Love is not a priority

By Paulo Coelho

First of all, I was not moderating comments for almost a week, as I was in Switzerland as part of the Brazilian Comission for the World Cup 2014 (we won!).

I was browsing some emails receive during this period (because the comments and requests were approved by Paula) when one of myspace friends mentioned that love is not important in her life. I was suprised, and wrote: Love is not a priority? She answered me (see below). I cut personal parts, added some more general views, but the essence or her email is there. Please feel free to answer her question: what love is?

No. The joy of discovery is a priority…..It’s funny because I question what is LOVE? we have this idea that we are supposed to love and have love within us. But what if this is not love at all.

I’m not saying I would choose “hate or indifference or negativity” over “Love” or compassion or positivity. – But I question myself if I really know what love is.

So far I’ve been taught that love is when someone does something for you or gives you something or vise versa. and When you don’t give them what they want or don’t give… then Love is questioned.

I’ve felt “Love” and usually it is filled with separation, deceit, lies, self hatred, anxiety therefore LOVE is not a priority for me. …… but who knows just because we say we love each other…a person who is taught that you have to LOVE thy mother and father and husband….

I can live, I can have a relationship, but I can also understand that on the other hand LOVE has no part in our relationship, and I could go along with that. We say “I love you” and probably mean it but is this really love? I’m still looking for the answer..:

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  1. Dhairya says:

    Love cannot be defined in words because its a feeling. Our actions define Love. Love is unconditional, to forgive, to be truthful, to be crazy. It is the most beautiful and peaceful feeling.

    Love is Hope.

  2. mistery plane says:

    love is a priorities n i can’t handles priorities well

  3. Aaryn says:


  4. Edmond Kaja says:

    We love to live…Love is giving your life for who you love….

  5. a flight of fancy says:

    love – evol
    un vol
    l o ve
    to see all there is to see.

  6. Agnes says:

    Love is —- READ 1 Corinthians 13:1-9.

    If you want to understand the true meaning of LOVE, ask the Person who gave up his own life for the love of ALL MEN.

  7. Wen says:

    I think love can not be defined just because nobody feel the same than others!!
    Everybody can love but in a different way, with his own feelings and values.
    You can think that something is love, but other persone can say “No that’s not love”
    For me everyone has his own definition for love =)

  8. Sole says:

    I don’t see pain, surrow, cry, possession, egoism or some other horrible words…in the word “Love”.
    But if its so, then isn’t Love or it was’nt Love.

  9. luan says:

    Dear friend! It is unfortunate in that a woman in some moments thinks that love is “disappointment” with the great and least.
    C `should be understood that it means this.
    According to me the woman, currently is building a high dam with which will show the barrier which stops to show how much she really loves. After that the barrier or dam, has a large amount of water, energy, that in a moment when there was another from being built, (power to collect often without the knowledge of thanks, but thanks hands), which in an explosion an instant, to accept befasine life, happiness that we often when we think a little far “is not important!”, but that really is “Understanding”.

  10. Kiki says:

    Love is not lust. Love is not possessive. Love is to give without expecting anything in return. Love is to forgive and to accept flaws without taking any advantage out of it. Love is wanting the best for others and not selfish. Love is everywhere. Only love of God will bring you true love in life.

  11. Ramla says:

    Love is something that you cannot understand until you experience it yourself..just like the smell of roses..the sweet taste of honey..or the hearing the singing bird at dawn…you can’t explain any of these sensations….but just enjoy them..
    Love leaves you a changed love, everything seems beautiful…everything unoffensive,bearable..perfect..just the voice of the person you love makes you forget about all of your worries…
    but love…if you lose it..which i pray that no one does…leaves you incomplete…and everytime you rip away a memory from your soul…a part of it is lost with it…and you dont know what you would be left with at the end….
    but never let the fear of losing your love keep you from loving someone…for someone who hasn’t fallen and the risen in love…has no right to call themselves alive to begin with…
    and if you need to let go of the one you love…for their sake..their happiness…then let it can’t force someone to fall in love with you…and you certainly can’t own them…but if you are truly in love…then the mere realisation that your some part of the happy and satisfied,gives you all the satisfaction that you would ever need…
    everything special..the more special it is…comes with an equally greater price…but for love…no price is big enough for the joy that it gives.. is unmeasurable…
    Just another person in love:)

    1. Preet says:

      Dear friend,
      Love is everything, love is everywhere. Everyone feels it, experiences it, at every point of the day. we just do not realize it at times. Love is like god, prevalent everywhere, in each life.flower, birds, air around you…you just have to feel it.
      Love is all small things we do for each other, love is when your mother cooks food for you just because you are hungry and not she is hungry…love is when your father works hard to earn money for you, to give you good life…love is when your grandparents re-live each moment when they see you growing up, when they took you in their arms for the first time.

