Love is not just a four lettered word. Love is how we define social construct of family and lovers. We love our friends, and we love our family. However, love contains infinite meanings and significance. We love our friends and our family, but we don’t love them in the same way. So how do we love? Ted Talk Radio Hour decided to take this on in How We Love by inviting experts like Amy Webb, and Jeff Kluger to talk about these different aspects of our love and how we express it.
The show opens up with Amy Webb recounting her dive into the world of online dating while she was single. So she set out on the journey to hack the online dating profile algorithm. She had a list of characteristics or qualities she was looking for in a husband and valued them based on the importance to her. This list showed her expectations she had for the relationship and love she had for her future husband. This closely relates to the topic of how we view our view our spouse’s role in our lives by Esther Perel.
In today’s society, we expect those that we love to be our spouses, our best friend, our sense of purpose, and so on. However, we don’t treat our spouses like we do our best friend. When these expectations are not met, it affects how we show our love. It may start arguments or cause us to seek help from couple therapists so we can reset our thinking and figure out how to show our love in a way that communicates to our partner. However, the love we show our family is severely different than any other.
Take a look at the bond we have with our siblings. We loving torture our siblings and they do the same to us. Jeff Kluger tells the story of locking his younger brother in a utility closet to protect him from the wrath of their father. In the world outside our family, we would never do that to our spouses or friends but we do it with the people we grow up with. Now, look at the bond we share with our fathers and mothers. They push us to do better. They ask for us to be better people. Their love comes out in the way they raise us and help us develop. This bond of love helps develop our love map later in life. So why does the different ways we show love matter?
For me, love is one of the key principles that makes us human. I may love each person different due to my personal connection to them, but it doesn’t change the emotional principle behind my actions are the same. It is my connection to you that defines what actions I will take on this emotion. We develop our love maps and ideas of love around the love shown to us and our expectations of it. Love can be confusing and our actions around it even more so. However, we all show our love in numerous ways for numerous reasons.