Love is what keeps us alive. If your mom or dad didn't love you, you wouldn't be alive right now. Love is also something that keeps our race alive. Every baby comes from people loving each other through creating a new line of their name. Love is also the reason we (most of us) aren't mindless killing machines
I met my wife when I was just about to give up on the idea of 'romantic' love. Too many relationships were spoiled or soured by the sometime surly realties of human beings who have a tendency to put on public face and be very different behind closed doors. Then I met my wife. I have spent my entire life being able to control my emotions, but it quickly became apparent that she had unleashed something inhumanly powerful in me. I could not stop it, I cannot stop it.
In all the years that I have known her, that powerful emotion has remained unerringly strong. It has been a deep sense of affection that has fully entangled her into life to the point where she is literally a part of who I am, and literally the best part of me.
There is appoint at which the continuation of this lis love becomes a choice though. Love is, first and foremost a selfless thing, and the needs of spouse must come first. Yet I have been continually surprised to love someone and put their needs first, only to discover that I am loved and my needs come first. There is something deeply happy about two people serving one another in love. It is a joy, and what is best about life.
Love is real in the sense that is an important chemical reaction in our brain. All of our emotions are. It's definitely useful as we are a social species that relies on the group for survival. Historically, humans did not need to sentence criminals to death, they could just exile them and it would guarantee death.
"actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed.", "(of a substance or thing) not imitation or artificial; genuine." as said by google.Com. Of course it exists! Otherwise there would be no married people on earth. However, whether true love exists or not, THAT would be intriguing.
The reason why we can say that love exists is because we can feel it. How can we understand something that we've never felt or seen? For example, it is impossible to describe a color that we've never seen, because... Well, we've never seen it. Same goes for love and emotions. If you describe emotions to something that has never had emotions, it would not know.
Of course, emotions are created in the brain, and some may argue that this is precisely why it's not real.
But because most of us know and feel emotions, we know that they exist... And I know it exists too. So I choose yes. It is real.
I have never seen or heard of love, ever. My parents are still together only because they are fierce catholics and don't believe in divorces. I have never seen them hold hands or their eyes "sparkle in amazement" when they saw each other. People marry other people for money or kids. It's just nature. We need to reproduce for the human species to survive. Love is not real.
Love for family is very real. We primates have evolved really social minds and when a member of the family dies it is a time to mourn. But primates nor do any animals including humans love in a bg/gf type of way. The purpose of life is simply to reproduce, evolve, and survive. The Romans came up with the idea that their is someone out in the world meant for you, hence why it is called Roman-tic love. It feels real but isnt. The reason it feels real is due to how we hominins evolved. Homo's and Pan evolved a trust like relationship. Usually the male offers the female a gift to show that he is capable of finding food and feeding the children: much like how men give women flowers, chocolate, and rings. They spend lots of time with one another to trust them so they mate with someone they know that could raise the children efficiently. Homo's evolved to feel hurt when rejected by mates cause being alone out in the world is very dangerous, your vulnerable to predators. So to get the feeling away they'd attempt to find another mate. Romantic love is in fact an illusion. It only feels real because we mistake it for our natural instincts.
Love is simply a misconception of the human mind. One may feel the emotion that we have so ineptly labeled love; however, it is quick to leave and never to return. For love to be truly recognized as real, it must have the ability to endure. However, love always leaves. You may feel in love one day, but it is quickly fleeting, and very soon it will be all gone. Plain and simply, enjoy your fake emotions, but blame anyone but yourself when it quickly vanishes.
It is fairy tale like construct which is full of superlatives. It is an emotion/ feeling and like every other feeling it is there for a logical purpose. Like moonandsun mentioned in his post here, it serves a very specific purpose which might even seem altruistic but is selfish and does serve a purpose to the individual. Irrespective of the relationship and the person towards whom the "love" is felt, there is a specific need of the individual that is being fulfilled. Thus love, if defined as a logical construct required for our mind to ensure that a necessary resource be gathered, is real but in the general sense of the word, nope there is no such thing as long, just like there is no such thing as Santa Claus, the Pink Unicorn or Zeus Thor Jesus
Love can't be real, if love was real then it was taxed and redistributed, simple as that. But love is subjective, what one person sees as a loving behavior is seen as abuse by another. Having had one parent from a 3rd world nation, their definition of love is totally different from the Western perception of it.
Love in a relationship sense is fleeting. Love in a family sense though can be possible.
In many family's we see parents divorceing each other soon after they marry because love is a fleeting thing. IT's simply illogical to assume humans can love each other for an extended period of time. The evidence is everywhere as we see more independence for women and men, and also of extended life time and opretunites.
In the past life was short and a main purpose was to simply marry and have children. Now though life is filled with more opportunites, and we see many people leaving behind the family life because they no longer have to stay there. They were forced to continue their marriage in obliviousness and because it was accepted morals. Now though people aren't persecuted as much for being divorced as there is not as much cannon law in this world.
With the coming change love will change as well, and it already has, a new love, a bright burst that simmers out quickly.
As for family love, it's there.