Rollo Reese May on Love

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Rollo Reese May was an American psychologist who was interested in existentialism, particularly existential psychology. May’s ideas about love are primarily based on motivation and he constructed a diamond to represent the importance of different motives. Love, for May, is the desire to become one with a beloved half and is associated with an ancient Greek story. May distinguishes four types of love: sex, eros, brotherly love, and agape. Love has positive effects and is the foundation that gives reality.

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Rollo Reese May on LoveRollo Reese May is a well-known American psychologists noted for reconciling existentialism, especially existential psychology. May was strongly interested in existential ideas and thinking.

However, American humanism influenced him, not European one. Actually, May’s ideas about love are based primarily on motivation. He constructed a diamond to present the importance of motivations. May stressed that his diamonic is collection of motives, which are different from one another.

And he called those motives diamonds.Eros is one of the most important diamonds for Rollo May because it symbolizes love. However, love and sex are different concepts for him; he doesn’t mix these notions up. Rollo defines love as the desire of humans to “become one” with beloved half.

May associates love with an ancient Greek story telling that originally people had four legs, four arms and two heads. Then people became too arrogant and proud and the God decided to split these creatures into men and women. Therefore, people are willing constantly to find their lost halves.Moreover, Rollo May distinguishes four types of love.

The first is sex defined as biological desire to be satisfied by intercourse. The goal of such life is to relax and receive gratification. The second type is eros or desire to unite with beloved half. Actually, this type is platonic love aimed at seeking wholeness and continuing experience.

The third type is brotherly love and friendship when people are able to relax in presence of others. The last type is agape or desire to give oneself without reciprocity.  Rollo may says that when a person falls in love, the world changes for him arousing positive effects. Love is desire to conceal illusion.

Due to love people feel more valuable and self-assured. Love is openness both to positive and negative: happiness, pleasure, grief, joy, disappointment and fulfillment. Love, according to May, is foundation that gives reality.


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Rollo Reese May on Love. (2017, Apr 02). Retrieved from

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