As far as emotions go, love is one of the most complex and confusing. It’s hard to define, and it can vary from person to person and culture to culture. Some psychologists believe it’s a biological drive, similar to hunger or thirst. Others see it as a mix of multiple primary emotions.
Even if you don’t agree with how scientists or others characterize it, everyone can agree that love has a powerful effect on our lives. From the love we have for our family members to the affection we have for our pets, we’re constantly influenced by the people and things we love.
Many people think of romantic love when they think about love, but it’s not the only kind of love there is. We also feel loved by our children, friends, and coworkers. We even feel some love for inanimate objects, such as our favorite teddy bear or truck. When you love someone, you want to spend time with them, and there’s an emotional connection that can make you feel happy or sad. You may even experience physical symptoms, such as a dry mouth, butterflies in the stomach, and weak knees.
Research shows that when you’re in love, certain parts of your brain light up. These parts are called the ventral tegmental area and caudate nucleus, and they fire much more when you’re in love than when you’re looking at a picture of someone you don’t care about.
Some researchers see love as a combination of three components that can be viewed as the vertices of a triangle: intimacy, passion, and commitment/decision. Some romantic relationships have all three of these, while others have only one or two. When you love someone, it’s important to understand the differences between the different types of love so that you can find the right type for your relationship.
Intimate love is a strong sense of trust, familiarity, and comfort. This kind of love is most commonly experienced by parents and siblings and can be a very nurturing type of love. Companionate love is a deeper form of intimate love, which involves sharing interests and having shared experiences. It often leads to a long-term, stable marriage.
Passionate love is a fast-developing, intensely sexual type of affection that often leads to a quick end to relationships. Unrequited love occurs when a person loves someone who does not return their feelings.
Storge is a long-term, mature form of affection. This kind of love includes mutual respect, a focus on common goals, and open communication. People who have this type of love tend to prioritize spending time with each other, and they often show their love through acts of service, such as bringing you soup or medicine when you’re sick. Storge is a very fulfilling, but it’s also a challenging type of love. When it’s not nurtured properly, it can lead to resentment and depression.