Love, as a word, is thrown around in our Western culture, we claim that we choose to love or not to love, we claim that we can fall out of love and we even claim that we love material items such as cars.
I think that the first problem is simply a failure in the diversity in language, what do i mean by that you might wonder and rightly so. The English language is a somewhat strange language in that we tend to be lazy and only use one word for love but in the ancient greek language for example they have at least 4 words for love.
Eros – Spiritual, true and unconditional.
Agape – sensual or lust.
Philia – mental love, dispassionate.
Storge – Affectionate, as in for one’s family.
So as you can see when speaking with someone of such understanding someone could quite easily chose their love word wisely and appropriately. In English we are less fortunate.
Love is such a complicated word and I feel credits a varied assortment of words for its description such as:
Love for animals
love for a car
love for a video game
love for a lover
love for a friend
love for a parent
love for a bother
love for a sister
love for your child
love for the needy and frail
love for a sport or hobby
love for a location
The list can be very long with subtle differences but descriptively helpful. We often fill in the blanks with assumptions based on our own feelings of love towards something or someone or with an explanation of love based on the common norm for example if I said I love my car most people would be able to assume this meant as in a material possession or a mental love however this wouldn’t really help the person that had a strange fetish where they might feel eros love towards their car. In a case such as explaining your eros love for a car to another person it could get very long-winded and wordy as we use multiple words to describe something that we could have 1 word to describe such as eros “I eros my car” in this case we wouldn’t use the Greek and it is in this case that we would much need an English word to describe that love in dialogue with another English-speaking person.
With the birth of the digital age we will find a need more and more for multiple words as we type to people and message people rather than speak with them or we might find that where we are using less English such as LOL (Laugh out loud or lots of love) we find ourselves needing more words for things like love.
So, to refer to the subject of to love or not to love? this would all depend on the type of love you were referring to for example you might have just bought a new sofa and ask your wife if she loves it because you do and she might say no but might be meaning yes if by love you mean as a relative but by love she means like a car.
When asking if someone loves you and they respond yes we might want to double-check wheat they mean before we give them our heart for example a woman asks a man do you love me “agape” and he responds yes but means “eros” you are both on a different page in your relationship and where a woman might feel secure in sleeping with this man at this stage assuming he means “agape” she might never have slept with him if she knew he actually meant “eros”.
Peace and love!