Romantic love does not exist, because love and romance exclude each other. Romance is self- centered and seeks freedom while love is selfless and seeks responsibility. Love is not loud and spontaneous like romance, but quiet and steady. Our aim in life should be to think romantically, but to love realistically. Because love is a concept that has been misused so much that it has gained a mysticism which makes it seem hard to define. That is why, to define love, we need to take the time to define what love is not: Romance. But that leads to a very subtle error that is generally made: To think that love is the desirable evolution of romance, or that love is superior than romance.
As it was said before, love and romance exclude each other. So following this logic, there is no hierarchical connection between them. But why do we confuse them? Because they can actually coexist. Now this does not make sense at all, but let’s try to elucidate. If they are obviously opposite to each other, how is it possible that they exist together? Because that is our human nature. There is love and hate in us, and both are positive forces that help us develop. Love is acceptance of our circumstances and steady work to fulfill our responsibilities. Hate is rebellion and trying to find new ways of seeing our realities. The task of philosophers is mainly one of hatred. They don’t accept reality but want to change it. Writers’ tasks, when it comes to merely describing reality, is one of love, but rarely writers confine themselves to merely describing reality. Now romance is hatred, it’s pure rebellion. It doesn’t care about tomorrow but about now, while love is always done with foresight. But love is so simple that it can be defined in four words: Taking care of someone.
Love is, however, almost never found by itself. Because as selfish beings that we are, we cannot help but love with romance, that is with hatred. A mother that loves her children is also attached to them and unconsciously inculcates them all her fears and vices. But love is always simple: She takes care of them. However, besides loving them, she also has romantic feelings for them. Now, having feelings is obviously not wrong; the point is what we do with them. From all we have said, we must conclude that love is not natural but needs to be learned. The instinct of attachment, however, is natural, and many confuse it with love. Many say “I love you” when they mean “I want you nearby.” Now, my main concern here is to correct the general mistake people make of hierarchizing love. Many believe that there are many kinds of love and that there is a special kind of love they need to reserve to a partner, a good friend, etc. We sometimes confuse love with feelings. Love is selfless so it does not depend on feelings. We should try to love every single person we meet and everything around us. Remember that to love means simply to take care of something. There is no attachment implied, so we could legitimately say to a total stranger: “I love you,” while we are helping them, because we are actually loving them at that moment. Thus a doctor attending his patients is giving them love, and also a teacher teaching her students.
Love is therefore unuttered action. It could be explicitly uttered, but this would just be prizing ourselves. To say “I love you” is simply like saying “ I am generous and caring.” Once we exorcise love from its demons, we can learn to love more freely, without the constraints of hierarchy and categorizations. Love is for everyone and it’s something we need to do. The same as I took time to write these thoughts that may help others love more freely, and I did it out of need because I don’t feel fulfilled unless I write something once in a while, people have also the need to talk to others and ask them how they are or to diligently perform their work so they can be useful to others. Love is everywhere, so we don’t need to go far to look for it, and that is something we should always keep in mind.