You're very welcome. And I respectfully disagree with everything you said after, "Thank you, Jannypie!"
I would postulate that "There CAN BE love, and there are ALSO proofs of love."
Because claiming for fact that anything is absolute truth (in this case, 'there is nothing such as love') is the Number One thing you cannot do as a scientist, psychologist, philosopher, or theorist of any kind. That's the ultimate fallacy. And it's kind of like saying, "There is no such thing as a cow, there is only hamburger." Because to have the product of something simply has to require the existence of that something to produce it.
My belief is, "There IS love, and there ARE ALSO proofs of love."
As a scientist I understand all of the biochemical reactions (adrenaline, dopamine, etc).
As a psychology student, I know that the only things we "know", ultimately, are signals that our brains perceive and interpret. If the perceptions are incorrect, then our beliefs are incorrect (e.g. The Matrix).
As a philosophy student, I understand all of the theories that mandate you can't really know what is real and what isn't, how the cause of an action is separate from the action itself.
However, those are only parts of a description that make up an abstract concept.
For example, the extremest viewpoint in cognitive perception is that perception is the only way of knowing the world, and perceptions can be false, so how do we know the world is not false? Ultimately, the only way we know we are sitting at a computer is because our brains are telling us, "There is a hard feeling of a seat under you. There is the smooth feeling of the keys under your fingers. There is light being interpreted as images." But you and I both know that there is
a world (despite our penchant for sci-fi). That there are abstracta which extend beyond the easily defined concretium. Philosophers may debate what puts an object in one column or the other, but they are both valid realities. Because, truly, how can you ask "What if there wasn't a world" without the mental assumption that there IS a world to start with.
And that is what I mean by that statement being indicative of social alienation. "Alienation refers to an individual's estrangement from traditional community and others in general.... (and) means that individuals have shallower relations with other people than they would normally. " It focuses solely on the concrete aspects of an abstract concept, and stops a person from fully understanding and connecting with something that connects the other people around them. The definition of "love" is not, : 1. a biochemical process, the end. That is one concretium among many in defining the abstract. Love is also caring and attachment. A person can claim love is only a physical response all they want, but I've yet to read of a physical cause for caring. Love, if healthy, begets trust, communication, union. Social togetherness. Unhealthy love could be an entire topic on it's own, so I'm just using healthy love in my discussion.
Your choice of BiPolar Disorder as an example is an interesting one, and to me actually strengthens my point rather than yours. And saddens me a bit about a perpetuating myth of mental illness. BiPolar, and any other Emotional Disorder, has a physical, chemical aspect, but also is developed in tandem with emotional and environmental stimuli as well. Any therapist can tell you that by and large, all mental illness is clinically proven to be best treated with a combination of drugs and therapy. Because drugs alone can't fix it, it's an abstract manifestation, and the emotional component is just as critical to the disorder as the physical is.
That isn't to say that love must be permanent. It is an emotion, and like other emotions, can last an indefinite amount of time. But that doesn't disqualify it from being an actual emotion. I know people who are going to spend their entire lives bitter. Could they not be bitter? Sure. Love can be like that, too.
I can kind of see where you might feel that popular culture focuses only on the physical, "in love" aspect of the emotion. However, I've spent the last five years of my life immersed in communities of married couples. And no, not all of them were perfect. But the examples of actual, true, patient, forgiving, selfless love that I have seen are real-life proofs of real-life feelings of love. Those people would not show the proof of love if there were not love to begin. (Also, I am drawing a distinction between selfless
love and self-sacrificial
love, the latter of which can be very unhealthy. Love being selfless means you simply love the person, and it doesn't matter if they love you back, or do things for you, or if they fit a set number of criteria. You don't do it because it makes you a better person or is the right thing to do. It just is. You just do. There is no physical or instinctual reward for that kind of love. There is no mental reward. I have felt that love for many people, and still do, even when they have left my life in a negative way. Not having that feeling would make me feel alienated.