      Love is when you want to keep others happy.

      Love is just unconditional. As we grow up, our definitions keep on changing, it changes from the love for parents, to love of friends and then to spouse and then your kids..along the way, you love your career, your dreams..Love is happiness

  12. Lane says:

    Love. Some people haven’t experienced the love of family as children and find it hard to know what love is and how it feels… AND how to express love to others.

    Those of us who have experienced the love of family often get confused by adolescent love and then commitment love. We add to this confusion with sexual love.

    The beauty of all this talk about love is that in asking the question we will receive the answer, not necessarily from others, but in our own way in our own time.

    Sometimes I look at my friends and I am amazed at how beautiful and precious they are. Perhaps love is our connection at soul level to each other and to God.

    We ARE loved but if we’re not feeling loved then maybe we’re a little disconnected from our source?

    This begs the question: Why are we here? *smile*

  13. Fruta Fresca says:

    Till now i couldn’t realize the true and real meaning of love but
    i think it supposed to be the greatest thing that you will have .. the precious gift from GOD , the feeling that makes you feel happy , satisfied , motivated all the time ..

    Its the feeling that draws a big smile in your face , turn you to a thankful person , you will feel blessed .

    Love is the source of POSITIVITY…

    Although im not an expert to talk about it .. but its the greatest thing could ever happen in the person’s life .

  14. Layal says:

    Dear Friend
    Of course love (in general) is a necessity that you can not live with out like the instinctive love you have for your family, like loving what you do, like love you have for your friend that make you share and forgive and support…
    If you mean talking about love between men and women then I would say of course it is not a priority, if it knocks on your door you will then know, if not you can live with the other kinds of love equally happy.
    I don’t know what love is because I don’t think that no one has been able to really describe it in a way that you can feel and understand.
    I think love is respecting each other, it is support and being there, it is care and acceptance.
    LOVE is every little thing that makes you bare living in this world.

  15. marianne says:

    Love is the most powerful feeling, as it combines all feelings even if they clash like confusion and peace of mind at the same time. A feeling that comes spontaneously and lifts you up, to be greater than the ordinary. It obliges you to give always your best and show your finest attributes.

  16. Angie Eissa says:

    I always like to say that Love does not exist or that only unconditional love between a mother and her children exists but romantic love is a myth…I say that not out of belief but as a self defense mechanism. I convince myself of this concept everyday. That interpretation of love is mutual benefit. Couples must be exchanging benefits or else the so called love myth falls apart. I don’t believe in that but I force this thought to stay protected from falling once again in love.

  17. Amir says:

    Love is all is written above in this page.
    It is what we breath every day and dream during the night.
    LOVE is giving without looking for a response.
    It is the eventual reason for life.

  18. alvin says:

    all of us experienced how to love and how to be in love??? its an extraordinary feelings that you might encounter in school, in friends etc.But love really important for us??? well for me yes, love has it”s own way of saying that you need to love your self first before you can love anyone again. Try to imitate the things that love does. And then you will realize the true meaning of love.

    Love has many explanation,?and dreams has it’s own to. but its seems that the two of them are in needs of communication. your right?? communication..Two of them are both important in our life. We experienced love and we also experienced how to dream, we must learn how to value our self and and try to reach our dream.

  19. eternalhwan says:

    According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, human being’s needs could be classified physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem and self-actualisation. Love belongs to third stage of hierarchy. I agree with that Love is an action of giving and taking activities. But I think that it is not one to one giving and taking activity. It is the sort of communication of respect and common values of life. In other word, Love could be superimposed with fourth needs, esteem which includes respect of others and respect by others. I’m not sure that it could be glorification of giving and taking something but I think that the important thing in Love is to respect each other. It means that someone recognises others’ different point of views of world…

  20. Nicol says:

    A simple quote I recently read, “love is not finding someone you can live with, its finding someone you cant live without.”


  21. Minerva says:

    I’ve been lurking about so just wanted to let you know I enjoy your blog.

