Love is a feeling we all experience at some point in our lives. It is a deep affection that can be felt for many different people in our life: a spouse, close friends, parents, a child, or even animals like dogs. The feelings of love can range from the giddy feeling you get when thinking about someone to a commitment to another person that will last through rough patches and even death. It is an emotional intensity that can be triggered by many different things, from chemicals in the brain to social pressures. It can feel like nothing else on earth. There are many theories about the nature of love, from its being an emotion to the idea that it is simply a matter of choice. There are also debates about whether love can be rationally justified.
One important way that different people view love is through the concept of loving relationships or bonds. These can be as simple as spending time together and sharing hobbies or as complex as a romantic relationship. Licensed therapist Sasha Jackson, LCSW, says that when you start creating traditions with your loved ones — like having breakfast together on Thanksgiving morning or opening up one present on Christmas Eve — that is a sign that you are in the beginning stages of falling in love.
In these loving relationships, we may develop feelings of empathy for the other person that can lead to sacrifices. We may try to make them happy in every way we can, and we can feel devastated when they are sad. This type of love is a form of compassion and a desire to help others. It is also a form of love that can be nurtured and maintained, but it takes work.
This kind of loving relationship is a way that many people understand the idea of true love, which is a mutual commitment. It means that you will not be swayed by the emotional whims of your lover and that you are not just looking out for yourself. This is a kind of love that is not always easy, but it can be more satisfying and meaningful than simply enjoying the companionship of another person.
It can also be hard to explain, because we cannot just point to particular historical facts about a loving relationship as proof that the love is genuine. Justification usually requires that we appeal to properties that are common or objective, so it seems that this might be a challenge for the union view of love. An account that understands love as an attitude of value that is intermediate between appraisal and bestowal might offer a solution to this problem. This understanding might also be helpful in explaining the intuitive sense of depth that love has in the minds of many people, as well as the fact that love can have a long-term impact on an individual’s identity. For this reason, this sort of view is sometimes called the emotion complex view of love.