The experience of love is subjective, varying from one person to the next. Despite this, humans are highly social animals, and love remains a deeply held fascination. Humans may not know why they feel the way they do, but they do know that love is a powerful emotion. This article examines how different people experience love, and outlines some of the common characteristics that make it a compelling emotion. Read on to learn more. We all want to be loved, but how do we know that we’re really in love?
First, what is love? Agape is the Greek term for love, and it means “to be concerned about another person.” Love can be sexual or romantic, and includes caring and affection. The triune Godhead is the ultimate example of eternal love, and the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is eternal. But love doesn’t have to be romantic – it can also refer to a more casual but strong affection for a person or object.
In addition to being an emotional state, love is a reciprocal experience. It requires both giver and receiver. Love is not a source of self-preservation, but something to be protected. It requires a willingness to let go of yourself for another. It requires the vulnerability to let someone in, which is a prerequisite for trust. Love is not something you can just give away and hope that they will come back. It’s more about being willing to give to someone who shows you care.
Theorists often attempt to understand love by classifying its components. However, this approach is problematic, as many accounts of love avoid explicitly reductionist language and show conceptual connections between different aspects of love. Ultimately, these theories are not terribly helpful. Instead, it is best to seek out a reputable researcher to help you make sense of the phenomenon. The following is an overview of the most common types of theories of love. They will guide you in determining which one of them is most useful to you.
Those who understand love as an appraisal of value usually answer this question by appealing to the value of the beloved. If they accept the justification, they then develop two related concerns about the object of their love. The first concerns that these people have about the object of their love, namely, a sense of guilt. It is not a reason to abandon them. Rather, the evaluator of love has to acknowledge their guilt and the consequences of not being able to forgive or rescind their love.
As couples fall in love, the brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that evokes feelings of pleasure and reward. These neurotransmitters also affect the ventral tegmental area, which is the reptilian core of the brain and associated with motivation, craving, and wanting. Similar brain regions light up after a cocaine high. They’re also involved in our ability to focus and achieve goals. So while love and relationships are wonderful, they should not lead to unhealthy mental states.