  • about what a construct is

  • because love is constructed from reality:

  • Our experiences,

  • feelings,

  • brain chemistry,

  • cultural expectations,

  • our lives.

  • And this edifice can be viewed

  • through countless dimensions:

  • scientific,

  • emotional,

  • historical,

  • spiritual,

  • legal,

  • or just personal.

  • If no two people are the same,

  • no two people's love is the same either.

  • So, in every loving relationship,

  • there's a lot to talk about

  • and partners should be open to that,

  • or the relationship probably won't last.

  • Love is always up for discussion

  • and, sure, under construction.

  • So, if we can't define it,

  • that's a good sign.

  • It means we're all still making it.

  • Wait, I didn't mean,

  • you know what I meant.

What is love?

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B1 TED-Ed love define defining construct lottery

【TED-Ed】What is love? - Brad Troeger

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    VoiceTube posted on 2014/02/27
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