In the last 75 years or so, psychologists have only recently begun to define love as more than just a physical attraction. The word “love” can be used to describe a variety of emotions, behaviors, and attitudes, such as compassion and loyalty. Love can be found in relationships with family, friends, pets, and even people we don’t know.
In a romantic relationship, many believe that love is the feeling of intimacy and security. This often means a deep connection to the person you’re with and a willingness to be vulnerable by sharing personal details like embarrassing stories or secrets. You may also be willing to make sacrifices for the other person, such as taking on responsibilities or giving up certain interests.
The first signs of true love are feelings of closeness and safety. Biologically, this includes the release of chemicals in your brain associated with reward and pleasure, such as dopamine and norepinephrine. This is what leads you to spend more time with the person you’re attracted to and can be a sign that your relationship has potential.
Once you’re in the throes of true love, it’s easy to get lost in your emotions and become blinded by hormones. It can be difficult to see your flaws and admit when you’ve done something wrong. But, if you’re truly in love, it’s usually a positive experience to overcome those challenges together. This is what makes loving someone so worthwhile—that and the fact that they’re worth the effort.