Love is one of the most complex feelings a person can have. From an evolutionary psychology perspective, love evolved to keep people bonded and committed to each other. While many people may think of the idea of romantic love with a partner when they hear the word “love”, research shows that most people have multiple forms of love including non-romantic platonic love between friends, love for family members and intense unconditional love. Love is so common in our culture that it is hard to pin down what the full meaning of love really is. There are many definitions of love from different cultures, but it all comes down to a feeling of attraction or affection for another person.
Even the dictionary will vary the definitions of love depending on which source you are looking at. For example, the Cambridge dictionary defines it as ‘to like someone very much and be sexually or romantically attracted to them or to have strong feelings of liking for a friend or relative’.
The emotion of love can have a profound effect on your wellbeing. It can make you feel more confident and happy. It can also improve your ability to concentrate and perform better in work and school. However, there are some negative effects of love that can be detrimental to your mental health and well-being. Unhealthy and toxic relationships can have a lasting impact on your mental health, leading to insecurities that can affect the way you interact with others. You can also experience negative consequences from unhealthy patterns of behavior in a relationship such as lying and cheating.
While the concept of love has been debated by philosophers for centuries, experts have discovered that there are some things that all definitions of love have in common. There are three main types of love described by ancient Greek philosophers: eros, pragma and agape. Eros love is focused on physical attractiveness and engagement in sex, pragma is a practical commitment to a long-term relationship that values the partner’s qualities as a companion and friend and agape is self-sacrificing.
Some philosophers argue that the emotions associated with love are not a special type of evaluation but a response to antecedent value, and that these properties are what give love its intuitive “depth.” Other scholars, however, have pointed out that it is difficult to understand the nature of love merely in terms of appraisal and suggest that we need to consider the way in which love is bestowed if we want to fully appreciate its complexity and depth.
The research suggests that some people have a mixture of these love styles, with evidence showing that there are primarily three types of love: mania, pragma and agape. Those high on pragma love are more likely to make sensible relationship choices and value their partners’ qualities as a friend, while those in agape love prioritize their own emotional needs and can be quite selfless. Those in eros love are often less rational and tend to focus on physical attractiveness.