Love, as it is generally and commonly understood, is but an attachment with selfish thoughts and motives involved.
Pure, real, unadulterated love has in it not even a tinge of lust. Lust for sex, lust for power, lust for name, lust for fame, lust for self-comforts defile the purity of love.
Pure, real love has also its stages, the highest being the gift of God to love Him. When one truly loves God, one longs for union with Him, and this supreme longing is based on the desire of giving up one's whole being to the Beloved.
When one loves a Perfect Master, one longs to serve him, to surrender to his will, to obey him wholeheartedly. Thus, pure, real love longs to give and does not ask for anything in return.
Even when one truly loves humanity, one longs to give one's all for its happiness. When one truly loves one's country, there is the longing to sacrifice one's very life without seeking reward and without the least thought of having loved and served. When one truly loves one's friends, there is the longing to help them without making them feel under the least obligation. When truly loving one's enemies, one longs to make them friends. True love for one's parents or family makes one long to give them every comfort at the cost of one's own.
Thought of self is always absent in the different acts of loving connected with the various stages of pure, real love; a single thought of self would be love adulterated.