Love is a widely misused and misunderstood topic. Here I give my perspective in contrast to a popular dictionary definition. This is not a condemnation of existing relationships and/or agreements. It is merely to give contextual perspective so that others may see/realize/understand/decide for themselves in self-honesty.
Merriam-Webster Simple Definition - http://www.merriam-webster.com/
a) a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person
b) attraction that includes sexual desire : the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship
c) a person you love in a romantic way
a) We can see that in the first definition, Love is clearly stated as a 'feeling', thus in this context, it is limited to how one 'feels' at any given time, based on ones predetermined idea of what this 'feeling' (and/or emotions or chemical and biological reactions) ought to produce within our life experience.
If we introspect ourselves within a relationship experience, we will notice that this Love 'feeling' is only there when we allow it to be activated within us. If we change our focus to some form of work for example, the feeling diminishes completely, thus the feeling of Love is not real, as it must be continually re-created.
In this sense, Love is not an unconditional expression of self, but rather a temporary energetic reaction (feeling) that is actually a manifestation of the unconscious fears of exclusion, suffering (mental, physical, or both through financial instability), and death. There exists also the fear of being judged as 'less than' by self/others if one were to undertake the process of learning to stand for Life in self-honesty. Conversely there may likely exist the desire to be admired by others (or to think oneself) 'better than' others because one creates a mental relationship identity/title/self-definition in separation, which compliments the current societal norms, and thus is an attempt to compensate for lack of self-responsibility, self-forgiveness, and self-acceptance.
b) The second dictionary definition offers attraction, sexual desire, and romance as justifications for Love.
i) Attraction - No specific physical force or definition is stated. If it is electromagnetic in nature, then it can be measured, and consequently manufactured, which would refute all ideas of Love being lasting or real, as it could be produced by a simple machine. Is Love then just a machine? Are we a machine?
We are left to assume that attraction must be some unknown form of 'magical', 'mysterious' or 'otherworldly' power that manifests itself within the Love experience, and thus creates the idea that attraction is above all common sense and understanding. This would indicate that (attraction) Love is 'better than' Life itself - and as such, above all reproach, which is clearly unacceptable, as this type of justification provides many avenues for abuse, as 'the unknown' force of attraction may at any time be deferred blame for any irresponsibility that may occur within (or without) a relationship or agreement.
ii) Sexual desire - Sexual desire can be violent in nature, demeaning, and/or degrading to one or both parties involved. Any desire which does not have the best interest of All Life as its starting point, is based in self-interest, and therefore does not promote equal expression, but rather the overpowering of one expression over the other as a master/slave relationship. If a couple were to procreate for the purpose of creating what is Best for All Life, there need not be any sexual desire in separation from that objective, as the point is as one continuous movement as self-expression in doing what is necessary to be done to support Life.
iii) Romance - We can see from this description that romance is for the most part based on fantasy, imagination, or a memory of a past story or era, where strong emotion was a dynamic factor within the experience.
Merriam-Webster Definition of romance - http://www.merriam-webster.com/
a : a medieval tale based on legend, chivalric love and adventure, or the supernatural : a prose narrative treating imaginary characters involved in events remote in time or place and usually heroic, adventurous, or mysterious: a love story especially in the form of a novel
b : a class of such literature
: something (as an extravagant story or account) that lacks basis in fact
c: an emotional attraction or aura belonging to an especially heroic era, adventure, or activity
c) If we direct feelings of Love toward a person (in a romantic way or otherwise) these feelings do not actually do anything practical that will change ourselves or our world - because our starting point is self interest, in the hope we will do something good, and the hope that we will be loved in return, thus directed feelings are not physically caring for the needs of others (or ourselves) but self interest, and self dishonesty.
Redefinition of Love
If Love is to be Real, then Love must be Equal to Life, as Love cannot exist without Life, and Life cannot exist without Equality.
As long as we are enslaved to systems, we are not Life or Living, we are merely Existing, Suffering, and Dying - Therefore Love in separation from Life is a Deception, and not Real - because we have not yet fully stood for Life, as Equality, as Creating ourselves as that which is Best for All Life. This can be accomplished through the physical acts of Consideration, Caring, and Giving as we ourselves would like to Receive.
In order to align ourselves within the process of creating ourselves as Life, we must constantly and consistently apply the virtues of Self Honesty, Self Forgiveness, Compassion, Humility, Appreciation, Understanding, and Courage, through the practice of Breath Awareness.
Additionally, we must stop all Behaviors that support Separation and Deception within ourselves and/or others without Judgment or Condemnation.