Love is a feeling that is difficult to pin down. It can be beautiful, pure, and sometimes painful all at the same time. Many people have various definitions for love that they live by. For some, it may mean a long-term relationship with someone where the two share mutual interests and trust one another. Others may see love as a way of living a life full of selflessness and commitment to their loved ones. Some even define it as a practice that is displayed by individuals like Martin Luther King Jr, Mahatma Gandhi, Maya Angelou, or Oprah Winfrey who have dedicated their lives to loving and serving others.
Scientists and psychologists have varying opinions about what love really is. Some view it as a basic human drive similar to hunger or thirst. Others believe it’s a secondary emotion that derives from an amalgamation of primary emotions. Regardless of the exact characteristics, most experts agree that love can be felt in a variety of ways. Whether it’s the love for your children, a sports team, your partner, or your creative vision, these feelings are what make us happy and give our lives meaning.
Love has been a subject of art and poetry through the ages. It is often depicted in movies, songs, novels and paintings. Romantic love has been found in 147 of the 166 cultures studied by researchers. In addition to romantic love, other types of love include familial and platonic love, which have been shown to help reduce depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.