Love Along Human Beings´ Lifespan
The presentation is based on our scientific book The Many faces of Love (Kaarina Määttä & Satu Uusiautti, authors), published by Sense Publishers and forthcoming book Love around us (Kaarina Määttä & Satu Uusiautti, authors), published by Peter Lang. The purpose of the presentation is to discuss research on love as a key element of health and positive human development. People live in a network of relationships and their ability to build and maintain relationships is an important strength. Love has many definitions and also many faces. The presentation provides a comprehensive analysis on love in various areas of human beings’ life – the emergence and manifestation of romantic love in various phases of life, love in education, love for work, for fellow humans – and in relation to other phenomena, such as friendship, play, and creativity. When dissecting love along the course of life, parental love secures children's well-being and teachers´ pedagogical love trusts in pupils' learning. The first taste of falling in love can manifest itself in the form of the sweet poison of love and still is quite far from actual love. The ability to love is an important, yet difficult, skill. There are numerous theories that explain the phases of long-lasting marriages and divorces, too. Nevertheless, love does not retire and the fascination of love does not fade, not even in senior age. There are also negative manifestations of love: for example, morbid love has been compared to addiction. Other topical phenomena of love are, for example, love for work and the successful combination of work and family. Love in its whole gamut is connected to human wellbeing and development in different areas and phases of human life. Love, as its best, is manifested by the endeavor to make things develop, grow, and come forward, whether love falls on other people, art, science, ideas, or nature. A world where it is safe to love is a world where it is safe to live.