Ah, romantic love; beautiful and intoxicating, heart-breaking and soul-crushing… often all at the same time! If romantic love has a purpose, neither science nor psychology has discovered it yet – but over the course of history, some of our most respected philosophers have put forward some intriguing theories. Skye C. Cleary outlines five of these philosophical perspectives on why we love.









  • intoxicating – exhilarating or exciting; alcoholic
  • wringer – something that causes pain, hardship; a machine for pressing out liquid
  • disguise – a mask, costume, or manner that disguises (= makes appear different from usual so as to be unrecognizable)
  • to regale – entertain (someone) with talk
  • longing – a feeling of wanting something or someone very much
  • voluptuous – relating to, characterized by, or consisting of pleasures of the body or senses
  • sorely – to a very high degree
  • tormented – experiencing intense pain especially mental pain
  • to perpetuate – to cause sth to continue; to keep going
  • drudgery – dull work
  • to quench – to put out, extinguish
  • affliction – great suffering
  • craving – an intense, urgent desire or longing
  • folly – foolishness
  • to infuse – to fill someone or something with an emotion or quality
  • exhilarating – making one feel very happy; thrilling
  • to soar – to rise high in the air

Answer the following questions:

Why do we fall in love?

Do you agree that love makes our lives meaningful?

What theory did Plato put forward?

What did Buddha propose?

What did Simone de Beauvoir mean by saying “Love lets us reach beyond ourselves”?

What infuses our lives with meaning according to the French philosopher?

How can we love better?

Which theory do you agree with the most?



Practice Makes Perfect

Match the words on the left with their synonyms on the right.


1. intoxicating a) badly
2. exhilarating
b) sensuous
3. drudgery
c)  to ascend
4. to soar
d) strong
5.  voluptuous
e) labour
6.  sorely
f) exciting

ANSWERS: 1d) 2f) 3e) 4c) 5b) 6a)



Have you ever fallen in love?

Do you think it is possible to love everyone?

How and why do people fall out of love?

Do you love to live or live to love?

What is the difference between love and being in love?

What is more important – to love or be loved?

Should you love yourself?

*What has been the most exhilarating moment of your life?

*Have you ever felt like you’ve been through the wringer?

*Have you ever been sorely mistaken?

*Do you agree that coming to work should be a pleasure, not a drudgery?

*Have you ever tried to disguise yourself?



Explore it more to create your own teaching-learning experience!

The world-renowned therapist reminds strivers that self love comes before success, not the other way around.