Love is one of the most complex and mysterious feelings humans experience. It’s been the subject of songs, poems, novels, movies and much more throughout history. Despite the wide scope of interpretations, many people agree that love is an incredibly powerful and enduring feeling. It can make us feel a sense of peace and calm that is difficult to describe or replicate, as well as a rush of adrenaline and excitement when we are in love with someone.
However, just like other emotions, the definition of love is quite subjective. Some people may argue that a person in love is selfless and only cares about the other person. While this is an extremely important aspect of love, it is also possible to love another person for their qualities and character, rather than simply their appearance or personality. This is often referred to as “emotional love” and can be found in platonic relationships as well as romantic ones.
Even though it is a complicated emotion, scientists have begun to understand some aspects of it. For example, researchers have discovered that when we are in love, certain areas of the brain light up. This includes the caudate nucleus, which is responsible for the sensation of reward and motivation, as well as an ancient part of the brain known as the ventral tegmental area (VTA). The VTA is associated with cravings, desire, focus and motivation. Other research has found that when we think of our loved ones, it triggers a surge of dopamine in the brain. This chemical is responsible for the feeling of euphoria and excitement that we all know as love.
According to 20th-century rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler, the Jewish concept of love is more than just a strong feeling of connection and comfort – it’s about “caring without expecting to receive.” Other scholars have suggested that loving others is a combination of altruism and simple narcissism.
Whether you’re in a relationship or not, there are likely to be days when you don’t feel all mushy-gushy in love with the person you’re with. That’s normal, and it will pass if you stick with it. There are also likely to be times when you’ll wake up and realise your heart is bursting with love for someone you’ve never met before.
The way you feel about someone can change over time, and this is a beautiful thing. If you can determine that what you’re experiencing is true love and not just infatuation, then it is worth hanging on in there for the long haul. In time, you’ll find that your trust and loyalty grow with each passing day, and you’ll begin to truly see the good, bad and the ugly in your loved one. Even their habit of checking Instagram at lunchtime may be something that you’ll learn to appreciate. After all, no one is perfect, and this is what makes them human.