Traditionally, when one says they are “in love,” this is what is being pointed to. They have found that special-someone to spend their lives with; or however long the feeling can sustain itself. For them, love really is walking in the park under the same umbrella, or saving for a special vacation. Thus, the first problem that arises out of this “Love is…”-view of living is that to set oneself up with such an expectation is to (statistically) set oneself up for failure. For in defining love in this way, we necessarily pit ourselves against one another to give us the love we need. Love has to be about the “Love is…” cartoons – it has to be about the walks on the beach, the strolls in the park, and the saving for a couple’s cruise. If it is not, then we do not have the love we are looking for.
But this is a dangerous prospect, for in defining our love by another, we become dependent on them. This is further why the other mainstream idea of love is just another set up for failure. For the other mainstream love – the “love of the game” – again attaches the lover to something material which then makes happiness contingent on that thing being there. Thus, when someone is so in love with a career, a job, a place (any material thing); once that thing passes (as all things do), the lover is thrown into a state of despair. The thing that defined them no longer exists.