Love is the most powerful emotion we experience in our lives. It can be romantic, familial, platonic, unrequited, or unconditional. It can be a source of great pain or joy, and it can change us in countless ways. It is a complex concept that has been debated, analyzed, and written about for centuries.
Many people think that love is a feeling, while others believe that it is an action or a choice. Regardless of how you define it, one thing is certain: it is an important part of our lives. People who have lived and acted out of love have promoted well-being for themselves and others, both on a personal and societal level. Examples include the selfless sacrifice and commitment to love displayed by figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, and others.
Despite all the theories, arguments, and opinions about what it means to love, most psychologists agree that there are some common characteristics. Love can involve a sense of attachment or desire to be close to another person, or a feeling of intense pleasure when that person is around. It also involves a sense of loyalty and a desire to protect and care for that person.
Some scientists and researchers argue that love is not a specific emotion but rather an essential physiological drive, similar to hunger, thirst, sleep, and the sex drive. For example, Enrique Burunat argues that love is not an emotional response but rather “a fundamental motivation like hunger, thirst, and sex” (Sabini & Silver, 2005). Others, such as Paul Ekman, argue that each basic emotion shows up with its own distinct facial expression and triggers activity in different parts of the brain, and that love is a mixture of primary emotions.
Other definitions of love include the idea that it is an action or a choice, as well as a feeling that can be triggered by actions. For instance, a scientist named Fisher at Stony Brook University put 37 people into an MRI machine and found that when they fell in love, there was a surge of activity in the brain’s reward system, as well as an ancient area called the ventral tegmental area that is associated with motivation, craving, and focus.
When writing an essay about love, consider the different types of relationships you have and what it is that makes each special to you. When creating your characters, think about the type of love you want them to feel, and then show that love in the way they act, speak, and touch each other. Using this method of showing, rather than telling, your audience about love will help them become more invested in your story. In addition, remember that no one is perfect, and displaying your characters’ flaws can make their love seem more real to your readers.