What Is Love?

The word love evokes thoughts of happiness, passion and intimacy. It’s a complex blend of emotions and is a part of our human experience that has been explored through religion, philosophy, psychology and the sciences of anthropology, biology and neuroscience. But what exactly is it? How do we define it and how does it differ from person to person?

One of the more popular psychological theories is that love consists of three emotional components: affection or attachment, passion, and decision or commitment. This is referred to as the triangular theory of love. Other scholars, such as Scott Peck, have disaggregated these components further. This way of understanding love can be helpful to those struggling in a relationship, or to anyone who wishes to understand the power and beauty of healthy relationships.

The first component of love is affection or attachment. This is the “love at first sight” moment, when someone’s eyes light up and their heart races. It’s the feeling that you can’t imagine not having this person in your life and it’s a powerful and important emotion. In addition to this affection, there’s a need for physical contact, which can manifest in things like cuddling or kissing.

Another aspect of love is compassion and care. This is the love that makes you think of another person’s needs and desires as much as your own. This can be seen in a parent’s love for their child or the love between friends. This kind of love may not always feel good, but it’s important for the health of a relationship.

Finally, there’s a sense of loyalty and dedication that comes with loving another person. This can be seen when someone chooses to stick with a person that society finds difficult or challenging-like a loved one in a destructive pattern of behavior. This kind of love is not only about a desire to help that person move toward healthier patterns, but also about a dedication and joy in that person as a unique creature of God.

Love is a powerful feeling that brings out the highest virtues in humans. It’s an enabling emotion that helps you to overcome obstacles and work hard. It can also bring about peace, harmony and happiness within a family, a community or the world. It is the highest form of human kindness, generosity and courtesy. It removes negative influences, such as jealousy, hatred and greed, from the hearts of those who love. It enables you to make sacrifices for the well-being of others and it gives nobility to human action and activity.