Love is a mix of emotions, behaviors, and beliefs associated with strong feelings of affection for another person. It is also the name for a feeling of warmth, protectiveness, and respect.
Definitions of love vary widely, but most people agree that love implies feelings of tenderness, protection, and respect for another person. It is a common term used in everyday language, and it applies to both human beings and animals.
Romantic love is a powerful and intense emotion, often marked by high levels of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin that flood your body with euphoria. In this form of love, a person can become so emotionally attached to their partner that they are ready to do anything for them.
Research into romantic love also shows that it can help you to focus and concentrate, and make decisions more easily. During passionate love, your central dopamine production increases and your brain’s reward centers become more active, according to research from neuroscientist Michael Fisher.
Relationship therapist Sarah Calvert tells us that loving someone means not only accepting them for who they are, but also seeing the good in them and building a genuine commitment to them. This can involve accepting that they are messy, and letting them live their lives the way they choose to.
It’s also trusting that the person you love wants to be with you, and feeling safe and excited in the knowledge that you can make whatever kind of relationship you want together. That’s the real essence of love.