Love is not just a word, it’s everything. It has various shades, but it always boils down to one thing: unconditional love. Love encompasses a whole range of positive and constructive emotional and psychological states, from the purest spiritual virtue or beneficial trait, to the most basic bodily pleasure, from pure admiration to respectful admiration. All of this depends on our view of love as a state, an abstract concept.
One of the most fundamental understandings of love is that it is an intimate bonding of two people based on a variety of emotions-emotions that are completely independent of sexual attraction or lust. In other words, love is a more complicated concept than “I want you in my life.” However, it would be impossible to explain love as an emotion; feelings are always involved. Some of the most basic emotions we experience in love include compassion, joy, sadness, trust, approval, adoration, desire and intimacy. These are just some of the many different emotions that can arise in romantic love relationships.
When love is viewed in its purely physical sense, one might think that there is nothing more to it than physical attraction. After all, when two people engage in a physical act of attraction, they are only experiencing one of the many emotions that result from love. But feelings other than attraction exist behind attraction-emotional feelings that can make or break a relationship. Attraction can be overpowering if the emotion of love isn’t present.
For instance, most casual sex researchers agree that most of us experience sexual liking for someone after one-one time with them. The brain regions that produce these feelings are located in the center of the cerebral cortex, which is located in the forehead. If you were to look directly into a person’s eyes when you compliment them on their appearance, you would notice the changes in their expression as well as in their physical appearance. But if you compliment someone on something else besides their appearance-if you tell them how smart they are, how nice of them for giving you a hard time at the school dance, or how cute they are when playing catch-the feelings of love, appreciation, approval and desire for more are all present.
In addition to physical attraction, most of us have strong emotional attachments to another person. We might feel extremely close to a friend, family member or co-worker. Or we might have strong feelings for a movie star or an athlete. We may even have strong attachments to pets and/or significant others in our lives. Most people say they have strong feelings for significant others in their lives on a daily basis. And this is the reason why we often find ourselves deeply invested in someone else’s life.
In addition to having feelings for another person, most people also find that their relationships have deep roots that go back to early childhood. Our relationships with our parents, siblings and other loved ones to shape who we become and how deeply we connect to them. As children we often experience profound love and affection for those in our lives. As we grow up and enter adulthood this same love and attachment may be directed toward romantic partners and other forms of social interaction. No matter how closely we connect to someone or how much we crave their affections it is important to remember that most relationships involve intense feelings attraction-not passion.