Throughout history, humans have devoted considerable effort to studying love. As such, a variety of theories have been posed and debated. While there are certainly similarities among these theories, there are also a number of differences. For instance, some of these theories focus on love between human beings while others deal with love between non-human animals. However, despite the differences, these theories have been able to provide a general account of love.
The triangular theory of love argues that intimacy, passion and commitment are the three core components of love. These components are said to work together to form a kind of bestowal system in which the lover gives up something of value to the other. The idea is based on a study of brain regions that are activated when a person is in love. The results of this study have been replicated across multiple cultures. The findings are sobering.
Although the triangular theory of love has been around for some time, it has been updated to include more recent findings. A recent study of 20 people who had been in romantic relationships within six months found that those who were in love exhibited lower levels of serotonin, the chemical involved in promoting relaxation and positive moods. In addition, the study found that the participants spent at least four hours per day thinking about their partner. Those who were in love were also more likely to engage in self-regulatory activities such as meditating and exercising.
The color wheel theory of love defines three primary love styles and nine secondary love styles. These styles include erotic love, compassionate love, and storge love. The color wheel theory also lists nine tertiary love styles. Among these, compassionate love and storge love are the more obvious examples. Compassionate love is marked by a sense of benevolence, affection, and commitment, while storge love prioritizes similar interests.
Some “emotion views” believe that love is a specific type of evaluative-cummotivational response to an object. Others believe that love involves a collection of related emotions. These “emotional complexes” are said to help account for the “intuitive” “depth” of love.
Despite the plethora of theories and jargon surrounding love, there is one thing for sure: it is important. It is a special form of emotional interdependence. As such, it is a unique experience for humans. The term “love” has been applied to a variety of things, from pets to principles to religious beliefs. Although most people agree that love is a positive emotion, it is important to note that there is no such thing as love without feelings. Love can be short-lived or it can be permanent. Love is also influenced by hormones, pheromones and a host of other factors. The etiquette of love is a subject of debate among scholars. Some believe that love is uncontrollable while others argue that love can be influenced by cultural practices.
The best accounts of love usually avoid explicitly reductionistic language. However, this does not mean that these accounts are free from faults. In many cases, they miss the mark on the more obvious or the least obvious of the many things that love does. In addition, they often do not provide a conceptually coherent account of love.