The concept of love has always been important to humanity since the dawn of time, although the idea has changed through the years. In today’s culture, people tend to use a variety of labels to describe their personal experiences with love: passion, devotion, commitment, trust, tenderness, honesty, forgiveness, concern, understanding, acceptance, intimacy, emotional connection, bonding, commitment, belonging, and spiritual vitality. Most of these are fairly accurate, although “love” has a rather narrow scope in our world and often is used in non-traditional ways as well.
Love is a complex set of behaviors and emotions characterized by intense intimacy, romance, desire, dedication, security, caring, commitment, emotional intensity, attraction, commitment, and trust. It typically involves some combination of these behaviors and emotions, although it can vary widely from person to person. Love is often associated with a host of positive emotional states, including joy, excitement, happiness, life fulfillment, health, prosperity, satisfaction, peace, respect, empathy, and joy. It can even encompass your sense of humor can influence your romantic love/ attachment to another person. It is frequently associated with different types of bodily sensations such as feelings of pleasure, pain, relaxation, release, ecstasy, delight, tenderness, adoration, respect, loyalty, devotion, trust, responsibility, companionship, sharing, familiarity, sharing life, compassion, security, familiarity, non-judgment, non-resistance, non-resistant, acceptance, convenience, pleasure, spontaneity, identity, power, freedom, truth, intimacy, unselfishness, joy, trust, and joy.
Love is also influenced by two major hormones, oxytocin and serotonin, which are released when you are in love. These hormones, among others, have powerful influences on your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, personal growth, and decisions. In particular, oxytocin, is the primary hormone that encourages loving feelings between people, while serotonin triggers feelings of trust, security, intimacy, commitment, emotional fulfillment, health, happiness, productivity, and pro-friendliness. These two hormones combine to create your individualized, unique psychological “personality” that you experience both during romantic love and throughout your life.
Romantic attachment is most often characterized by intense, sustained and often multiple level of affection, similar to that felt during breastfeeding or co-sleeping. The most common of these intimate attachments is romantic love, which occurs most frequently when children are young and enduring through adolescence and adulthood. Most long-term relationships, on the other hand, are more likely to develop into long-term attachments, that is, relationships in which a person continually feels an affection for another person. These relationships tend to be more stable, secure, committed, loving, fulfilling, satisfying, enduring, and emotionally committed than are brief and fleeting friendships.
There are many theories about why romantic love develops in the human brain. One theory is that a person may receive a positive signal from the brain that causes them to experience physical sensations associated with lust or sexual attraction, such as arousal, anticipation, or orgasm. Additionally, there is some evidence that a person who experiences prolonged periods of sexual feelings may become more sensitive to pain and negative emotions than do those who are less sensitive to these emotions. Neurotransmitters in the brain send messages to the rest of the body about what is happening, whether it is pleasure, pain, or negative emotion. These chemical and neurological changes cause the body to react in a manner consistent with the message the brain has sent.
Theories suggest that the effects of this chemical and neurological sensitivity to feelings and actions are responsible for the persistent phenomenon of “chemistry” between two people in a relationship. People cannot stay with one person for a long time if they are not willing to share their intimate thoughts, feelings, dreams, ambitions, fears, joys, sorrows, success or happiness. People develop these feelings and emotions because they have experienced life events that have triggered these powerful emotions. Romantic love is the one emotion that most humans long to feel all of the time. Scientists have developed tests that show if a person is able to experience love, it releases similar chemicals in their brain as does giving affection to another person. In essence, love makes one person more sensitive to the feelings of another person.