Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it.

Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it.Thomas Fuller

Even our four legged friends know this quote. But then, they only have one definition for the word love, right?

Even our four legged friends know the meaning of this quote. But then, they only have one definition for the word love, right?

What does that mean?
This quote, in my mind, is about how someone who is in love reacts to both absence and pretense of their loved one. This quote helps me define who is, and who is not, truly in love.

The quote starts with the reaction in absence. The quote says this sharpens love, or helps you better understand exactly what it means to you. Some people do this, others allow their hearts to wander.

It concludes by considering what happens in the presence of their love. The quote says it strengthens the love, or helps make the bonds stronger and more durable. Some people do this, others just go through the motions.

By using this quote as a form of measuring stick, it can be a little easier to see if you (or your partner) are truly in love, or just in passion. There is a difference, as I imagine many of you know.

Why is understanding the word love important?  
English has basically one word for love. It has to cover from a buddy saying “I love you, man!” to love for an ideal, to love (or lust) of an individual, to the love of our fellow humans, to true and deep love of another.

That makes the word almost useless, as it could mean pretty much anything. How useful would it be if we had a word for a color, but it could be used to describe almost any color? Unfortunately, that is our state in the English language. I don’t know if all languages are similarly ill-equipped to specify love, but I surely hope not.

But that is why I believe it is important not to let ourselves be fooled by the simple words of love. Do they mean a spiritual love, or just a love of the flesh? Is it a long term love, or just for tonight? No matter what you are looking for, it would be nice to know with what you are dealing, right?

Where can I apply this in my life?
Take a moment and think about some of the loves you have had in your life. Not just romantic loves, but loves you had with concepts, foods, or celebrities. How different do those seem to you? Can you feel the difference between the different uses of the word love?

Does a physical love (or lust) follow the pattern of this quote? Do you understand it better when they are gone, and build it stronger when they are present? In my experience, generally not. At least not the same way a more spiritual love would.

This isn’t a discussion of values or the relative merits of the different flavors of love. It’s just an examination of the concept so that you might better be prepared next time someone uses the word. Ask yourself if it means the same to you as it does to them?

Could you be in a more spiritual love, and the other person in a more lustful love? You could be in that situation, and both people be using the exact same word to express very different feelings. How often do you think that works out?

Then someone walks out of a relationship, and there is much confusion. They may not realize that the other person was in a different kind of love, and not receiving what they felt they deserved, or what they needed. And both thought they were in love.

The quote is describing a certain type of love. I would call it a spiritual love. I would say that it applies to ideals and principles, such as the love of justice and freedom. Absence of these ideals and principles helps you better understand them, and their presence strengthens your love of them.

I would also apply this quote to an unrequited love, such as a love for all humanity or for a person. The term “unrequited love” refers to a love which is not given back. Books and movies are full of people who love, in a devotional way, another person.

Finally, in my mind, a true, deep, and spiritual love also qualifies. When they are gone, you think of the things which make your love real and they are present, you renew and strengthen the bonds of love. At least that’s the way it was for my wife and I the two times when we had to be apart for weeks at a time, do to employment circumstances.

What do you call love? Has your partner always used the word in the same manner or by the same definition? Do you love your fellow humans, or just like them a little? How do you use the word love? How much thought have you given it in the past? Will you take a few moments to think about it now?

From: Twitter, @Quotes_on_Love
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/thomasfull119116.html
Photo by glasseyes view


About philosiblog

I am a thinker, who is spending some time examining those short twitter quotes in greater detail on my blog.
This entry was posted in affection, caring, freedom, humanitarianism, justice, love and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it.

  1. supriya says:

    Need to thought about what is love and I am agree with you the thirst of love can only be fulfill when we able to understand it and spiritual love help us to do so.

    • philosiblog says:

      Yes, it is an interesting thing about which to think. I really hadn’t thought about it until some of my readers had posted questions which lead me in this direction (on a different quote). We all learn from each-other.

  2. Pingback: True love begins when nothing is looked for in return. | philosiblog

  3. Pingback: My heart is ever at your service. | philosiblog

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