How to Define Love


People have different definitions of love, but all share a sense of affection and attachment. You might love your partner, your family, your dog, or a creative project that you’re working on. Maybe you even love your country or sports team.

Some scientists argue that loving something is a biological drive similar to hunger or thirst, while others think of it as a complex emotional response that can vary from person to person and culture to culture. The American Psychological Association describes love as a “complex emotion” that includes elements of arousal and attachment. In the arousal phase, the brain produces a jumble of chemicals like dopamine and adrenaline that can make you flush, sweaty, or feel your heart racing. When love moves to the attachment stage, those arousal chemicals are replaced by oxytocin, a bonding hormone that helps you start making long-term plans together.

There is no doubt that the physical aspects of love can be pleasurable, but a good relationship also involves communication and mutual respect. A good way to understand your partner is to listen to them and ask questions about their life, goals, and dreams. This can help you determine if you are compatible and if the two of you are a good match. If you do decide to fall in love, be patient and kind. It can take time for the arousal to wear off, and you may need to work at maintaining your relationship.

You may also need to deal with obstacles in your relationship. For example, one of your partners may be terminally ill or have psychological issues. If you are not ready to deal with these challenges, then you might not be in a good place for love. If you do decide to love someone despite these challenges, then it’s important to remember that this type of love is often less glamorous than the romantic versions. It can include lots of early morning doctor’s visits and cleaning up bodily fluids.

In the end, the best way to define love is to experience it. It’s an intense feeling that can be complicated, confusing, and unpredictable. But it’s worth the effort if you find that it brings happiness and security into your life.

There will be days, and perhaps weeks, when you are not all mushy-gushy in love. It’s normal, but it’s also a sign that you should stick with it, because if you do, eventually you will look at your partner and a wave of love will wash over you. It will be so strong that your heart might burst. And then you will know that you are truly in love.