Although it was long thought that science would someday study love, it has only recently become an accepted topic of inquiry. The study of love has been criticized for being too philosophical and esoteric, as Freud noted that thousands of years of art and creative writing had preceded it. However, early explorations of love are now considered to have biological and evolutionary bases. For instance, studies conducted on the brain activity of lovers indicate that the same brain regions are activated in a person in passionate love as when a person is taking cocaine.
What is love? Love is the most powerful emotional feeling that unites people and is deeply biological. Many people mistake love with attraction, lust, or companionship. Though love is the strongest and most intense emotion we can feel, many people find it difficult to define. For most people, love is a deep feeling of affection. However, many different meanings of love have been suggested over the years. In addition to love being the strongest emotion, it can also refer to an intense feeling of ecstasy or happiness.
The best way to define love is to understand its nuances. There are many kinds of love and no two are exactly the same. The love that we feel for our parents, our friends, and our romantic partners are very different from the love we feel for our dog. But no matter what, we all experience love at various points in our lives. Love has many meanings and can be as simple or complex as we want. So, how do we define love? Here are some common definitions:
God’s agape love does not fail His adopted people. Though His people failed in worship, God never abandoned His remnant and chose to rescue them from idolatry. He preserved His people despite their many failures. Agape is similar to chesed. It is a love that never fails, no matter what circumstances it faces. Similarly, our love for God should be the same. And the best way to describe it is through the example of Jesus, the ultimate model of love.
Although the ancient Greeks defined love by identifying three distinct styles, we don’t always know what they meant. There are two types of love: agape love and ludus love. Agape is the most common, while pragma loves a partner with a sense of duty. And, of course, eros love is purely romantic, while ludus and pragma love are more practical and straightforward.
While the intensity of romantic love usually lasts about six months to two years, most romantic relationships eventually lead to attachment. In these cases, a person may fall in love more than once, or fall in and out of love. But this does not necessarily mean that a relationship is over. A person may fall out of love several times, or even “grow out” of it. A person can mistake infatuation and initial attraction for love, and later realize that it is deeper than lust.