Love is an emotion that can make us feel like we’re on top of the world, while it can also leave us feeling deflated and let down. No matter the highs and lows, love is one of the most important things we can — and need to — experience in our lives. Whether it’s romantic love, parental love, platonic friendship, creative passion or the love for our pets, all of these different feelings and interactions are a form of love.
Even though we often think of love as a primarily romantic experience, it can take many forms and is an incredibly complex concept. In fact, psychologists have only recently come to understand love as a specific type of emotion.
According to research, when we’re madly in love with someone, it triggers a surge of dopamine and activity in parts of our brain associated with motivation, desire and focus. This love-drug effect is similar to that experienced by cocaine users.
In addition to romantic love, we can experience love for our pets, a cause, a political ideology or a belief system. It’s important to recognize the differences between these different types of love so you can better decide what kind of love story your characters need to tell.
When writing about love, be sure to highlight its complexity and give your reader a full picture of what it feels like to be in that type of relationship. Incorporate the little moments of tension and yearning that are often a part of a slow burn, and show your readers how much your characters care for each other in the thousands of ways they interact.