  22. Jen says:

    For me love is a way of being, it is essential to fully being whole and alive. It is not love that causes pain but instead ones expectations and demands that are attached. I experience love as an inner joy and calamity. It is a light, a blessing and can not be materialized in any form. Love does not come with conditions. I see it as a divine connection to something, someone and one’s self. I experience love everyday. I know it in a friend’s laugh, the old oak tree swaying in the wind, the silence of a snow storm, the ocean breeze, my future husband’s eyes, a puppy’s excitement or a lost friend whose destiny I understand is different than my own. Love is all around us if we just open ourselves to it. I believe love connects this world to the next. But in my personal experience, I saw none of this until I began practicing self love and opening myself up to nature.

    1. kim says:

      this is beautiful!

  23. Sandra says:

    Wrote Cybernation: Seduction and Flirtation inpired by this post:

    1. Cogitating says:

      u no I was not in a happy mood for a short while, this transcended it all.:)

  24. liezl says:

    To Mr. Paulo Coelho

    I am an avid fan of yours. I love yours books and all of the quotes you share to your readers. You inspire me a lot in doing things, through reading your blog it makes me a strong and better person.
    Hope you will not stop in doing so.
    Keep up the good work and more power.

    LOVE IS GOD. :-)

  25. Sandra says:

    I like the part of her comment where she says, “the joy of discovery is a priority.”

    Isn’t this the essence of new love? It is also possible to rediscover that love anew with the same person, although as time passes we each evolve, and the other person is no longer the same as when you first met, and neither are you. Doesn’t always have to be a tragedy or a bore. It can be outright fun!

  26. Cherie says:

    I cannot find words to describe what love is, but I do know what love is not.
    Love is NOT possession.
    My favourite passages from Brida expresses this perfectly:

    “No one can posess a sunset like the one we saw that evening. Just as no one can possess an afternoon of rain beating against the window, or the serenity of a sleeping child, or the magical moment when waves break on the rocks. No one can possess the beautiful things of this Earth, but we can know them and love them. I knew you would teach me what I needed to learn – that is why God divided man and woman.”
    “People give flowers as presents because flowers contain the true meaning of Love. Anyone who tries to possess a flower will have to watch it’s beauty fading. But if you simply look at a flower in a field, you will keep it forever, because the flower is part of the the evening and the sunset and the smell of damp earth and the clouds on the horizon.”
    “That is what I have learnt. You will never be mine, and that is why I will never lose you. You were my hope during days of loneliness, my anxiety during moments of doubt, my certainty during moments of faith.
    I will always remember you, and you will remember me, just as we will remember the evening, the rain on the windows, and all the things we’ll always have because we cannot posess them”

  27. isabell says:

    love is for me god! its just another name but for me its the is everything and can put u up and it can put u down..
    whenever i go walking with my dog,we go on a little hill and from there i can overlook my little village and see the alps behind and its such a beauty,it makes u breath in the air and u know u re alive now in this moment and u thank god that u re alive and that he gave u that moment of feeling one with the world,the wisdom that this is love ,this moment is everything and nothing..its god

  28. Josefine G says:

    Love is the explaination.
    – Why do I exist?
    – Why is there a world?
    – Why do I search for it?

  29. loulou says:

    i don’t believe anyone actually knows what love is..
    to each has his on explanations.. and special expectations..
    as children we thought love was seeing our parents happy together and your mom kissing you at night..
    as teenagers love is those secret admirers.. and those late night with our boyfriend/girlfriend.. as young adults love is finding a person who u believe is the right one to spend the rest of your life with, as mothers love is your child!
    as each phase of our life passes we process a new believe and idea about it..
    i don’t think there will ever come a time.. when our vision for love will be the same as it once was before..
    so trying to understand it is an endless request
    i believe those who live there life trying to understand it.. end up never feeling it..
    forget there is such a thing and going on with your daily life thats when it will catch you by surprise
    so i don’t think you’ll ever have your question answered


  30. Enver says:

    love is a energy of God.
    we canĀ“t understanded this energy,but we can live whit this energy.whidout energy of God,we are death.
    when you are a prophet,you can feal the bigest energy…….

    1. sido says:

      i am not a prophet but a woman witch are feal the bigest energy of god : an dit’s realy great

      a great moment of my life , and i’m in LIFE

      energy of the love of God is so great that my body could not contain

      I felt like a vase overflowing …

      this love is great, this is pure love, this energy is enveloping and reassuring

      I am pleased to have lived this moment … and others who have followed

      I thank God for offering me this communion

      because there are three that testify: water, spirit and blood (John)

      I pray that everyone finds humility and LOVE IN HER/HIS HEART


  31. Estefania (Arg) says:

    After reading all the comments left in here, i can say something about love, that may be, many of you will not agree with…

    I wrote many times about the theme in different ocassions, different times in my life,and concluded many things about it, in which many of them contradict each other.(that is the best of everything)

