Fair Love

Basics of Love


Person Object

Sexual Desire

Object of Use

Understanding Love

Young Love



Betrothed Love

Characteristics of Love



Imagine that there was someone of the opposite sex with whom you had recently come to enjoy a meaningful relationship, in which their sexual identity was attractive. There was desire within you. You were asking yourself could this be "love"? Then you witnessed that person confiding in someone else, exhibiting a level of intimacy between them. How would you feel?

It would be natural to experience feelings of bitterness, hurt and anger. Clearly the relationship that you had enjoyed would have to be reexamined. But how about your presumed love? Would it still positively influence your attitude towards that person? Or, after consideration, would your love evaporate to be replaced by emptiness or even antagonism?

Many relationships amongst young people bloom and fade, and expectations of a deep and lasting love are dashed. The way in which we survive such disappointments is dependent on our understanding of love. Were my expectations of love dominated by what this relationship would mean for me? Had I placed unrealistic conditions on the other person? Did I have an interest in finding out what the other person's aspirations were, evaluating them, and making good of them?

There is something about true love that survives when a relationship fades. True love is always given freely, it is not self-seeking. Thus in a lasting relationship, your love survives those acts of human frailty that disappoint and hurt us. Every time that you love truly, your capacity to love grows.

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Photograph acknowledgement: Copyright Bruce Berrien