Love is one of the most profound emotions we experience as human beings. Though we can invite it into our lives, we have no control over where, when and how love starts to express itself. That is the reason why more than 70% of Americans believe in love at first sight.
Love is defined as a complex set of emotions, beliefs and behaviors associated with a strong feeling of warmth, affection, protectiveness, and respect for one another. Love also applies to pets, to personal principles and to one’s religious beliefs. For example, a person might love his dog, loves freedom, or loves Lord Jesus.
What Is Love?
Some possible definitions of love include:
- Willingness to prioritize partner’s happiness or well-being above your own.
- Extreme feelings of affection, attachment and need.
- Sudden feelings of attraction and respect.
- A fleeting emotion of affection and care.
- Commitment to helping, respecting, and caring for your partner, such as in marriage or when having a child.
Though there are several different kinds of love to experience, affectionate and romantic and expression of love is what we all are seeking. The majority of us find fulfillment through the comfort of a romantic and deeply committed relationship. Almost 88% of Americans cite love as being the top reason for getting married. Hence we can confirm that love plays a pretty big role in all of our lives.
The ancient Greeks used seven words to define the different states of love we can experience:
- Philia: friendship
- Storage: natural affection
- Agape: unconditional, divine love
- Eros: sexual and erotica
- Ludus: flirting
- Philautia: self-love
- Pragma: committed, married love
What is Love? Love is Chemistry
Here is the science behind love and attraction: love is a powerful and permanent neurological condition. Love is chemistry which you cannot control. Lust is a temporary feeling fueled by an increased release of sexual hormones which lasts for a short while and then normalizes. But when you have a feeling of love, your brain releases a whole set of chemicals – allowing you to experience love through many different expressions. When you are in love there is a chemical chain reaction triggered in your body ultimately prompting the feeling of love to flood your mind.
What is Love? Love is Commitment
Love takes on many different variants, yet, the best thing about love is the passionate commitment that motivates us to work to develop and nurture the relationship constantly. Responsibility or commitment is what holds the couple together through the ups and downs of life. Love is what makes an individual want to keep their commitment no matter what happens. Love and commitment combined make a great relationship, but each of them individually forms the basis of a working relationship.
What is Love? Love is Compatibility
Love is all about compatibility. Love means being in a compatible relationship where you both work well together, enjoy each other’s company and have a good time. When you analyze different relationships, one of the key factors is how compatible two partners are. When you start sharing the same values, interests, likes, views with someone, you are more likely to be compatible. Love and compatibility work together to build a relationship. Finding someone you are genuinely compatible with in many ways isn’t always easy. When you finally find someone who checks all the boxes, this could be your love.
Why We Fall in Love: The Science of Love
Have you ever stopped for a minute to think about the psychology and science of falling in love or why you are falling in love with that particular person? Did you ever notice love is a natural emotion, yet mysterious and has to do with the chemistry between one another? Have you ever realized that love could be the beautiful emotion helping humans to remain alive? If not, it is the time to pay attention, as it will definitely help you live a fuller life. We describe this mysterious feeling as “love”, but there is a complexity holding the wheel, driving us to ponder our involvement in this passionate and devoted feeling.
3 Stages Involved in Falling in Love
A recent study based on the topic “science behind the love” conducted at Rutgers University in New Jersey revealed there are 3 stages involved with falling in love.
Stage 1: Lust
Lust is the initial stage of falling in love. Lust is generally defined as the early stages of a relationship. A flood of sexual hormones within the body basically creating the feeling of lust. Lust is associated with physical attraction and an intoxicating rush of feel-good chemicals with a desire to be closer to another person. But it does not last long. Lust has to do more with sexual desire that draws people toward one another.
Stage 2: Attraction
The second stage of love is attraction. This attraction phase is said to be one of the most beautiful moments of life. This is the phase when an individual actually starts to feel love. This attraction leads to strong feelings of excitement, and the individual finds themselves thinking constantly about his/her love. This attraction stage is one of the most beautiful parts of life (lots of poems and love songs came from this stage) and slight changes in personality are entirely natural and positive.
Stage 3: Attachment
The bonding with each other becomes powerful when a couple passes through the above two stages of love successfully. Attachment is a bond helping the couple to take their relationship to the next level. There are hormones oxytocin and vasopressin in our body that allow an individual to retain the feeling of love with his or her partner. This results in sexual activities between a couple and paves the way for more permanent outcomes, like marriage and/or children. The more a couple opts for sex, the more substantial the bond of attachment is between them.
The Bottom line
It’s safe to say love is one of the most delightful feelings of one’s life. It is true that “love is blind” because you never know when your brain will encounter love. A significant number of chemical reactions are involved in creating lust, attraction, attachment, and love between couples. The partner doesn’t need to only be gorgeous, sexy, or handsome; it turns out that falling in love involves many chemicals and mechanisms within the brain.