How to Define Love


There are many ways to define love, as it encompasses a range of strong and positive emotions and attitudes. Some scholars classify them into four types: love as union, love as robust concern, love as valuing and love as emotion. Others eschew these categories in favor of more descriptive language like “loving,” “being in love” and “smitten.”

Psychologist Paul Ekman argues that we shouldn’t even consider “love” to be an actual emotion because it lacks the “concretely identifiable facial expression or bodily reaction that typically accompany basic emotions such as happiness or anger.” However, this argument misses the point. Although love doesn’t come with a specific face or body response, it is still an extremely powerful emotion that has shaped human civilizations in very different ways.

When we are in love, we can often feel like everything around us takes on new meaning. For example, going grocery shopping or visiting a museum can suddenly become more enjoyable than usual. Being in love also makes you more willing to try new things, especially if your partner is interested in them.

There is no doubt that we all experience some form of love in our lives. It’s why we forgive our partners for their bad habits, spend time working on a creative project or cheer on our favorite sports team. However, it can be difficult to recognize when you’re truly in love with someone versus just infatuated. Infatuation is often mistaken for true love and can lead to disastrous results if it isn’t addressed early on.