Love is one of the most complicated emotions we can feel. It can be overwhelming, inspiring and healing all at once. It can also be frustrating, confusing and hurtful at times. The key to finding true love is understanding the many different components that make up this emotion.
Whether you’re looking for lasting happiness or just a way to survive, love can play a significant role in your life. In fact, studies have shown that the feelings of love can increase your chances of success in life. Despite its complexity, the concept of love is universal, and we can all relate to the feeling of loving someone.
While there are several definitions of love, it is typically described as a feeling that includes trust, compassion and commitment. It can be both platonic and romantic, and it can include feelings of affection and sexual arousal. It may also involve a sense of belonging and loyalty. People who love are said to be in “love” with their partner, friend or family member. However, not all forms of love are healthy. Unhealthy, unrequited or toxic love can lead to mental health issues and a negative impact on future relationships.
Some research suggests that love is a basic human emotion, similar to other emotions like anger or sadness. Other researchers, however, suggest that the experience of love is influenced by culture. The concept of love has inspired artists, poets and philosophers through the ages. It is often depicted in movies and books, and it is an important part of our everyday lives.
In the last 75 years, psychologists have started to understand more about the nature of love. They have also begun to study different types of love.
For example, some research shows that when we are in a romantic relationship, there is increased activity in the areas of the brain associated with reward and pleasure. Additionally, people in the throes of passionate love tend to suspend reason and are more likely to make irrational decisions.
Moreover, other researchers have found that when we think of someone we love, the parts of the brain related to motivation and reward are activated. This is why we can be so motivated to spend time with those we love.
Some researchers believe that there are three different love styles, referred to by the Greek terms erotic, pragma and agape. Erotic love is focused on physical attraction and sex, while pragma love is based on the ability to make wise relationship choices. And agape is self-sacrificing love, often demonstrated by the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. Others believe that some people have a mixture of these love styles. The key to finding real love is understanding your own needs and those of the person you’re in a relationship with. Ideally, you want a relationship that includes all three aspects of love: passion, intimacy and commitment. This is what Sternberg describes as true love.