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Abstract  The kind of love under consideration here is that between equal persons as it typically occurs within the context of a friendship. It is assumed that love opens the way to a sense of meaning or purpose for the individual, the difficulty addressed being that of how to pursue or recognise love. Is it primarily a form of action or of feeling? Can love be said to consist of giving? How does love relate to freedom and dependence? The consideration of these questions leads to the argument that love necessarily involves the creation of needs and therefore of vulnerability. The essay closes with a conception of how the conflict between love as action and love as feeling (‘the two sides of love’) may be resolved.