Love is the subject of countless philosophical, literary, and religious works, but it’s also an intangible emotion that may be hard to define. It can be a powerful force that brings people together, yet it is different for everyone and every relationship. It is a complex phenomenon that can cause feelings of euphoria, desire, and attachment. This makes it a topic of debate over whether or not it is a choice, whether it is permanent or fleeting, and how it differs from other emotions.
For decades, scientists and philosophers have tried to understand love. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that psychologists began studying it. Since then, we have learned a lot about what causes love to happen and how it changes over time.
The conventional biological model of love suggests that it is a mammalian drive similar to hunger or thirst. This view suggests that hormones like oxytocin, neurotrophins, and pheromones play a role in the way we think about and behave in relationships. In addition, the traditional psychological view of love suggests that it is composed of three core components that can be viewed as the vertices of a triangle: intimacy, passion, and commitment.
Intimacy refers to the feeling of closeness and connection with a person. This can be an emotional, romantic, or platonic relationship. Having this element in a relationship helps us to feel secure and safe. Passion refers to the intense attraction and desire to be with a person. This is often the driving force in a romantic relationship. Finally, commitment refers to the decision and dedication to be with a person over the long term.
Various studies have shown that people who are in love experience a surge of activity in the brain’s reward system, including an area called the ventral tegmental area (VTA). This is part of the reptilian brain and is associated with wanting, focus, and craving. MRI tests have also found that when someone is in love, they yearn to be with their partner and see them all the time.
Other studies have looked at what happens when people fall in and out of love. It has been found that people are more likely to fall in love when they can meet their needs for companionship, sex, and security. The ability to satisfy these needs is also important when determining the strength of the emotional bond in a relationship. In addition, if a potential union satisfies social norms or is accepted by one’s social network, this can contribute to the likelihood of falling in love.