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PHENOMENOLOGY OF HUMAN LOVE

Pius G. Morados
What is LOVE?
ROMANCE Many of us have the tendency to equate love with romance.
POSSESSION Love is an act of possessing or being by another person. People
fight and struggle in the name of love. I love you has come to mean You are
mine and I want you to do the things I want, I want you to be what I want you to
be. Or else, it has come to mean I am yours, and you can do whatever you want
to me.
INFATUATION Love is to be attracted to the good qualities of the other. Love is
blind, and lovers do not see. Love has been equated with admiration.
SEX Love has become synonymous with sex for many young people. To love
another means to be passionately attracted to her and to bring her to bed with
me.
Love is a many-splendored thing. There are many viewpoints and aspects of
love. Let us take one of the most human and true-to-life viewpoints an
experiential or phenomenological description of the experience of unselfish love
and then only can we arrive at the realistic meaning or philosophy of love.
Love is an activity of giving, the disinterested giving of self to the other person
whereby I enhance the others unique value and in so doing enrich my own.
A Phenomenology of Love
The experience of love begins from the experience of loneliness. The experience
of loneliness is basically a human experience.
Loneliness ends when one finds or is found by another in what we call a loving
encounter. (Love at first sight)
The LOVING ENCOUNTER is a meeting of persons. The meeting of persons is not
simply bumping into each other, nor is it simply an exchange of pleasant
remarks, though these could be embodiments of a deeper meeting. The deeper
meeting here in love happens when two persons or more who are free to be
themselves choose to share themselves. Love is a CHOICE. Loving is a DECISION.
Love is more than a feeling, its a choice.
THE APPEAL OF THE OTHER is not his corporeal or spiritual attractive qualities. I
can conceptualize the other into a list of beautiful qualities (which I myself may
lack) but they can only at best give rise to enamoredness, a desire to be with the
other. But once the qualities cease to be attractive, love also ceases. Love is
more than mere infatuation, more than mere liking such and such qualities of the
other. The other person is more than his qualities, more than what I can
conceptualize of him. And love is the experience of this depth and mystery of the
other and the firm will to be with her.
Nor is the appeal of the other an explicit request.

The appeal of the other is herself. The other in her otherness is herself a request.
The appeal of the other is the call to participate in her subjectivity, to be with
and for her.
Because of you, I understand the meaninglessness of my egoism. Perhaps, I am
not meant to be alone, perhaps I can only be truly myself with you.
WHAT THEN IS MY REPLY?
Since the appeal of the other is not his quality or an explicit request, it follows
that my response cannot be an outpouring of my qualities to the other or the
satisfaction of his request. Compatibility is not necessarily love. Neither is
submission necessarily love. Sometimes refusing the request of the other may be
the only way of loving the person in a situation, if satisfying it would bring harm
to the person.
If the appeal of the other is herself, then the appropriate response of that appeal
is MYSELF.
His appeal then to me means an invitation to will his subjectivity, to consent,
accept, support and share his freedom. Love means willing the others free
self-realization, his destiny, his happiness. When I love the other, I am saying I
want you to become what you want to be, I want you to realize your happiness
freely.
THE CREATIVITY OF LOVE
Madaling maging tao sa pagmamahal. Subalit mahirap ang pagpapakatao sa
pagmamahal.
Love is creative. Love creates a new person, either in myself or in the other. Each
of us is created, molded and remolded by those who loves us. But it is difficult
and takes time to get to know the real person, the person behind the mascara
(mask). We often appear what we are not. When a guy is courting a girl, he
always has his best foot forward; but once married, the real guy surfaces. Love
is full of surprises or can be a real eye opener. Love creates a new you this is
the you-for-whom-I-care which cannot be discovered by scientific inquiry. This
new you can only be discovered by one who loves.
Love is becoming. Love is the acceptance of the other as the other makes the
other become. By love I create a new meaning for the other. But love is
reciprocal. In making the other be, he also makes me be. An appeal of love
from another makes me discover a new me, who I really am and who I can
become. We see ourselves better in others; they mirror the real me. What I am
and the meaning of my life depends very much on others. We need one another
to become human, to become new persons. People who need people are the
luckiest people in the world.
Love gives meaning. Up to the point of our lives, others (parents, family,
teachers, classmates, friends) have given meaning to our lives. We begin to love
when we begin to give meaning to the lives of others. This is what it means to
be loved, to become a new person. What does the other make me when he
loves me? He simply makes me become; he gives meaning to my life.
Love creates a unity. Love creates a new you and I a we. The other makes
me authentically myself and I make the other authentically the other. What a
boring and dull world this would be, if everybody was like me. The we that is
created in love is the union of persons and their worlds.
A Philosophy of Love
THE REALISM OF LOVE

