The idea has been proposed to me that love is an addiction. The argument is that love, like any other drug, is not desired so strongly until it is encountered . . . experienced. Before that it seems that we don’t know what we’re missing out on. It has been said that we cannot live without it, that the craving is innate and insatiable. We are always hungry for more . . .
Perhaps it is important to first indicate what constitutes an addiction. An addiction creates physical or psychological dependence. An addiction is never satisfied, there is always room for more. An addiction is destructive, breaking us down, eating away at who we are, inside and out. An addiction is compulsive and may have an illusory appearance to the addicted. Finally, in most cases, an addiction can be overcome.
Love. What is it? Too broad a topic to cover so briefly, love is not something to be subjected to analysis. Still, I must try, for my own sake, to disprove the opinion so casually thrust under my nose. Thus I begin by stating that love is not requisite for life. I do believe that love is essential for life in any positive sense, but life itself is not love-based in any logical sense. I feel almost blasphemous saying this, but I am inclined to appeal to the logical individual who may or may not believe in the existence of love as I know it.
I do believe that I can immediately dismiss the thought that love is not desired so strongly as when it is first encountered. Perhaps my impromptu debating partner was considering also the sexual implications of love, but I would dismiss these immediately as irrelevant to the context of true love. Certainly sexual behavior is made more prominent when such behavior is encouraged or rewarded, but love is in and of itself not instigated by any actions that lie outside an individual’s mind. If it were so, then love it would not be.
That said, love fills us up, as it were, to overflowing. A person cannot be loved too much, but this does not mean that they are never satisfied. Truly loving someone or truly desiring that sort of love is not based on any requisite amount of love. Love cannot be weighed by such trivial human measurements or other jargon. To say that is to trivialize what love truly is.
Another facet of this argument is the destructive nature of an addiction. I have no doubt that there are many who would clamor in vain that love has ruined their lives, destroyed friendships, exhausted their opportunities, and addled their brains. They are wrong. It is not love, but the abuse of relationships that causes such calamity, for love is by nature perfect, and not subject to moral shortcomings.
There are still other parts of this argument I have not addressed. Is love a compulsion? Most certainly, innate is our need to strive for love and esteem from others. Are those who love the subject of deceit, with no real accuracy in their perception of the world? Who is to say that they are inaccurate at all? To whom does the world report? Who will challenge the reality of the universe and say “this is so”? Love is, in my humble opinion, not the ignorance of faults, but the ignoring of those faults. Therefore, it follows that love does not require accurate perception of the world in order to exist, but that does not mean it clouds the judgments of those who were already cynical.
The final aspect of addiction is the overcoming of said addiction. The reason I added in this unusual clause is to use a sort of converse logic. If an addiction does not exist, it cannot be overcome, therefore: if an addiction cannot be overcome, then it is not an addiction – it is a need. Needs need to be filled. Love . . . is it a need?
Who am I to say?