Love is properly defined as committing to do the best for someone.
There are lots of silly and stupid definitions for love. All of them are wrong unless it matches this one.
Love is not a feeling. It is not a state of mind. It is not a desire. It is not a tingly sensation in the loins. It is not affection. It is not an expression. It is not an action by itself. It is not even a habit or an attitude.
Love is a commitment, a solemn promise carried out, to do the best for someone. You can love strangers just as well as you can love your spouse or even yourself. You can love briefly or for a lifetime. The amount and type of love shown will differ in each case, but there's no special qualifier or condition required to love.
Just wanting to show love is not love. Love is only love when it is acted out.
On the other hand, an action alone is not love either, just a deed. Without commitment, an action lacks the intention to do what's best and the follow through to make sure it is best.
The hard part is figuring out what "do the best" means.
Copyright © 2016 Sterling Hanenkamp.