A properly (or fully) developed human being is a Loving human being.
Love, ultimately, is a capacity. A capacity that develops as the result of developing many other capacities and virtues and behavioral predispositions. Some of these are of the heart, and some of these are of the mind. They include (but are not necessarily limited to):
• Wisdom / Discernment
• Fairness / a sound sense of Justice
• Self-Awareness / Self-Observantness
• Gratitude / Appreciativeness / Thankfulness
• Charitableness / Generosity / Service
• Brotherliness / Sisterliness (Oldest child looking out for younger siblings)
• Metta (Motherly or Fatherly love and concern for another human being; closely related to philia and Brotherliness / Sisterliness)
If a person does not have *ALL* of these capacities developed—if they are not character traits (as opposed to sporadic situationally specific behaviors, meaning behaviors dependent upon optimal circumstances for them to be exhibited)—then a person will not really be able to love (in any durable or sustainable or consistent way).
In other words, to the extent that a person has not developed these characteristics and traits and virtues and behavioral predispositions, a person’s capacity to love will be accordingly compromised and inconsistent / self-serving.
To the extent that a person has developed these capacities to the level / depth of character traits, then a person will be able to love and to respond lovingly in less (even much less) than optimal conditions.
The feelings of love are fleeting and fickle and unpredictable at best. However, the capacity to love is something that can be developed and instilled, exercised and increased, if—*if*—the prerequisite virtues and traits and behavioral capacities are instilled and developed and become deeply rooted.
If a relationship based on (or started under) love, the feeling, is to last, then it will depend on the level of development that each of the lovers has attained in terms of Love, the capacity.
If they have developed (and or are working on developing) Love, the capacity, and concomitant prerequisite virtues and character traits and behavioral capacities / habits, then the transition from love, the feeling, should be tenable and a more enduring Love should develop and be sustainable.
If Love, the capacity, is underdeveloped or non-developed in the two lovers, then love, the feeling, will likely be very fleeting, short-lived, and fickle / volatile, and the two will end their relationship (likely badly, with heartbreak for one or both), and the two will wander the earth as falling leaves, as troubled guests, searching out other likewise similarly troubled guests (and there are many, millions and millions of troubled guests walking this dark earth and further mucking things up) with whom to experience love, the feeling, instead of learning how to genuinely Love and how to develop Love, the capacity, within themselves, so that the next time love, the feeling, finds them or happens upon them, they will be better prepared to sustain it, nurture it, care for it (and most of all, care well for the other person with whom they have found this foretaste of heaven on earth), and help make transition into a deeper and more abiding and fulfilling Love relationship.
If love is to truly “win,” it won’t be because of random acts of charity and goodness alone, it will be because of a significant increase in level of inner development in the person. That’s how Love truly wins.
Highly Recommended Related Article:
Thích Nhất Hạnh on Love (realtruelove.wordpress.com)