How to Define Love


Love is a feeling of intense affection, but it’s also a deep psychological connection and bond. Some experts believe that it involves intimacy, passion, and commitment. Love can also have religious or spiritual meaning. These complexities make it difficult to consistently define love, especially as an emotion.

Researchers, psychologists, and sociologists differ somewhat on how to characterize love. Some think of it as a mammalian drive, like hunger or thirst, while others think of it as more of a complex emotional state.

Regardless of how you define it, most people agree that it is a powerful force. It can change the way you see yourself and the world around you. It can motivate you to act for the person you love, even when it’s hard. It can also make you more willing to try new things, or even activities you don’t necessarily enjoy, just because your partner loves them.

You may have seen this in action with your own family. Perhaps you’ve heard about your grandparents falling in love with the same person for over 60 years. Or maybe you know someone whose spouse has been fighting a long battle with cancer or emphysema, and they’re still happy. How is it possible to be so joyful in the face of so much hardship? The answer appears to be a combination of biology, culture, and life choices. Research shows that about 30 per cent of your happiness is inherited, while some of it can be attributed to your personality traits (like neuroticism). The rest seems to depend on the circumstances you’re in and the decisions you make.