I certainly agree. Have you ever seen Putney and Putney's THE ADJUSTED AMERICAN: NORMAL NEUROSED IN THE INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETY, 1964 (Harper & Row)? They make your point about the substitution of needs and misinterpreting a certain gratification as love. It is perhaps more relevant today than it was 34 years ago.
Herbert Bonner, ON BEING MINDFUL OF MAN, 1965 (Houghton Mifflin) defines four characteristics of love as a creative encounter: Care (the act of concern), Responsibility (holding oneself accountable to the other person), Sacrifice (not an asking but a giving), and Faith (an unconditional belief that the other person has an unconditional belief in me). I may be doing it an injustice summarizing so briefly but the four aspects were Care, Responsibility, Sacrifice, and Faith. I have found this explanation helpful personally and with many clients who thoughtlessly speak of love. It often happens that individuals in a marriage don't even rate themselves well in all four areas and certainly don't rate their spouse highly in these areas. But, more importantly, prior to that explanation, most people never even thought about the qualities that might be a requisite for love.
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