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    Love is often defined as being selfless and requiring self-sacrifice. Objectivism holds just the oposite. True love is selfish and never requires sacrifice. This statement seems to be very wrong when you apply the definition of selfishness which is commonly held among people today. Selfishness is not pushing everyone around you down to elevate youself. Selfishness is not caring for no one but yourself. Selfishness is concern for one's own interests. It is sacrificing no one to yourself and yourself to no one.

What love is not

"[Selfless love] would have to mean that you derive no personal pleasure or happiness from the company and existence of the person you love, and that you are motivated only by self-sacrificial pity for that persons's need of you. ...It is for your own happiness that you need the person you love, and that is the greatest compliment, the greatest tribute you can pay to that person"

   Love is not self-sacrifice. A sacrifice is when one trades something they value highly for something of little or no value to them. For example, if a husband chooses to accompany his wife to a ballet instead of watching his favorite night of television, Monday Night Football, he has not sacrificed anything. He values the happiness of his wife more than Monday Night Football. On the other hand, if the wife wanted him to go to the ballet despite the fact that he would be missing his mother's funeral, it would be a sacrifice to go to the ballet. But if the wife loved him, she would never ask him to make such a sacrifice.

   What about if someone gave their life to save the person they love? That would be the ultimate sacrifice, right? Wrong.

"If it is the man or woman one loves, then one can be willing to give one's own life to save him or her- for the selfish reason that life without the loved one could be unbearable"

What Love Is

   Love is selfish because you are with that person because they make you happy. Of course you desire to make them happy too, but that is the result of the fact that you love them. If love were a sacrifice, it would be a sacrifice to spend time with the person. But if you love someone, you enjoy spending time with them, therefore, it is selfish.

   The person one falls in love with represent the things they value most in themself. You do not love someone you consider worthless, but one who embodies values you consider to be of great worth. The values you consider to be of great worth are the values you strive to achieve in yourself.

Love and friendship are profoundly personal, selfish values: love is an expression and assertion of self-esteem, a response to one's own values in the person of another. One gains a profoundly personal, selfish joy from the mere existence of the person one loves. It is one's own personal, selfish happiness that one seeks, earns, and derives from love." (Rand)