Is Intimacy The Same As Romance?
Love, like every other word in the dictionary, is a noun that means “attachment.” Love encompasses a wide range of positive and powerful emotional and psychological states, from the highest sublime virtue or solid habit, to the easiest imaginable pleasure. But what exactly is love? Does it simply describe an emotion, a reaction to a stimulus or even an intellectual property of some sort? Or is there a more exact definition?
The answer to this question will vary according to who you ask it to. For most people the definition of romantic love is something that is more about how you feel and the intense feelings you have for another person. It is this intimate attachment or “affection” that is the essence of this love. Romantic love doesn’t just involve being “in love.” It goes beyond the simple feelings of attraction and caring. It involves a deeper level of emotional bonding and intimacy.
Romantic love is basically a state of mind. When you are in love, your brain regions become activated with an electrical impulse to connect your body and mind with the object of your affections. In short, you are literally “attaching” your emotional responses (happiness, sadness, anger, love) to the person with whom you are romantically involved. This does not mean that the brain regions responsible for forming these feelings actually cause these positive feelings; but they are triggered by neurological impulses sent from parts of the brain that are part of the limbic system (the section of the brain that houses your emotions and memory).
The experience of true love can be very varied. Some people experience true love during their early relationships. They form strong emotional bonds with their spouses or they may only have intense relationships for a short period of time before they part ways. Others, on the other hand, experience true love during more mature relationships. They are more likely to stay in long-term relationships, have many partners, and fall in and out of multiple relationships.
True romantic love, like all forms of loving relationships, springs from within. It is something that comes more deeply to your nature than any of the things you consciously manipulate and control. You cannot be in love if you are in your head, if what you are feeling and thinking about is trivial to you. If you are living a material life, if your relationships are not motivated by deeply meaningful emotions, then how will you experience passion for your romantic relationships? You will not.
True love, on the other hand, often involves intense feelings and very real physical and emotional aspects. It is often not the product of a momentary whim. In fact, most long-term lovers say that the best relationships are those where the feelings of intimacy came naturally rather than when they were triggered by another person or situation. True love often involves being connected to your mate in an inner way that allows intimacy to emerge and grow without being managed, controlled, or stimulated by anyone else. Emotional intimacy is the source of true long term romance.