How Have I Developed Love?
Love is described as the emotion when one feels loved, cared for, and appreciated for ones individual qualities. Love encompasses a spectrum of alluring and powerful emotional and mental states, ranging from the highest sublime religious feeling, to the most innocent personal pleasure, the most intense emotional connection. Love transcends gender, race, ethnicity, cultural heritage, and age. It brings individuals together, and makes them grow closer with each other, until the love develops into an unbreakable bond that withstands all difficulties.
The foundation of romantic love is similar to our own. We all have feelings that are born out of basic human needs for security, approval, love, companionship, and recognition. Our responses to these emotional needs change and develop based upon our experiences and the people we love. While all of us may share the same basic emotions, our individual responses to these feelings may vary from one person to another. This is how love develops and forms.
The first stages of developing love may be related to familiarity and affection. As two people become more acquainted and spend more time with each other, they gain a sense of “us” and “we,” and the security and comfort associated with this feeling grows. Individuals begin to enjoy being with this person, and begin to share intimate physical and emotional relationships. These feelings of security, love, and comfort may actually fuel the desire for intimacy to take place.
However, while this early stage of development may result in “romantic love,” it isn’t love. Romantic love is typically expressed by couples who have committed to each other in a romantic manner – a relationship in which both individuals have unconditional love and respect for one another. Romantic love isn’t based on anything else but these two individuals’ mutual respect and love for each other. This “love style” typically isn’t expressed for long periods of time, and most likely isn’t developed to a degree where it can produce intimacy.
The second stage of the development of passionate love often involves intense feelings within the individual – often a deep, intense feeling of love, although sometimes it may also include some kind of flirtation. The individual’s feelings may be as a result of meeting someone new, or being involved with someone new in a sexual way. It may even be due to experiencing some type of tragedy or loss.
Regardless of whether these feelings are felt at this stage of development, they are developing. They typically involve a deep feeling of pleasure with another person, and often are experienced when one feels “safe.” These are essentially feelings of satisfaction and intimacy that can easily transform into feelings of romance when this initial spark begins to develop. When this happens, another person – usually a woman – will begin to show an interest in that person, and this leads to more romantic love-based interests (affection).