True love is a choice, correct?


#1

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but true love is a choice right? If you truly want to love someone you want to do what's best for them, correct?

Love is NOT a feeling right?

If love is not a feeling, where do the feelings come in?

My girlfriends mom gave her some somewhat stinky advice and said love is a feeling and a choice. I won't slam her [on these forums or anywhere else for that matter] but I disagree with the advice she gave.

If love is 50/50 (half feeling half choice) then it could easily waver and change, correct? It has no foundation.

So please help me clarify everything so maybe sometime in the future I can give correct advice. Note: I'm not trying to correct her mother. Rather, I'm trying to get this straight if she needs advice in the future.

Coolduude


#2

Love is a choice. Love is an action.

Emotions (feelings) can cloud, enhance or confuse the choice we make.


#3

Sorry, I agree with her mother…:o

I think one chooses to act off of those feelings of love…that is my view of love…:slight_smile:
Otherwise we should just go marry the first person we care enough about to get to heaven right? That would cause some very bad marriages…
Love is a choice, but is one that is chosen after those feelings are involved…
And there is also a slight difference between romance and love…which I believe in both, and others do not…:slight_smile:


#4

Keep in mind that there are several “kinds*” *of love.

The kind of love we call a “choice” to sacrifice for others is not a feeling and can sometimes run counter to our feelings. But that is not to say that love has nothing to do with the kind of attraction we feel for a spouse or the feelings we have for friends and family.

If for some reason your Catholic education has not included this, look up the following Greek words for love: eros, philia, and agape.

Agape is the highest form of love. But it is also ideal that spouses have passionate feelings about each other. It is ideal that parents and children feel strong bonding feelings for each other. It is ideal that friends have great affection for each other. Those feelings aid us in doing what is necessary for those we love. But true love leads us to seek the good not only of those for whom we feel love but also for those who we dislike or feel nothing.

In the particular case of looking for a spouse, the feelings of sexual attraction are important because it helps us to keep the marriage vows. But even more so, those feelings are something we give to our spouse. I’d stop short of saying its an absolute right, but I think that one of the greatest gifts we give to a spouse is to find the spouse sexually attractive.


#5

I'm with her mom, too. If love were just a choice, it wouldn't matter much whom we "chose." But we choose based on our feelings as well as other reasons. And our choice helps us encourage and increase our loving feelings. The feeling of love and the choice of love feed each other.


#6

Everyone says that love is a choice, but I pray that it's not all true. I would like to think that there is someone out there who does have that passionate sense of intense affection for me that I feel for her. Someone who destiny, or God maybe, has put out there for me. Not just an "I choose you-" maybe the choice isn't just in our hands.

I respectfully disagree that true love is a choice.


#7

Everyone says that love is a choice, but I pray that it’s not all true. I would like to think that there is someone out there who does have that passionate sense of intense affection for me that I feel for her. Someone who destiny, or God maybe, has put out there for me. Not just an “I choose you-” maybe the choice isn’t just in our hands.

I respectfully disagree that true love is a choice.

Then what is the cross of Jesus Christ? Was it a warm fuzzy that induced him to be tortured beyond endurance? It was His choice to give us the highest and best good.

Part of the problem here is, as SMHW as implied, is what is the definition of the term “love.” BTW, SMHW had a good answer there, recommend you follow up on that one.

So, asking what is “true love” is also dependent on the definition of love. “True Eros,” for example, is the kind of passion that Rascalking refers to, the “feeling” of being one with another person of the other sex.

I think a better way to approach the question is to ask what is TRUE love, rather than what is true LOVE. First, find Truth, and then you can find out what “true” love is.

So, where to start? Well, Truth is God, as He defines reality.

What does God have to say about “love?” All you have to do is look to scripture - God so loved the world that He sent His only Son to die for us. If God is Truth, and God says this about love, then “true” love is shown on the Cross. That is, a self-sacrificing love that intends for the beloved the highest and best good.

That, by necessity, is a choice. There can be feelings associated with the choice, but it is still at its root a choice. I think this is where your GF’s mother is confused - Agape is a choice, but feelings can be associated with the choice.

Let’s try this for an example:

I don’t get a warm fuzzy thinking about throwing myself in the path of a bullet to save my young daughter - but you betcha that I will. Why? Because I love her in the fullest sense of the term (agape). I don’t want to do that; I’ll try to avoid it, but if I’m forced and I have a choice then I will chose to do so in order to provide for her highest and best good at my own expense. I do have feelings about this hypothetical choice, in that I feel warm fuzzies for my daughter and I want her to keep on living, but ultimately it is the choice and the action that reflect the love.

Now, let’s mix it up. Let’s say that it’s not my daughter, but rather a homeless man I’ve never known; someone who has committed countless crimes. Let’s say, for his benefit and not to harm myself, I consciously throw myself into the path of the bullet intended for him.

Do I have warm fuzzies for this man? No. Is this still an act of love? Yes!

From this example you can see that “true” love, that which reflects God, is at its root a choice. Yes, there might be feelings associted with the choice, but at its core it’s a choice.

(Incidentally, Christ died an innocent man to save the guilty… if that’s not a choice, what is?)


#8

When talking about marriage, remember, marriage does not require pink heart romance to be good and valid and loving. Joseph and Mary did not “choose each other”, they had an arranged marriage and they are our role models in marriage.


#9

There is no right answer to this, different people define love differently.

Some say that true love is sacrifice and is a choice. Other people say true love is infatuation/passion/sexual attraction, others say it’s friendship. You can probably find quite a few different definitions of love.

You have to decide what “true love” means to you, and what you value.


