When it comes to love, everyone has a unique experience. Whether it’s a first love, an ideal lover, or a loved one, the feeling can be both exhilarating and heartbreaking. However, it can also be a source of inspiration. For example, love is the reason you forgive your partner for lateness, push yourself to finish a creative project, or cheer on your favorite sports team despite their losing streak. It’s the force that drives you to work hard for your family, to volunteer your time, or to donate money to a cause you care about.
But what exactly is love? Some scientists think it’s a biological process, while others believe that culture and society play a big role in how we view it. It’s also a complex emotion that’s almost impossible to define, especially when we consider the many different forms it can take.
For instance, one theory suggests that there are three stages of love: attraction, lust, and attachment. During the attraction phase, you feel a strong desire for someone, and it’s why your cheeks flush, palms get sweaty, and your heart races when you meet someone new. It’s triggered by the release of a jumble of chemicals, including dopamine and adrenaline, which can be addictive. When the lust phase kicks in, you want to make physical contact with your loved one. Finally, when you enter the attachment stage, your brain replaces the dopamine and adrenaline with oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone,” and you begin to feel bonded emotionally.
It’s also important to note that lust and attachment don’t necessarily lead to true love, but they do create the basis for it. A more realistic definition of love might be based on the three elements of selflessness, compassion, and commitment. For instance, the selfless love exhibited by people like Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Maya Angelou, and Oprah Winfrey has helped promote well-being on a global scale.
Moreover, some psychologists believe that love can be broken down into seven primary, three secondary, and nine tertiary love styles. They also suggest that there are three major, four intermediate, and eight minor love types.
Some people think that you can only fall in love with someone once, while others claim that falling out of love is a natural part of the human experience. Regardless of what you believe, you should always be kind and respectful in your interactions with people.
When you’re madly in love, everything seems dreamy. The air feels thick and sweet, and the person you’re with becomes a part of you. However, this euphoria isn’t always sustainable. Eventually, you will probably have to face the fact that the person you love isn’t the right fit for you anymore. The good news is that this process doesn’t have to be traumatic or scary — and it usually isn’t. In the end, you’ll be glad you stuck it out. You’ll realize that you were in the wrong relationship for the wrong reasons.