The concept of love has many facets. Some accounts of love are more reductionist than others. Others are evaluative, valuing one thing above another. Still others, such as the romantic approach, are a mixture of both. Regardless of the definition of love, the basic idea of love is to find and appraise something of value.
In the beginning, people who are in love may feel silly and careless. They may want to commit to one another and start a family. They might even want to help each other as they build a career. But ultimately, love is about friendship, respect, and spiritual growth. That’s why the emotions that accompany love often fluctuate and evolve over time.
While psychologists are unsure of how love develops in different people, they do agree that there are some common characteristics. For example, passionate love is about intense attraction and arousal, while companionate love involves a strong attachment and friendship. In addition, companionate love is based on the desire to help others and is often characterized by self-sacrifice.
Despite the wide range of emotions, there is no universal emotion that captures the full scope of the experience. Pismenny & Prinz (2017) argue that the experience of love is too diverse to be summed up in a single emotion. Therefore, we cannot define love as one specific emotion, but we should be able to recognize love in another person.
Love is an intense and deep emotion. It is the glue that holds relationships together. It is difficult to define and is sometimes confused with other feelings such as lust, attraction, and companionship. Despite the definitions that exist, most people agree that love involves feelings of euphoria and affection. The feeling of love is a strong feeling of attachment and loyalty.
Love is a reciprocal emotion. Those who are in love are able to trust their significant other with their vulnerabilities. They can trust that their significant other will not exploit their flaws against them. As such, love is not an emotion to be stored in a cupboard or hidden away as a treasure. This emotion is a reflection of the way we view others.
Love has many expressions, including romantic, philanthropic, and familial. While these expressions have many similarities, they differ considerably. Some forms of love are more mature and meaningful than others, such as brotherly or familial love. They are also more likely to be mutual. In fact, some of the most enduring forms of love are the ones that are spiritual, not physical.
Love is a complex emotion, and even experts struggle with it. Luckily, there are relationship counselors who specialize in it. These professionals can help you understand the nuances of love and help you move on.