The common view that love is a feeling is, I think, quite misguided. Feelings come and go, while love is steady. Feelings are “passions” in the classic sense of ‘passion’ which shares a root with ‘passive’. They strike us largely unbidden. Love, in contrast, is something actively built. The passions suffered by teenagers and writers of romantic lyrics, felt so painfully, and often so temporarily, are not love – though in some cases they may be a prelude to it. Rather than a feeling, love is a way of structuring one’s values, goals, and reactions. One characteristic of it is a deep commitment to the good of the other for his or her own sake.
I found this to be a pretty interesting summary. I’m still mulling it over in my mind. I have to read it again, but I have this odd feeling that something is missing. Read the whole article, I mean. This quote is pretty good, but he has a bit about parental love being more pure and about what makes conjugal love impossible. I’m still mulling the implications of his conjectures over in my mind.