How to Tell the Difference Between Attraction and Love

I received a very good question from one of my subscribers today, all about the difference between attraction and “love.”

It is a very good question, and deserves an in depth answer, below. Beware those peddling goods in the name of “love,” as you will find out when you read my answer.

“Hey John,

Since you talk about attraction and how we shouldn’t make decision based on attraction, what about love? Are love and attraction different?


~ Arjun

JA: Thanks for the email Arjun, it is a great question. Yes, certainly love and attraction are different things.

Attraction is a known quantity, love is more of an idea created by people with vastly different definitions. If attraction is science, love is philosophy.

You know when you experience attraction for a woman—it’s a physiological feeling, not just lust, but desire, longing, constant thinking about her, butterflies in the stomach, etc. Women experience the same emotion, perhaps even stronger and more intense.

Every human alive has experienced this, and it is a transient feeling, peaking and diminishing over time. Now, when you add the idea of “love” in there, that’s where things get tricky.

No one can really define what “love” is… People say it lasts forever, then declare themselves in love, only to leave months later stating they are no longer in love, not seeing the contradiction. They are quick to proclaim it because it makes them feel superior to other people, hence women showing off newly gotten rings, and feeling secretly smug when their friends relationships don’t work out.

The idea of love is also embellished and abused by the Marriage-Divorce Financial Complex, encouraging people to believe they are “in love” when they experience intense attraction, then hurrying them to make a legal arrangement replete with all the expenses. The divorce side of it is quick to assign blame to the other person, implying they “fooled” their spouse into believing they were truly “in love,” and for that crime, encouraging punishment via seizure of assets, most which wind up in the pocket of the lawyer.

No one can really define “love,”… for you except you. But a useful definition is what’s left after the attraction has faded completely. Do you still like that person, do you still enjoy your time with them, can you perpetuate an economic partnership and so on and so forth. Unromantic yes, but also lasting.

No word is more abused and misused than the word “love.” Everyone unquestioningly aspires to it, opening themselves up to those who use it to enrich themselves at your expense without delivering requisite value. On one hand it is a very manipulative word with dire consequences, on the other hand it can be a very useful word if you assign your own personal definition to it, and disregard those who arrive to relieve you of your possessions in the name of it.

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