It is very important to love a person from the inside, not merely from the outside,
to love the real person behind the appearances. What is the difference
between knowing and loving? I know her could mean I have an objective
and impersonal information about the UP girl, e.g., five feet two, lives in Quezon
City, has an IQ of 110, is taking AB or Mass Comm. I love her means I know her
subjectively and personally as a person either because she is my sister, my
good friend or my girlfriend. However, to really know is to love and to love
is to really know another as a subject or person.
Many fall in love with an IDEA rather than with a PERSON; they fall in love with a
dream or an ideal girl rather than a real girl. Falling in love with love is
falling for make believe. The so-called ideal boy or girl simply does not exist,
but each one of us can make that ideal person become because love is
creative. No two people are ever compatible to begin with; they have to
become compatible and often enough this is the task of a lifetime.
CHARACTERISTIC OF LOVE
1. Love is the gift of self. Love is a giving, a giving of the best, the giving of the
self to the other. One of the highest expressions of a life of giving and a giving of
life is in the case of married love. It is better to give than to receive this is the
paradox of love. It is only in enhancing the others unique value that I enrich my
own value; it is only in fulfilling the other as a person that I fulfill and realize
myself as a person.
It if better to give than to receive, not because giving is difficult but it is a joy.
When I give myself, it is the highest expression of what I can become, of my
power to love. Whatever goodness is in me be it my time, advice, talent,
patience, a word of encouragement is truly valuable because somebody needs
my love. Paradoxically, it is in giving that we receive.
If someone believes in me and trusts in me, I try to live up to her faith and trust
and will try never to hurt, disappoint or fail her.
2. Love grows and should grow. Love must not be taken for granted. Just as one
can fall in love, so too she can fall out of love. And when love dies, it is difficult to
resurrect it. The relationship between an unfaithful husband and a faithful wife
can never be the same again. Hurt or wounded love takes time to heal and
sometimes it never heals. Ones love should deepen over the years. The I do of
a married couple is different from the I do when they became a lolo and lola.
They have gone trough a lot but their love for one another has never died. For
somebody who mean a lot to us, we must continually make the effort to know
the other. If our love grows cold and dies, someone too will die. We are
responsible for those whom we love. It is the number of years that I have
wasted on my rose that makes it so unique and important. (The Little Prince).
Winning the girl is not the accomplishment, but keeping her is.
3. Love is shown by deeds rather than words. Love is not only saying it, it is
DOING it. Love is effective, it takes actions (Action speaks louder than words.) I
will her bodily being and consequently her world. Love is inseparable from care,
from labor. To love the other is to labor for that love, to care for her body, her
world, her total well-being.
If love is not to become domination, it must be balanced by a certain RESPECT,
respect for the uniqueness and otherness of the other. Accepting the person as
she is, different from myself. Respect also means being patient.

4. Love is creative. Love creates the lover. If I love a person, I am never the same
again. I change. Love also creates the beloved. Although he knows me from
within, even the worst of me, he still loves me. I must be good and therefore can
become better.
5. Love is mutual or reciprocal. How can I love the other unless he has already
begun to love me. Love is an appeal. How is it possible that I can love a person
very much and yet that person does not love me as much? This is the mystery of
freedom and love. Love cannot be forced or bought; possessed or dominated; it
can only be given freely.
There is no shop in the world that sells love Manuel Dy
Reference:A Phenomenology of Love by Manuel Dy S.J.
Human Love by Vitaliano Gorospe S.J.