Is love selfish? I cannot be in a relationship because I think I have discovered that love is selfish. Consider my argument. Premises: I choose not to be selfish. I choose to reason logically. What does it mean to love? Does it mean satisfying your wants more than those of your lover, or the other way round? IF it means satisfying the wants of your lover more than your own, then you would react in the following way: If your lover deserts you willingly and decides to be with somebody else, you would be happy for your lover and not be jealous (since by being happy for your lover, you are satisfying his/her wants and not opposing them). On the other hand, IF to love means satisfying your own wants more than those of your lover, then you would react in the following way: If your lover deserts you willingly and decides to be with somebody else, you would be upset and jealous. Which way would you react? Assuming you are upset and jealous, then you are selfish. However, such selfishness is needed for a human relationship to survive. That is what nature intended. That explains why you may feel good if your partner is jealous when another person flirts with you. It feels good not only because you feel special and needed, but also because it helps to cement your existing relationship. You feel good at the prospect of reassuring your partner that you love him/her. This arrangement is beneficial for the human genes. Therefore, any relationship between two human beings is doomed unless the two are both selfish. Since I choose not to be selfish, I cannot be in a relationship.

I think there is a difference between being selfish and recognizing that one has one's own legitimate interests. For example, when I play cards with someone I generally want to win, although I recognize the perfectly acceptable motives of my friends to win also. If I am in love with someone I do want them to be happy, but not at my expense, and since I have my own interests here I am entitled to pursue them. Should I be happy for someone with whom I am love and who was in love with me to break off their relationship with me if they think this would make them happier? No, since although I do not selfishly seek to keep them bound up with me forever, it is in my interests perhaps to continue the relationship I originally had, if I can, since it is a relationship that I enjoy. If I become convinced that the other person no longer has anything like his or her original feelings then it becomes increasingly implausible to keep the relationship up, of course. Here we reach the nub of the issue, because it is often unclear what is happening when relationships come to an end. Are they really at an end or just in a hiatus? And even if they are at an end there is in many cultures something rather noble about unrequited love, very much the stuff of romantic literature. So you can hold onto romance in a reasonably unselfish way, it seems.

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