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爱学习   Love means that I know the person I love. I’m awareof the many sides of the other person----not justthe beautiful side but also the limitations,inconsistencies and flaws. I have an awareness ofthe other’s feelings and thoughts, and I experiencesomething of the core of that person. I canpenetrate social masks and roles and see the otherperson on a deeper level.


  Love means that I care about the welfare of the person I love. To the extent that it is genuine,my caring is not a smothering of the person or a possessive clinging. On the contrary, mycaring liberates both of us. If I care about you, I’m concerned about your growth, and I hopeyou will become all that you can become. Consequently, I don’t put up roadblocks to what youdo that enhances you as a person, even though it may result in my discomfort at times.


爱学习   Love means having respect for the dignity of the person I love. If I love you, I can see you as aseparate person, with your own values and thoughts and feelings, and I do not insist that yousurrender you identity and conform to an image of what I expect you to be for me. I canallow and encourage you to stand alone and to be who you are, and I avoid treating you asan object or using you primarily to gratify my own needs.

爱学习   爱意味着尊重我所爱的人的尊严。如果我爱你,我会把你看成是独立的个体,有自己的价值观、思想和感情,我不会坚持让你放弃自己的特性,使你变成一个我期望你成为的那种人。我会允许并鼓励你保持独立,坚持自己的特色,我会避免把你当作一件东西对待或用你来主要满足我自身的需要。

  Love means having a responsibility toward the person I love. If I love you, I’m responsive tomost of your major needs as a person. This responsibility does not entail my doing for youwhat you are capable of doing for yourself; nor does it mean that I run your life for you. Itdoes imply acknowledging that what I am and what I do affects you, so that I am directlyinvolved in your happiness and your misery. A lover does have the capacity to hurt or neglectthe loved one, and in this sense I see that love entails and acceptance of some responsibilityfor the impact my way of being has on you.


  Love means growth for both myself and the person I love. If I love you, I am growing as aresult of my love. You are a stimulant for me to become more fully what I might become, andmy loving enhances your being as well. We each grow as a result of caring and being cared for;we each share in an enriching experience that does not detract form our being.


爱学习   Love means making a commitment to the person I love. This commitment does not entailsurrendering our total selves to each other; nor does it imply that the relationship isnecessarily permanent. It does entail a willingness to stay with each other in times of pain,uncertainty, struggle, and despair, as well as in times of calm and enjoyment.


  Love means trusting the person I love. If I love you, I trust that you will accept my caring andmy love and that you won’t deliberately hurt me. I trust that you will find me lovable and thatyou won’t abandon me; I trust the reciprocal nature of our love. If we trust each other, we arewilling to be open to each other and can shed masks and pretenses and reveal our trueselves.

爱学习   爱意味着相信我所爱的人。如果我爱你,我会相信你将接受我的关心与爱意,我会相信你不会故意把我伤害,我会相信你终将发现我的可爱之处,我会相信你不会把我弃于不顾;我会相信我们是相爱的。如果我们彼此信任,我们就愿意敞开心扉,摘下面具,去掉伪装,显示我们真实的自我。

爱学习   Love can tolerate imperfection. In a love relationship there are times of boredom, times whenI may feel like giving up, times of real strain, and times I experience an impasse. Authentic lovedoes not imply enduring happiness. I can stay during rough times, however, because I canremember what we had together in the past, and I can picture what we will have together in ourfuture if we care enough to face our problems and work them through. We agree with ReverendMaier when he writes that love is a spirit that changes life. Love is a way of life that is creativeand that transforms. However, Maier does not view love as being reserved for a perfect world. ”Love is meant for our imperfect world where things go wrong. Love is meant to be a spirit thatworks in painful situations. Love is meant to bring meaning into life where nonsense appears toreign.” In other words, love comes into an imperfect world to make it livable.


  Love is freeing. Love is freely given, not doled out on demand. At the same time, my love foryou is not dependent on whether you fulfill my expectations of you. Authentic love does notimply “I’ll love you when you become perfect or when you become what I expect you tobecome.” Authentic love is not given with strings attached. There is an unconditional qualityabout love.


  Love is expansive. If I love you, I encourage you to reach out and develop other relationships.Although our love for each other and our commitment to each other might bar certain actionson our parts, we are not totally and exclusively wedded to each other. It is a pseudolove thatcements one person to another in such a way that he or she is not given room to grow. Caseyand Vanceburg put this notion well:


爱学习   The honest evidence of our love is our commitment to encouraging another’s fulldevelopment. We are interdependent personalities who need one another’s presence in orderto fulfill our destiny. And yet, we are also separate individuals. We must come to terms withour struggles alone.


  Love means having a want for the person I love without having a need for that person in orderto be complete. If I am nothing without you, then I’m not really free to love you. I love you andyou leave, I’ll experience a loss and be sad and lonely, but I’ll still be able to survive. If I am notfree to challenge our relationship; nor am I free to challenge and confront you. Because ofmy fear of losing you, I’ll settle for less than I want, and this settling will surely lead to feelingsof resentment.


  Love means identifying with the person I love. If I love you, I can empathize with you and seethe world through your eyes. I can identify with you and see the world through your eyes. Ican identify with you because I’m able to see myself in you and you in me. This closeness doesnot imply a continual “togetherness,” for distance and separation are sometimes essential ina loving relationship. Distance and can intensify a loving bond, and it can help us rediscoverourselves, so that we are able to meet each other in a new way.

爱学习   爱意味着理解所爱的人。如果我爱你,我就能与你有同样的情感,我就能通过你的眼睛去看这世界。我理解你是因为我能够在你身上看到我自己,并在我自己身上看到你。这种亲密无间并不意味着持续地呆在一起,有时候,距离和分别对于相爱同样是必要的。距离会加强爱的联系,会有助于我们重现认识自己,使我们可以以新的方式面对对方。

  Love means selfish. I can only love you if I genuinely love, value, appreciate, and respectmyself. If I am empty, then all I can give you is my emptiness. If I feel that I’m complete andworthwhile in myself, then I’m able to give to you out of my fullness. One of the best ways forme to give you love is by fully enjoying myself with you.

爱学习   爱中充满了自我。只有我能真正地爱着自己,珍视自己,欣赏自己,尊重自己,我才能爱你。如果我生活空虚,那么我能给予你的只能是我的空虚。如果我感到自己是完整的,有价值的,那么我就能让你分享我的充实。给予我对你的爱,最好的方式就是和你在一起充分享受我的一切。

  Love involves seeing the potential within the person we love. In my love for another, I view heror him as the person she or he can become, while still accepting who and what the person isnow. Goethe’s observation is relevant here: by taking people as they are, we make themworse, but by treating them as if they already were what they ought to be, we help make thembetter.


爱学习   We conclude this discussion of the meanings that authentic love has for us by sharing athought from Fromm’s The Art of Loving (1956). His description of mature love sums up theessential characteristics of authentic love quite well:

爱学习   我们把弗罗姆在《爱的艺术》里阐述的一个观点介绍给大家,以此来结束我们对真爱含义的论述。他对成熟的爱的归纳极好地总结了真爱的基本特征:

爱学习   Mature love is union under the condition of preserving one’s integrity, one’s individuality. Inlove this paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two.


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