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What is True Love? Is True Love a Choice?

Updated on March 21, 2013
"Choose your love, love your choice." Thomas S. Monson - How does our view of true love change when we look at it as a choice?
"Choose your love, love your choice." Thomas S. Monson - How does our view of true love change when we look at it as a choice?

In the search for True Love, how does it change the way we experience True Love if we look at it as a Choice. Something we have chosen for ourselves and not something fate has dictated?

If you have come from my article “Defining what exactly is True Love”, it ended with the statement ‘Love is a choice’. The article also states you need to be your own first true love. Now, we don’t lock eyes with ourselves in the mirror and instantly fall in love. Most of us struggle with this concept and we go in search of love in many places all the while disliking or even hating ourselves. Going looking for love when we don’t have a good sense of our own value leads us to settle and have substandard relationships in which we are unhappy, and in turn confirm our thought we aren’t worth much at all. There is a difference between staring in the mirror at ourselves all day loving the view (narcissism when self-love goes viral) and a healthy love of ourselves.

“Choose your love, love your choice” by Thomas S. Monson.

Love is a choice even when the sparks fly from the first moment you lock eyes with some mysterious stranger across the room, you choose whether or not to go over and talk to them. Feelings are nice and are a part of the experience of love, but it is not start and the end. There are many choices along the way. For example when you feel attracted to somebody as an awkward teenager unable to express yourself appropriately you may have antagonized or annoyed the object of your affection, as you grew up you realized this was ineffective and learnt how to express yourself better, this was a choice.

Every day we make choices to have the most amazing love ever or take each other for granted, treat each other badly and move in different directions.

The feelings don’t remain constant particularly in the monotony of everyday life; we have to actively to show and express love to remind the feelings to resurface. Your action or inaction is within your control to your happiness.

Stop simplifying love and associating only with physicality

“It is difficult for some people to accept that love is a choice. This seems to run counter to the generally accepted theory of romantic love which expounds that love is inborn and as such requires no more than to accept it.” Leo F. Buscaglia

It is indicative of our society’s search for easy, quick and guaranteed - we look to apply this to love as well, because it is simpler to chalk love up to fate. Love is more dynamic than this and needs care just like anything else, and yes, the ‘W’ word is necessary – Work. Let’s face it if we don’t work for it we don’t appreciate it.

You can practice expressing love to yourself, your friends and family. Somewhere along the line, we have confused love, positive unconditional regard with a physical encounter we love.

Don’t get me wrong sex is an important part of healthy romantic relationship, but love is more than just sex. You probably know you can have sex without love. Most people seem to have forgotten you can have love without sex.

There are more types of love than just romantic love.

Love is something we should love choosing:

Have you seen the story about the wife who asked her husband to carry from the bedroom to front door for thirty days and how it brought them closer? This may be an awkward experience in your relationship and isn’t the action for improving your relationship or rekindling the love.

It can be as simple as choosing to spend time with the person you want to feel loved, this works for everyone from Grandparents to your lover. To choose to really listen, take note, get to know them really well. Physical contact doesn’t have to be sexual, and sometimes it is really appreciate to have contact, which requests nothing. Whether you cook a meal or go out sharing a meal is really special.

Love is doing the best thing possible for the people in your life and making choices to display true love.

Actively choosing to love may seem easy for some possibly because they have been practicing it for a long time. Learning to love truly madly deeply for others may take time to develop for whatever reason, however if you are having a hard time loving, start by loving yourself.

When we consider love is a choice, with associated feelings of euphoria we then are able to stimulate the falling in love experience by doing romantic things for our lover and we have greater control over the love we give and receive. Also by stepping up our treatment of all of the people who are close to us by loving them in the way listed under Agape, in this link we will have better relationships all around.

Even though love is a choice, this does not mean sexual orientation is a choice.

If love is a choice, why do I find it so hard to stop loving and why does it hurt so much to try.


