Is love a decision or an emotion?

by | Feb 17, 2016 | Emotional Intelligence, Relationships (Self and Others), Time Management

Is love a decision or an emotion?

There are hundreds of resources that debate whether love is an emotion or a decision. Let’s start by viewing it as an emotion… can you spot the problem? Yip, our feelings and emotions are fleeting, volatile and at times even somewhat uncontrollable. If you believe love is only an emotion, then you’ll be enslaved by your feelings… like anger, jealousy and even happiness and the entire range of emotions we experience as humans. You could easily stop loving your partner, children or friends when you perceive them to have been selfish or unkind, simply because you don’t feel ‘the love’ anymore.

At the root, our emotions are self-serving and self-preserving. They serve our interests and our needs first. That is why love (Although most definitely something we feel) MUST be a decision. We must choose to LOVE our partner, children, friends, etc. There is no place for the fickleness of feelings in true, unconditional love. So, let’s take Key steps this week and.

Make the decision to LOVE

  1. Who do you love? With Valentine’s Day last week, there are hearts everywhere and ‘love’ in the air. This is often just ‘lust’ or romance being confused with real love. True love is not ‘mushy’ or easy or even comfortable… at times, it’s just plain ‘tough’. So, take a moment to really connect today to who you choose to love – even when you don’t feel like it or when they don’t deserve it (because love is not earned), or they’re being a pain in the ass or they’re acting out or whatever behaviour you dislike in the moment. Who do you choose to love? Remember to tell them today, tell them often and…
  2. Commit to really love. The deepest type of love is based on a decision and a commitment you make to love another. I am not denying the emotional aspect of love. In a relationship, we are drawn to another (at first) based upon attraction and yes, feelings. But feelings cannot be trusted for the long haul. Emotions come and go like a roller coaster and if we depend on our emotions we will be falling in and out of love all of the time. To decide to love in spite of how we feel requires sacrifice and hard work. It requires selflessness, self-esteem and humility. It requires a high level of emotional maturity and courage. Do you have what it takes? I know you do! The choice is up to you. You can…

“be the difference that makes the difference




NOTE: The information in my blog may be freely shared and re-used in any online or offline publication, provided it is accompanied by the following credit line: This was written by Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, and originally appeared in her free bi-weekly  ‘Key Steps Food for Thought Blog’ available on the Key Steps website.

Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, EQ Expert, Founder and CEO

Sharon is a dynamic facilitator, speaker and executive coach with over 25 years’ experience in leadership development and organisational transformation. Her PhD thesis contributed a framework for holistic and sustainable leadership development that was published by Rutgers University in the USA. She is faculty of numerous business schools and highly sought-after by leading corporates because she works hand-in-hand with them to create sustainable results and long-term success. In 2020, Sharon was inducted into the Educators Hall of Fame, which is a lifetime achievement award, recognising excellence and her contribution to the field.

Sharon is one of only three women in South Africa to hold the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – the Oscar of the speaking industry. She is also a COMENSA Master Practitioner (CMP), a qualified Modern Classroom Certified Trainer (MCCT™) and an accredited Global Virtual Speaker. Sharon is also a registered Education, Training and Development Practitioner (ETDP), holds an Honours degree in Psychology and practices as an NLP master practitioner.

Most important to Sharon is that she has become known for her genuinely caring manner, practical and transformational approach, and for providing valuable tools and that allow people to take Key Steps to really… ‘be the difference that makes the difference.’