Love – What Does it Mean to Be in Love?

Love is a topic that’s fascinated philosophers, poets and other writers for generations. It’s a concept with multiple definitions, ranging from the physical intimacy and passion of romantic love to the deep commitment of companionate love. It can even be applied to non-human animals and to philosophical principles or religious beliefs.

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, many of us understand the feeling of loving something (like your partner, children, creative project or favorite sports team) deeply. You might even feel like you’re in a rush to help your loved one through a challenging time. It may sound cliche, but scientists agree that love is a strong desire to care for and protect others. And brain scans of people in love show that the primary reward centers in their brains light up.

While it can be hard to define, love is a powerful force. It’s why some people dedicate their lives to helping others and promoting well-being on a global scale, like Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey. These individuals are a beautiful example of what it means to love unconditionally, selflessly and profoundly.

To be genuinely happy, you should work to: (1) know what you value and why; (2) accept that life isn’t always going to go your way; and (3) make decisions that align with those values, both professionally and personally. It’s important to check in with your values on a regular basis and make sure that you’re still making the best choice for you.