    Love is as simply as assuming a definition for that word depending on the experience and time of life of each person.
    We can have bad experiences, and see love like the worse thing that can ever happens, because after giving everything, you received just a deception.
    And we can have good experiences where we see that love is the best thing that ever happens to you because it really fullfils you, in any way.
    So…it all depends in the eyes of each one of us…
    If something is obvious is that it is a word without definition because WE are the ones encharged of giving that definition, and taking our own conclusions…

    Dont loose time trying to explain things that have no explanation at all, than our owns, just enjoy all the things you have and you will be creating your own love…


  32. spd says:

    Love is a verb

    therefore it is an action word!^__^

    HAv a great day folks!

  33. Natasjakenita says:

    Oef, just found this blog and stopped breathing for a second when I saw “Love is not a priority”…
    Oh dear MySpaceFriend of Paolo for who Love is not a priority,
    I would love to spend some time with you to try to make you change your mind…

    For it’s so difficult to put words on “love”…
    Love’s just everywhere & especially in you.
    It’s smiling when you see a little kid making funny faces,
    when the tramconductor is in a bad mood,
    when the sun gives you a wonderful massage…
    Waaw, it’s really difficult to find words for love.

    I wouldn’t want to try to change your mind actually,
    cause that never works.
    A suggestion maybe: Have a walk on the camino…
    it might help you to feel it all the time.

    Lots of love to all of you warriors of light.


  34. darmastuti says:

    Dear Mr. Paulo Coelho,

    For me love means many things:
    responsibility, honesty, loyalty, understanding, tolerance, romantic, acceptance, forgiveness, care, happiness …

    tuti (darmastuti)

  35. Real Love is caring about the happiness of another person WITHOUT ANY THOUGHT FOR WHAT WE MIGHT GET FOR OURSELVES.

    The LARGE majority of us have never felt Real Love not even once in our lives, so how can we ever possibly believe it exists, let alone freely give our love to others? It’s only natural to question it as a priority when love as we know it it is associated with so much pain!
    Until we actually feel the REAL THING.

    I have recently started to discover what Real Love is and I can honestly say that once you have felt it you instinctively know what it is and it has turned my life around. I am now learning to give love freely and it is the most wonderful learning experience I have ever known. The good news it’s a lifelong experience!

    If you have a sufficient supply of Real Love in your life then truly NOTHING ELSE IS IMPORTANT.

    I discovered what it is thanks to this:

    I can sincerely ask – what does anyone have to lose by checking out another possibility of what love might be? Really? To feel loved UNCONDITIONALLY is what each and everyone of us crave more than anything in the world. That being the case, Love would thus appear to be the source of our happiness as human beings. And when it comes down to it, we are each responsible for our own happiness and finding love in our lives. I would put it as the only priority we have as human beings.

    I’m just throwing this out there for you to ponder. I really don’t care if you check out the website or not. Your life. Your choice.

  36. mary says:

    I read “il dono supremo” from paolo coehlo:
    Love is the energy of live and if you don’t have
    It as priority you die… Slowly but surely
    You know we are all sisters and brothers but there
    Are few who know that!

  37. KENT-FU says:

    B – oredom if without the 1
    E – cstasy if the 1
    S – uppressed but somehow expressed
    S – ubsides yet manages to survive

    if this aint a priority, then i dont know what else is. . .

  38. Aja says:

    I believe that love is too complex to define. As I’ve read all of the responses above, I think: everyone is right and everyone is wrong.

    My own concept of love is two-fold: it is a state and it is a feeling.

    My conception of the “state” of love is the love in which you can build, nurture, and grow; it is more constant than the feeling of love. Perhaps this state can even become permanent. The love I feel for my son is a permanent, unconditional state. I could never feel out of or “fall” out of the love I have for him.

    My conception of the “feeling” of love is the physical, emotional and humanistic way that we feel love. This is our own feelings of being loved by others, falling into and being in-love, the general content we may feel when we receive love, and also the satisfaction that is reciprocated when we in turn love others.

    I realize the probability that anyone else may relate to my conceptions may be slim. :)

  39. bess sia says:

    back in high school, i sent my best guy friend this message –

    “sing like no one is listening, dance like no one is watching, love like you’ll never get hurt. live life to the fullest.!”

    and this is his reply:

    “i can’t dance, and i can’t sing. i can live but not to the fullest. of all the things that you have asked me to, to love is the only thing i can do. and still, i can’t love without you. ”

    the meaning of love varies.
    for me, it’s a decision. falling in, staying in, and being in love is up to you. and you just can’t stop once you’ve started. there’s no turning back. love is too strong to suppress but never proud.

