What Is Love?
“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing, and forgiving. Through good and bad times, it is loyalty. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” Ann Landers.
“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” Emily Bronte.
“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” Aristotle.
Webster Dictionary Definition of Love:
1. strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties. Maternal love for a child.
2. attraction based on sexual desire: affection and tenderness felt by lovers after all these years are still very much in love.
3. affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests love for his old schoolmates
4 .warm attachment, enthusiasm, or love of the sea.
After several years of marriage, we take our spouses for granted.
I recently had a case of a married couple who had been together for 18 years. The husband, an amiable and sensitive man, forgot to send his wife some kind of gift for Valentine’s day. She felt hurt and disappointed. We discussed it in couples’ therapy. Clearly, he had no intention of hurting his beloved wife. While he intended to send her a gift, he forgot as he played video games with friends on the Internet. She was very hurt. As his therapist, I joked with him he had better have a good life insurance policy because she retaliated in a deadly way.
He understood the joke and felt terrible about overlooking the import of expressing his affection, especially on Valentine’s day.
We take a lot of things for granted, both husbands and wives. Yet, it is essential to express affection and love for our romantic partner. It’s just a reminder that we care. And it means a lot to our spouses.
There are many ways for couples to express their love for one another. For example, ordering flowers, sending a loving card, cooking dinner for that evening, possibly ending in a sexual episode of lovemaking. These things mean a lot to people. There is more to love and romance and simply sex. People want to know that their partner is highly valued and appreciated.
Love is a set of emotions and behaviors characterized by intimacy, passion, and commitment. It involves care, closeness, protectiveness, attraction, affection, and trust. Love can vary in intensity and can change. It is associated with a range of positive emotions, including happiness, excitement, life satisfaction, and euphoria. Still, it can also result in negative emotions such as jealousy and stress.1
It is said by many that love is one of the most important human emotions. Yet, despite being one of the most studied behaviors, it is still the least understood.
Types of Love
Not all forms of love are the same, and psychologists have identified several types of love that people may experience.
These types of love include:
Friendship: This type of love involves liking someone and sharing a certain intimacy.
Infatuation: This is a love that involves feelings of attraction without a sense of commitment; it usually takes place early in a relationship and may deepen into more lasting love.
Passionate love: This type of love is marked by feelings of longing and attraction; it often involves an idealization of the other person and a need to maintain constant physical closeness.
Compassionate love: This form of love is marked by trust, affection, intimacy, and commitment.
Unrequited love: This form of love happens when one loves another who does not return those feelings.