People often debate on what is love and how do you know if you love someone? What is love to you may seem different to someone else? The answers are many and it depends on your definition of love as well. You might call some of the definitions of love you have heard “love at first sight”, “lasting love” or “special love”.
Love is a group of feelings and behaviors typically characterized by passion, intimacy, commitment, and caring. It entails emotional proximity, care, intimacy, security, attraction, commitment, and trust. Love can range from mild to intense affection to complete devotion. As humans, we tend to crave love and have affection for someone or something that we consider to be loved. This allows us to feel emotionally safe and secure as well as providing an assurance of safety and security for our relationships. We also experience love-based emotions such as joy, satisfaction, contentment, security, reliability, competence, and abundance.
As mentioned above, the primary emotion that love evokes is love, but it can also include other emotions such as happiness, peace, humor, surprise, admiration, adoration, tenderness, concern, belonging, compassion, approval, and respect. As humans, loving another person comes with a variety of unique feelings. Although all these types of love are directed towards another person, some can be more powerful than others. It is common for most of us to respond to love with love and others with affection. However, it is possible for some loving feelings to transform into more intense romantic love when one’s partner respond to these feelings with romantic love.
Another way to think about this type of love is by looking at how our brains work. If we are more strongly attracted to someone, our brains end up sending more signals to our limbic system which is in charge of instinctual behavior, such as running off to chase a cat, eating our favorite chocolate, or returning a loved one after years of absence. Since the limbic system is linked to romantic love, our brains might say that we like this person and want to spend more time with them, even if the partner doesn’t reciprocate the romantic gesture.
One thing that should be noted is that there is often an emotional connection that develops as well as a sexual attraction. Therefore, a man may feel more emotionally connected to his wife as he develops more affection for her. This is especially true if the wife responds reciprocally with affection and attention. A woman on the other hand might feel more sexually attracted to her husband if her husband shows more affection for her.
One last way to look at romantic love is by thinking about how two people relate to each other physically. If physical intimacy occurs, this is usually a clear indicator of romantic love because the two people are very close. However, if the two people rarely engage in physical relationships, it is possible that this form of love may just be a form of familiarity. Perhaps the two people have been together for decades but do not feel sexual attraction for one another. Regardless of what your theory is, if you feel that you are drawn to someone and that you are developing a strong emotional bond to them, then you are experiencing what could be described as romantic love.