Why Love Is Hard to Define

People have been trying to define love for centuries not so much because love is a hard word to define as much as because love is a hard experience to articulate. Those of us who have experienced profound moments of it can struggle for words that convey what we want to express. And why shouldn’t we struggle? Words are metaphors, or signifiers, and as such are imperfect. It’s only by accumulating more and more imperfect words that we can find overlap in their various accurate aspects, and through that overlap start to communicate by triangulation the essence of what we experience.

Of course, the true essence of love (or of anything else) cannot be conveyed in words, because signifiers by definition are not the thing they signify. Words can only point the way to something which must be experienced. Without that experience, no word has meaning. It’s only though sharing the experience of a thing that two people attach that experience to a word. So this blog does not seek to arrive at an indisputable definition of the word “love” or of any other word. Nor does it seek to definitively or completely describe what it is to experience love. Rather, it simply uses words to call attention to one person’s experience, to which that person (me) has decided to attach the word “love.” And I point toward this experience in the hopes that as many people as possible might come to share in it.

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