Upon reading Erich Fromm's The Art of Loving, I gained a better understanding of what love really is. Fromm's book puts love into perspective. He begins with several facts with regards to the attitude in which people treat love. They are the problems of how to be loved, the object to love as well as the confusion between the initial experience of falling in love and the permanent state of being in love, which had a great impact on me, as far as thinking about what love is.
Strangers meet, they break down social walls between one another, and they feel close, as one. They supposedly fell in love with one another, to Fromm, falling in love is not love, it's more infatuation. Fromm describes it as "one of the most exhilarating and most exciting experiences in life. Fromm argues that this initial infatuation feeling slowly and naturally loses it miraculous character overtime, as the couple gets more acquainted and learn more and more about each other. Fromm says that problem occurs when people confuse feelings of infatuation for proof of the intensity of their love. The feelings of infatuation eventually subside and the result is the wish for a new conquest, a new love with a new stranger. Again the stranger is transformed into the "intimate" person, and again the experience of falling in love is exhilarating and intense and it once again slowly becomes less and less and once again the cycle repeats itself. Fromm says that these illusions are greatly helped by the deceptive character of sexual desires. Sexual desire can be stimulated by the anxiety of being alone, the wish to conquer, vanity, or the wish to hurt or even destroy someone. Some people mistake sexual desire with the idea of love, they are easily misled to conclude that they love each other when they want each other physically. Fromm states that if a person's desire for physical union is not stimulated by love, and romantic love is also not coupled with other forms of love, it will never...
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