I don’t think I could fully answer that question. Love is much too complex for that. But if we look at the individual pieces we may get a glimpse of it. For me, mutual respect is number one. If there is no mutual respect in a relationship then it is doomed. Doomed to failure. Doomed to extinction. And everything in between. For when we disrespect our partners we can then take advantage of them and easily hurt them. But what is the basic ingredient of love? Is that it, perhaps. Because from there stems all sorts of beauty. The kind Keat’s writes about. A sense of immortality. And death. Because death is part of the life cycle equation. And something we experience daily whether we comprehend it or not. We have one less day to live, the pessimist could reason. So there is a sweet sadness about it. About love. And, which makes respect so essential in a relationship.
It’s not something you want to tamper with lightly.