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    • Karmallama profile image

      Doreen Lucky 4 years ago from St. Paul, minnesota

      Very Nice! It is very good that people are sending the message of the importance of putting effort into love. Voted up!

    • Abbasangel profile image

      Abbasangel 4 years ago from Australia - The land down under

      Thanks Prospectboy, it is a topic which creates mixed feelings, however I believe there is a difference between attraction and love. I am glad it got you thinking!

    • prospectboy profile image

      Bradrick H. 4 years ago from Texas

      I kinda have mixed feelings about this topic. Part of me kinda feels like we can't help who we love, but part of me also feels that we choose whether or not to pursue anything with them. I think it's possible to love someone who isn't right for you, which means that you'll be loving someone that you most likely won't be with. Love is a very complicated thing, and it's hard to comprehend at times. You make a lot of valid and intriguing points in this hub. I definitely enjoyed reading it. Voted up, and rated interesting.

    • Abbasangel profile image

      Abbasangel 4 years ago from Australia - The land down under

      Yes, 'easy' is definitely something we value as people, which is sad because we miss out on the depth of the experience of love and many other experiences or successes because it was too much effort. Whilst I don't think it takes much effort at the start of a relationship with all those hormones from attraction and "falling in love" feelings, we don't think we should ever have to work at it. Thanks Hrymel!

    • hrymel profile image

      Haley 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I think your point that work is important for love is a really important one. Staying in love requires work, commitment and sacrifice, and a lot of people seem to be ignoring that and calling it quits as soon as "love" isn't easy.

    • Abbasangel profile image

      Abbasangel 4 years ago from Australia - The land down under

      So true Lisa! It takes time to know ourselves, but it is worth while to get the love we need and deserve!! Thanks for dropping by!

    • LisaMarie724 profile image

      Lisa Stover 4 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      I do believe that you can choose who you love, although it is hard. A lot of people get other feelings mixed up thinking that it is love when it's not. When you are mature and know yourself well you will be able to choose the type of people that you fall in love with.

    • Abbasangel profile image

      Abbasangel 4 years ago from Australia - The land down under

      Thanks dashingscorpio for your in depth comment! You have hit the nail on the head with regards to love, my other article "defining what exactly is true love" covers a the part about loving yourself and what true love should look like. I can see have you have already started thinking about what happens when love hurts... Yes, I think age can be a factor, particularly as you say when at those ages we don't know ourselves very well at all. I think it would be an amazingly romantic story to have met the person we will love forever at such a tender age, particularly if it can make it to their 80's. I don't however, think it is a reasonable expectation, for some reason though there is such an emphasis to have somebody else's approval. It would be great if we could learn to love ourselves so we are ready to love give and receive love. Your discussion about betrayal and all is something I am going to explore next, I hope you stay tuned to see how it comes across. I would love your feedback!

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 4 years ago

      Each of (chooses) our own friends, lovers, and spouse. Therefore the answer is (yes) we choose to open up our hearts to people by choosing to invest time getting to know them and allowing them to get to know us.

      There are countless reasons why people choose not to love including fear of being hurt, or not loved back in return, they've been cheated on or betrayed in the past, or they're simply too young to make a serious emotional commitment. Males tend to recognize this more than females.

      Many years ago when I was in Jr. high school a 13 year old girl attempted suicide because her 14 year old boyfriend broke up with her to start dating the "new girl" at the school. Clearly this is an example of someone (too young) to be so emotionally committed to another person. Needless to say the boy was also too young to be held responsible for her welfare. Should he be labeled a "cheater" or "dog"? Should a 13 year old girl believe she has found her "soul-mate"? That life isn't worth living without him? I suspect most people would answer "no". Even at ages 17-25 people often fail to see the "big picture" when it comes to loving someone. In the words of the old Whitney Houston song; "The Greatest Love of All is Learning to Love Yourself". If one has yet to learn to do that then they are likely to place too much emphasis on the importance of having someone to love in order to validate their own worth. Make sure you are "ready" to love before you (choose) to love.