Love is one of the most intense emotions that humans can feel. It’s what makes people do all those early morning doctor’s visits for one specific person, it’s what drives them to go the extra mile for that person.
There are several different kinds of love: friendship, storge, infatuation, commitment, and unrequited love. All of them share the same characteristics: a deep emotional connection, trust and affection.
Friendships, which can last for years or even decades, often start as a form of love and may grow into something more romantic over time. However, some of these friendships can become toxic over time and turn into romantic relationships that are more destructive than healthy.
Storge, which can last for a lifetime or even more, also develops over time and may be based on shared interests, trust and affection. This type of love usually involves a strong commitment and requires both partners to make the relationship work.
Infatuation, which can last for a few weeks or months, usually begins with physical attraction and may progress to a more intimate level. This type of love typically involves sex and intense feelings of longing. It can occur in early relationships and may continue to grow and develop over time, but often ends in breakups or separation.
Commitment, which is a more long-term and stable type of love, can include sharing the same goals, dreams and priorities. It can involve moving in together, starting a family or lifting each other up as they build careers and lives.
This type of love is more enduring and can be achieved through communication and openness. It also often requires a great deal of patience and understanding.
Emotionally, falling in love can be a roller coaster ride with a series of highs and lows, with feelings like exhilaration, euphoria, increased energy, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, trembling, accelerated breathing, and anxiety. These feelings can be a source of joy and satisfaction, or they can lead to desperation and despair.
Despite this, most of us would say that falling in love is the best thing that can happen to us. It’s a rush of positive emotions that feels as real as the love we feel for our pets and children.
Falling in love can make us more confident, able to face challenges and overcome difficult situations, says therapist Mark Schwartz. It can also make us less afraid of the future, which can be a good thing.
There’s a growing body of scientific evidence that suggests that our primitive, survival-related brain systems are active when we are in love. That means that the euphoria and reward recognition associated with romantic love are triggered by parts of our brain that are used for self-preservation, Sullivan says.
In fact, it’s possible that our ancestors used to fall in love with their beloved as an essential part of their daily lives. That’s because love is the most common human emotion, and it can be experienced by people of all races, genders, religions and sexual orientations. It is an essential part of a healthy and happy lifestyle.