What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Merriam-Webster defines Love as,

: a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person

: attraction that includes sexual desire : the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship

: a person you love in a romantic way

With Love, we begin a series of eight primary blend emotions formed by combinations of the first 8 “basic” emotions. The first pair of primary blend emotions are Love and Remorse. Using this framework, we could define Love as a combination of Happiness and Trust emotions.

Love has been endlessly discussed and debated. In fact, the Ancient Greeks teased out several different flavors of Love:

  • Philia – friendship or brotherly love
  • Pragma – mature love of lifelong partners
  • Agape – selfless love, love for all humanity
  • Ludus – playful affection, flirting
  • Philautia – self love of two different kinds, narcissistic and positive
  • Eros – intimate love, sexual passion and desire
  • Storge – familial love, e.g., love of parent towards offspring

When there are so many different meanings captured under the same word, it is difficult to have a single definition of Love. But, in general, we can see that Love involves feeling for someone or something else. The artists developed their sketches for the Caricature and Watercolor series, using this aspect of feeling for someone else in their images.

In the Caricature series, the artist depicted two hearts close to each other. The hearts are in physical contact with each other, and they have smiles on their faces, showing that they are Happy to be together. The sketch clearly communicates the feeling of Love.

The emotion Love in the Caricature series of sketches.

The emotion Love in the Caricature series of sketches.

The artist for the Watercolor series, choose a different image for the sketch for Love. In the sketch we see a hand offering a red rose. The image clearly conveys the emotion of Love between two human beings.


The emotion Love in the Watercolor series of sketches.

The emotion Love in the Watercolor series of sketches.

A Matter of Trust

Merriam-Webster defines trust as,

: belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.

: an arrangement in which someone’s property or money is legally held or managed by someone else or by an organization (such as a bank) for usually a set period of time

: an organization that results from the creation of a trust

When we feel Trust about someone or something, we make several assumptions – of prediction, interdependence, belief and reciprocity. There is risk in making these assumptions.

First, we have a mental model that predicts how someone will behave in the future situations. We envision different scenarios and believe we know how these scenarios will unfold. This reduces anxiety and worry, and allows us to be open and vulnerable.

Second, we are open and vulnerable about our emotions, without concern that the other person will take advantage of our openness. We believe that they will treat our openness with compassion and understanding. We expect that they will not use it for their own benefit, or harm us with the information we disclose.

Third, without full knowledge of their intentions or motivations, we believe someone will do what they promise. We give up something valuable or precious, without certainty that the other person will behave as we expect. But we believe the positive intent of the other person.

Finally, Trust requires future delivery of reciprocity. We give up something now, and believe that the other person has the ability (not just the intent) to do what we expect in the future. So we act now – we share resources, insights, feelings, etc., knowing that in future, should we need that help, it will be offered to us.

Trust involves risk that these assumptions will not be true. We may be wrong about our prediction of someone’s behavior. Our confidences may be shared in ways we did not expect. People may not have the intent or ability to follow through in the way we presume. Trust is so essential for cooperation, information sharing, problem solving, and conflict resolution that we accept these risks.

In the Caricature series of Sketches, the artist displays two people shaking hands to symbolize Trust. Shaking hands involves touching which is a very important to establish and convey Trust. Our skin is the largest organ, the first sense that brings us information of the outside world, and a very important way to share emotional signals that symbolize Trust. This sketch is an elegant way to demonstrate the emotion of Trust.


The emotion Trust in the Caricature series of sketches.

The Watercolors artist approached Trust differently. Trust is an emotion that is shared by living beings. For the sketch, the artist displayed a bird sitting on a human hand, pecking and eating the food offered in the hand. The bird has overcome the natural suspicion and fear of its species to Trust a human. It is a wonderful demonstration of Trust across species.


The emotion Trust in the Watercolor series of sketches.

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