Re: Love and rationality
I think there's a world of difference between love, romantic/sexual attraction, and actually being relationship material. Unfortunately for whatever historical reason English pretty much has "love" being the main word to express all of that.
Do I believe that "love" in the sense of an emotional connection can happen at long distance . . . yep.
Do I believe that "love" in the sense of a very deep rooted emotional attachment plus the desire, willingness, and actuality to sacrifice in order to help the love-object can happen without meeting face to face . . . yep.
Do I believe that simply meeting or seeing someone can immediately cause a completely overwhelming physical response in which it is impossible to imagine life without that person . . . yep.
Thing is though, "love at first sight" and such is pretty much meaningless. It's not "true love" just because it "feels" really, really intense. What makes something "true love" is the people going out of their way to do all they can for the other, even when they are inconvenienced or even harmed by it. At one extreme it's literally sacrificing your life to save someone - at another it's missing your favourite TV show because that someone needs a ride to the airport. It's the meaningful love that's wiping your partner's ass on the toilet when they've broken both arms and can't do it themself.
That "love" cannot exist on an at-first-sight basis, and it's near impossible to have it exist online, because it requires actually doing things for one another. I say "near impossible" online because I once had someone stay awake well over 48 hours and never leaving his keyboard in order to look after me from several thousand miles away, so it does happen. Love is making yourself physically ill from sleep deprivation, and losing money by taking time off work, so you can tell a friend "You haven't eaten in 12 hours. Go get a snack." Or "You've worn those clothes for 48 hours. Shower and change. I'll be here when you return." Note . . . in that case it wasn't romantic/sexual love, not remotely. It was familial. And entirely separate from the "feeling" of needing to be with someone.
Myself, I've "fallen in love" both online and in RL. The RL case was pure looniess of genes and hormones and other chemicals saying "OOOOH!" Absolutely no meaning there, just feeling. That doesn't make the feeling any less intense, of course - it simply means it's just a physical, emotional, or energetic reaction. I've also loved a great many people online - both sexually/romatically, and as friends. While there is certainly a feeling of "Oooh, gotta be with that person!" - that is not what makes it love. What makes it love is the desire to sacrifice to help that person, the willingness to do so, and actually doing it when it's needed.
Of course, when in the midst of a feeling that's just a reflex reaction to encountering someone else, it feels intense and meaningful and cosmic . . . but until you wipe that other person's ass because their arms are broken, it's not love, it's just a great feeling.
Perhaps strangely, I think one of the best examples of this was in the X-Men - in which Jean Grey sacrificed herself because she loved Scott Summers. They didn't engage in a whole lot of hand-holding and gazing at the stars. Their desire to sing love songs at one another and share romantic dinners was limited, at best. But when it came to a life-or-death decision, she preferred to die and leave him in safety and peace . . . than live and be happy herself.
Or an even more seemingly odd example, from Star Wars. Anakin Skywalker won no prizes for dad of the year, what with cutting his son's hand off and threatening to torture his daughter to death just for fun. But when his son needed help, he entirely willingly sacrificed himself to save that son from pain.
Love is not intense feelings for another person; that's more like limerance. Love is rationally choosing to act against your own best interests in order to further someone else's.
Ubi Dubium, Ibi Libertas
Quote:"I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood."