From an Inherent Excellence blog post by NLPer and life coach Erol Fox, who writes some good stuff:
People just don’t understand what love is, so they suffer. Most Westernized people think love is when you can’t live without someone or some object. Any doctor will tell you that actually sounds like a disease.
Atisha, a Buddhist monk in the 10th Century echoed what love really is:
“Love is the wish for others to be happy.”
Really? I disagree.
Merely wishing others to be happy, without taking tangible action to help them achieve happiness, is not love. It is mental masturbation. And delusional, if a person thinks that intending love makes up for their unloving actions.
Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts explores common convincer strategies for love. Chapman calls them love languages.
When someone gets plenty of convincing evidence they are loved — evidence that fits their convincer criteria — they feel loved and appreciated. In Chapman’s words, their “emotional gas tank” gets filled.
When people don’t get convincing evidence of love — or worse, when they get convincing evidence that they are not loved — their emotional gas tank gets depleted and they feel unloved, unappreciated… and often hurt, hostile, resentful, etc. This can happen even when they are receiving lots of love — because it’s in a form they don’t recognize as love.