How to Write About Love in a Non-Sappy Way

Love is a complex blend of feelings, emotions, and attachments. It is both a universal and highly personal experience, with a power to transform people and the world. Its complexities have fascinated philosophers, poets, and ordinary individuals throughout history.

Love can feel dreamy, like you’re walking on air or floating with the clouds in strawberry cotton candy. Or it can be muddy, filled with despair and the thought that you’ll never climb out of the abyss of your broken heart. But whether it’s sweet and mushy or bitter and twisted, it’s an extremely important part of most people’s lives.

As a writer, you may find yourself describing the way your characters fall in and out of love, their peaks and valleys, and how it affects their day-to-day life. But it’s also possible that you don’t want to sound too sappy or overly sentimental. You might want to take a more objective approach and consider other ways that you can explore your character’s relationship with love.

In fact, one of the best ways to capture the depth of a loving relationship is by showing rather than telling your readers about it. For example, instead of saying that your character is “madly in love,” show them falling head over heels for each other through their actions and words. It will help your audience become fully immersed in your story and feel the intensity of the characters’ emotions.

A common question when writing about love is: Is it a feeling or an emotion? Some people describe it as a mix of both, with a strong sense of affection and closeness combined with an irrational emotional response. For most people, both aspects of love are needed to make a long-term relationship work.

The scientific view of love is that it involves a combination of attraction, attachment, and commitment. It’s based on a mammalian drive, similar to hunger or thirst, that is triggered by the release of chemicals in the brain, including dopamine, norepinephrine, and oxytocin.

Biologically, it’s the same type of chemical rush that happens when you see someone you love for the first time. But this initial attraction is replaced by attachment as your brain’s reward pathways begin to grow and you start to build trust and develop a bond with the person you love.

When this stage is reached, you’re committed to that person even when it’s not very fun or easy. It might mean staying with them through difficult times or sacrificing your own desires for theirs. It might involve arguing, getting sick, and cleaning up bodily fluids. But it’s worth it because this is the true definition of unconditional love, which is essential to a healthy relationship.

Another form of love is compassion, which is a deeper and more spiritual feeling. It’s about seeing the good in a person, and wanting to see them at their best. It might be a form of selfless love or it could simply be a desire to improve your own life by helping the other person grow. For example, a parent or friend might stay committed to someone who has a pattern of destructive behavior, but they still love them, because they care deeply about that person’s well-being and can’t imagine living without them.