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If only one person is the relationship is contributing, the relationship will become weaker because one is giving and the other is either doing nothing or taking away. In short, love is an art but it is also work and this is why people fail in love. It is never like a fairy tale and the sooner we can accept this, the sooner we can be prepared for love. Fromm says that we spend the majority of our energy on this we consider worthy. Since many rarely devote as much time to learning about love as they do success and money, it is obvious why love results in failure. Love is not something that can stay the same - especially when all of the components in a relationship undergo change. It is best to view love as an organic process that is actually in a constant state of flux; however, the foundation of the relationship is solid enough that the elements floating in its orbit do not throw it off its axis. Instead, the foundation serves more like a gravitational force, keeping important aspects, such as trust and honesty close to heart, while other aspects, such as losing a job or financial hardship can experience ups and downs. Love must be strong in order to survive the turbulence of everyday life. People that are looking to feel good and have a good time with someone and then leave when the difficulties arise will never know the pure joy that real love can bring because that feeling will only come as the result of effort.
Fromm is attempting to convey that love is not simply something that happens to us. It would be more accurate to state that love grows with us if we take the time to nurture the relationship. It truly is an art when we think of everything involved in what we define as loving. Certainly there are several forms, or types, of love as Fromm mentions and they are all different according to how we define them. However, all forms deserve our attention and our care as we move through the world. We need to consider love as an art because it deserves at least this much of our attention. The question Fromm poses at the end of his essay causes us to consider how much we actually value love in regard to other things we deem valuable is important. He believes that we do not invest enough in our loves or ourselves and that is why love tends to fail. If we took time to understand love as an art, we might experience more of it in a positive way. As with other aspects of our lives, when we take the time to study something, we become more knowledgeable. Fromm's question forces us to look at love as something other than an event that simply happens to us on the way to work or in the grocery store. He wants us to view love like we do everything else in this world that we value. Love certainly is one of the most wonderful experiences in the world and it is valuable to us; it only makes sense that we approach it from this perspective. We should take care of it like we take care of that new car. The car gets weekly washings and the oil changes it needs. We spend time to keep it clean and work hard to keep it in working order and beautiful for as long as we can. We do this despite the fact that we know it depreciates in value as soon as we drive it off the lot and we know that a vehicle will not last a lifetime, like love can. The effort we place in caring for our material things would be better spent on something that has potential for giving us joy possibly for the rest of our lives. Fromm simply wants to bring this to our attention. He hopes that by putting the notion out there, people will respond and begin to see love is an art that deserves the best we can give it. By giving love the attention it deserves, we will be rewarded with loving relationships that are lasting and healthy.
Fromm, Erich. "Is Love…[continue]
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