Love | Strength | Signature Humanity 

Love | Strength | Signature Humanity 

 

Love 

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
— MLK

Love is the capacity to love and to be loved. It is valuing close relationships with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated; it is being close to people. The strength of love is characterized by a disposition to tend and befriend others. It is reflected in one’s thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. Love, as defined by the VIA classification, assumes the capacity for reciprocity. Thus, while unrequited love, a crush, hero worship, or being a fan can feel like love, each falls outside the parameter of this character strength because the feelings are in only one direction. Love is marked by the reciprocal sharing of warmth, comfort, and acceptance. It involves strong positive feelings, commitment, and often, sacrifices. We can experience different types of love: companion love or friendship, familial love, and romantic love. The capacity to experience all of these types of love, scientists believe, is rooted in early attachment. Patterns of secure attachment, established in infancy, show up decades later in romantic relationships.