#10

This divide I see here is almost even between men and women. Men tend to view emotions as secondary to love while women tend to view them as a primarily force in love. Emotional bonds are very important to women while the actions in marriage have greater importance to men. Note that in just about all male dominated societies in human history, romantic/feelings love played almost no role in marriage. Only in modern Western culture where women have greater rights in determining marriage partners does romantic and feelings love have such a strong place in marriage love. The bible is example of male love. Never is eros or storge used. Only agape and philia, which do not really have an emotional component as eros and storge. Many men to this day still demand actions from their woman and avoid feelings. This is why men demand sex of women and why women get upset when the man does not reciprocate the sex with emotions.


#11

[quote="mjs1987, post:10, topic:191676"]
This divide I see here is almost even between men and women. Men tend to view emotions as secondary to love while women tend to view them as a primarily force in love. Emotional bonds are very important to women while the actions in marriage have greater importance to men. Note that in just about all male dominated societies in human history, romantic/feelings love played almost no role in marriage. Only in modern Western culture where women have greater rights in determining marriage partners does romantic and feelings love have such a strong place in marriage love. The bible is example of male love. Never is eros or storge used. Only agape and philia, which do not really have an emotional component as eros and storge. Many men to this day still demand actions from their woman and avoid feelings. This is why men demand sex of women and why women get upset when the man does not reciprocate the sex with emotions.

[/quote]

Huh? The main reason men have historically been interested in women (and still are) is sex. It's not quite romantic love, but it is lust/infatuation.


#12

Love is absolutely not merely a choice.

"Love is a choice," is a slogan.

Love is more of an attitude than a choice and it most certainly involves certain feelings which are natural to that attitude. Tell me that a mother's love is a choice and need not involve any feelings! Husband's love for his wife and wife's love for her husband are not miles apart from there. There is no reason whatsoever to disdain the feelings of love and contrary, it goes against human nature to denigrate those feelings, talk about them ill, hold then in disregard.

Yes, there is a lot of choice in love. You would not lie if you said that every second of love is a choice. But at the same time to try and make love into some philosophical choice from which feelings had best be removed as something problematic, would be a wrong attitude.

There's plenty of the heart in the Bible, by the way. Hearts of flesh, not of stone. Being hot or cold but not lukewarm. And more and more and more. Sure, hormones don't yet make love but there's lots more to feelings than hormones. You can't pick a random woman and say, "love is a choice. I choose and will love this woman," and go on proving that concept, can you?


#13

Well yes, love is a choice. Love, if it is to last, it requires an act of the will. That’s what marriage vows are all about. You may be “in love” with someone emotionally and every other way, but to make a life together you must also choose by a free act of will to take this woman permanently and irrevocably, no matter what. That’s what the for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, until death, is all about. It’s easy enough to stay in love during periods of good times, riches, and great health. It might require a firmer commitment to keep those feelings during bad times, poverty, and illness.

But not to worry. The act of the will, the seeking of the other’s good at all times, is no burden–it feeds the feelings of love, and makes them grow. But even when feelings are sparse, love means always seeking the good of the other.


#14

Perhaps the "Choice’ is staying in love or something like that.

Look, I’m a romantic, and I personally trust that God has someone out there for me-He may let me be happy with many people-if He wants me to get married, He will let me know.

I don’t have a dog in the fight, I am happily single…which seems to be a rarity in this world. Be happy single people! Then we might be able to meet another happy person!


#15

Hey, I’m a romantic too, and I hope that God does have someone out there for you. And when you fall in love and decide to marry, I hope you’ll willingly recite those permanent wedding vows promising to love until death. And for that to work, you’ll have to make an act of the will, and a public promise, as will she.


#16

Actually, I never heard the expression that “love is a choice” until I read it on this forum.


#17

Love is a will. Trust me, after waking up some days you need to remind yourself you made a choice. Ephesians 5 should be every man’s “rule”. I knew far too many guys that married and ended up cheating on their wife through pregnancy. One of the guys wife actually set him up with her girlfriend for guess what.:eek: I made it very clear that that was way way wrong.

Actually, if you marry willfully the feeling can build into something very wonderful and much more powerful than the flaky feel good relationship Hollywood is so successful selling our generation.


#18

Depends on what kind of love you mean. I love my best friend, I love my dog, and I will love my future husband, but they’re all in vastly different ways.

I think when people say “it’s a choice” it comes across wrong. It makes it sound like love has no emotion, that it’s cold and bare bones. Like when people say you don’t need to be in love to be married. In essence it’s true, but perhaps NOT the best way to put it.

I’ll use the most obvious example of marital love.

You can have all the love in the world for someone, but CHOOSE not to act on it, right? But…if you never CHOSE to act on that love, it was never really love to begin with, was it?

I don’t think people mean “choice” as in, I have no attraction to you. I have no real feelings for you, I’m indifferent to you, but I’m going to marry you anyway. I think it’s more of a, sticking with it even after the honeymoon phase ends. People often say they woke up one day and decided they weren’t in love anymore. THAT, to me, is where the choice part comes in. You may not FEEL the love anymore, but that’s when you have to look at your love for your spose deeper than the initial over the moon euphoria. At this phase, your love has to be the choice to work this out, despite your feelings. The choice to keep helping each other, to support and be there for each other.

Don’t be mislead when people say “choice”. They usually don’t mean it to sound so clinical


#19

It seems like the kind of love that's a choice is the love you should have for your neighbor, because you can choose to act in a way that displays that you "love your neighbor as yourself."

In the common use of the word love, people generally mean romantic love, and whether that can be deliberately created is questionable.


#20

[quote="rick43235, post:16, topic:191676"]
Actually, I never heard the expression that "love is a choice" until I read it on this forum.

[/quote]

I first heard "Love is a choice" at our Pre-Cana classes. I believe is IS a choice. Try raising a teen...:D


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