  40. tinneetintin says:

    For the past 12 years I had been asking the same question, What is love? And it seems that like the subject itself, the answer is elusive. When I thought that I have found my answer, it turns out that it is not yet the one that would satisfy me. I haven’t stopped looking for answers but I have concluded that in time, in God’s time, I should learn about it.

    We experience love everyday. I say, love is not a priority because even if you don’t priortize it happens. Saying I love you and doing things for the person you love is all part of romanticism and probably lust or obligation maybe (I am speaking for myself). Love is not all that.

    I had attended a training session before and I was asked a very interesting question in which I gave a more interesting answer that made people ponder… What makes the popcorn pop? I said, it was love and passion. And everyone was shocked. I went explaining that it starts from the will of the seed of the corn to grow and experience life. Then mixed with the passion and love of the farmer that would plant it, water it and wait for it to grow. The corn understands it purpose and willing fulfills its destiny. To make the long story short, the corn grows out of love from the soil, sun, water, moon, farmer and even the oil and the heat that would turn it into a popcorn. Simple story yet this is how I see love.

    Offtopic: everyone focused on the scientific explanation on “what makes a popcorn pop?” Then after the real answer was dicussed.

    Love happens all the time, usually coming in small packages. It has been raining all week here and I know that the rain that pours is a sign of God’s love because it makes me miss the sun. ;)

    Explaining love is really difficult yet it is such a simple topic. Let’s just stick to… Love simply is.

  41. M says:

    Love is…

    …being truly happy for someone else even if that means that you can not be part of the thing which makes them happy

    …to love only and expect nothing in return

    …letting yourself to be free and letting the other person to be free

    Love is not…

    …possessing the mind, heart or the soul of a person

    …depending on the loved one

    …needing someone

    This is how I feel it.

  42. melbourne, australia says:

    Often, Love is confused with dependency. If you can’t live/function without that person, then you probably don’t respect and love your OWN life to begin with. This is love based on insecurity.

    Love is acceptance. I feel love for a person even if only for a moment, if they impress me with a sign of compassion, with their wit, and other desirable qualities. There’s no point in loving someone that you want to change and reconfigure, if it’s love, you and they will naturally strive to be better in everything that you do.
    I think love between romantic partners is not unconditional, after all, we are human and we do ask ourselves ‘what’s in it for me’ whether consciously or subconciously. Unconditional love is reserved for parents/children/grandparents.

    Finally, LUST is the initial feeling, when you don’t really know them, being IN LOVE is the physiological reaction (can’t eat/sleep) to being enamored.

  43. Kate says:

    Love is not just a feeling, it’s a relationship. And you build relationships, not just “feel” them.

    It’s pretty easy to say “I love you” these days because of the things we see in the media right now. It kind of made us think that, ok–it’s alright to say “I love you” on first dates. But the real case is, love takes time to grow. That’s why you want to get to know each other better, know their weaknesses and strength, and then maybe, fill those weaknesses while you allow the other person to fill your weaknesses.

    There’s so much more about love that I didn’t mention, (it might take too much space) but I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.

  44. LOVE means sacrifice. Its unconditional. A feeling that gives pain and sorrow. LOVE never ceases. If it fails then its no LOVE.

  45. De rahul says:

    Love is like a hope. A hope for the perfection,that you will find unity with anything… may be your opposite sex or the twin duality… i.e. God!. but in the final analysis… It’s a very powerful narcotic, you can’t resist that.

  46. Laila says:

    Love is nothing but a selfish feeling that makes one happy…It isn’t what is felt for that ‘someone especial’, but is something that is felt for one’s own happiness in the assumption of being ‘in love’ and loved.

  47. Nicol says:

    A simple quote I recently read, “love is not finding someone you can live with, its finding someone you cant live without.”


  48. Filza says:

    Love leads to too many expectations or you can say dreaming. love is when that someone is your priority over everything and you take that person as something so perfect. you always have a fear of losing, that is when insecurity is born. you starts demanding too much, expecting too much and when they are not fulfilled, it results in hopelessness. and this feeling creates misery.

  49. Maisa says:

    They call it Love…call it anything you want, but the FEELING that associates that name is what i can not neglegt…

    Do I always have to physically SEE that feeling to beleive in it!…No, after all there are many aspects of life that we don’t see yet it has such a strong implication on how we preceive this life…and eventually makes us who we are.

    At any case, with or withouht, im thankfully alive… :)