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What is


Love is to will the good of the other.

Ok, but what does that mean?

“I love you.”


Imagine sincerely saying this to someone for the first time, and getting the response, “what do you mean?” In that moment, the stakes would be too high to pause for a calm, honest exploration of this question.


That’s why this site exists.

a person silhouetted on the horizon

God is love.

1 John 4:8

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Maybe the answer is obvious, though. Think of the far-reaching impact of sayings like “love is love”, “love is all you need”, and “love conquers all”. They’re practically cliches at this point. Even the phrase “what is love” itself is notable for being the title of a 90’s dance anthem, which everyone reading this has probably heard more times than they can count. If that’s the case, everyone must know what love means, and we shouldn’t need to ask.

And yet, if that were true, then there would be easy answers to further questions like:

For that matter we could even question those common sayings. Why does it need to be said that “love is love”? If the word means the same thing both times, isn’t that obvious? Or does the speaker mean two different things and feel compelled to connect the two? Is love really “all you need”? Probably, but how so? When someone says, “love conquers all”, what does “all” include? Usually, the implication is that love is more important than anything else we encounter, but there’s a second part of that quote that sheds more light on it. It comes from the Latin poet Virgil’s Eclogue 10:

omnia vincit Amor; et nos cedamus Amori

“love conquers all; let us too yield to love”

Love isn’t just something “out there” that overcomes whatever obstacles might get in our way. It’s a reality that challenges us at the deepest level of our being. “All” is supposed to include us too! If we’re going to let love conquer us, shouldn’t we have a better idea of what it is?

Love means more than the narrow notions that get tossed around in those sayings. Love means more than the ways we use it to make a point, as a means to some other end. Beyond our assumptions and motives and disagreements, just considering love for its own sake, what is it?

The purpose of this site is both to explore the answerlove is to will the good of the other—and to elaborate on the different aspects of that reality, starting with those three big questions. We recommend that you visit at least one of those before getting to more specific questions like, “is marriage a real union or only a social contract?”

The hope is that this will serve to uncover the beauty, goodness, and truth of love. Even if we fail, it’s worth spending time to dig deeper on this. Love is the ultimate reason we do anything else and it’s the only thing that makes human beings truly happy, or as someone else wrote long after Virgil, “the lightning made eternal as the light.”