What is Love?

Ideal Love

The degree of pleasurable experiences in a love relationship increases along with:

  • The quantity of ingredients
  • The intensity of ingredients
  • The equal presence of all seven ingredients

These conditions allow for varying degrees of fulfillment. We feel dissatisfied when one or more ingredients is missing or only insufficiently present. Then we might start to desire to "fill in" real experiences with fantasized ones. This is why love for an object or a pet cannot rival love for a person, because only people have the cognitive abilities that can permit the most complex interactions. For example, a car cannot show loyalty and a pet cannot empower a person to reclaim a lost moral compass.

It is possible to think we are in love when one or more of the ingredients are missing. Then, to sustain the relationship, we fill the gap by fantasy or mindless acceptance. An example of fantasy would be to imagine that a loved one appreciates things we do even if she has said otherwise. An example of acceptance would be to settle for a loved one's inability to show affection as he once did, because he has become disabled.

When quantity, intensity and equal presence of love's seven ingredients are coupled with actual accepted experiences and the desire to continuously work on building a stronger relationship, then ideal love - or OMADAMO - has been achieved.