What is Love Really?

“Love” is a wonderful word with so many potential meanings, that can be combined with the hope of a future of connected happiness, harmony and passion with a significant someone who you believe has your best interests at heart. Not just your lover, but your best friend too.

So if a couple gets into trouble and the future looks very unstable how can the couple claim to still love each other?

Some couples in this situation may even say “I love you, but I’m not in love with you!” is that really possible or is that a smart get out clause.

What does this magical word “Love” really mean?

I remember being with a group of women who wanted to have a session to collectively ask me questions about relationships.

Inevitably the concept of “love” came up. I asked the group “… if they discovered that their version of love was different to their partners how would they feel?” You could have heard a pin drop as they searched for what that could mean to them.

More interesting was this, even through they were uncomfortable if the meanings were different when challenged to their meaning of “love” no clear definition was expressed.

So it seems we are happy to use a word like “love” and never really understand it and that’s OK, until is isn’t.

Love in the beginning

Of course when we are passionately drawn to our partners in the early day of our relationships, who wants to analyze what’s going on within us, we are too busy wanting to get more of those amazing feelings.

We only start to really question how we feel either when, either things go wrong, or when we are deciding if a life long commitment to our partners will bring us the happiness we desire.

Lets get really clear on “Love” and where it comes from.

Love is a feeling, it is created within us in response to the outside world. So if someone is consistently committing to fulfill our needs we love how we feel within ourselves and we attach those feelings to our partners. The attachment is called an anchor.


The love we feel is therefore created by us, what we then do is become addicted to those amazing feelings and attach/anchor them to our partners. Whenever we see, hear or feel our partners the trigger is released and love becomes an automatic feeling. This is how we can love our partner even when we don’t like them in the moment.

If our partner then decided to leave us we assume our love is potentially going forever, but the truth is the love is still within us, it is just the “trigger” we’ve created for love (i.e. our partner) that has gone.

This is why new getting new partners fast seems to magically dissolve painful feelings as they create a new trigger for love and hope for the future. Of course this is not the best reason to enter a new committed relationship, but many do, and is why many second marriages don’t work especially if they are entered into too quickly.

Couples in trouble

In many cases that come to see me where the couple are in trouble, they don’t love how they feel about themselves when they are with their partners at that moment and probably months, or years preceding my help, but the trigger/anchor is so powerful it can still be strong enough to create the illusion the love is still there in some way, or creates the hope it may come back.

Of course that illusion is what helps to keep the couple together and do all they can to resolve their differences.

Individuals leave relationships when the fear of the love not being the way they want it to be becomes greater than the trigger to love they created for their partner.

This is why meeting each others needs in a relationship is critical and punishment and judgement is far too destructive and weakens the triggers.


In other words your partner is a trigger (that you created) to creating feelings of love within you. Just imagine how powerful that trigger is if you have been married for many years and then they decide to go. The confusion can be very powerful and very scary and is for many.

Their lives can feel over, but this is far from reality if they knew the truth.

About Stephen Hedger

International relationship expert Stephen Hedger's philosophy on relationship problems is this: Couples fail to understand their relationships because they are too focused on their problems and so they totally miss what created them. Stephen's approach is a refreshing and enlightening journey that helps couples uncover their truth. His strategies uncover the knowledge that all couples need to create a successful and lasting passionate connection. If you are in crisis and you need help, book an initial consultation today to get your life back on track.