“What is love” is a question many psychologist have tried to answer. There are many theories proposed to define love, but many people have regarded love as an emotion better felt than studied and explained. Some even implied that love is simply a thing that science could not understand. Despite the prejudices, experts, just like ordinary people, never gave up on finding the true meaning of love. They never stopped searching for the reason why we are drawn to certain people and not others, why we fall in love and why do we stay in love? Love drives people yet we do not know what causes it. Prolific poets and writers wrote poems, sonnets and novels about love, painters expressed love through carefully crafted images, composers captured love in many songs and directors made a plethora of movies about love but do we already know what is love? Is there a general theory of love? Let Good Morning Quote discover the true meaning of love with these what is love theories and types that aim to define what love is, so we all can understand this concept fully.
What is Love?
1. Love is a chemical reaction
The theoretical physicist and science writer Jim Al-Khalili had a scientific answer to the question, “What is love?” According to him, same as hunger and thirst, love is also a strong neurological condition. The only distinctive quality of love against other neurological conditions is the fact that it has the ability to last and continue for a longer period of time. He compared lust and true love. Lust is only viewed as an ephemeral passionate sexual desire which involves an increased outburst of testosterone and estrogen. While true love is a long-term attachment and bond between two persons which involves a release of a whole new different set of chemicals like pheromones, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, and vasopressin. He also pointed that love is a survival mechanism we use to have long-term companionship, mutual defense, feeling of security and safety and feeling of belongingness.
2. Love is colorful
Back in 1973, John Lee, publishes a book titled “The Colors of Love” where he identified different kinds of love and compared them on the colors of the color wheel. He defined what love means with the help of colors. According to him, like the three primary colors there are also three primary love styles. He referred to them as Eros Ludus, and Storge. Eros is the love of an ideal person, Ludus is love as a game and Storge is love as friendship. And like the combination of primary colors, the three kinds of love can also be combined with one another to create a secondary type of love which he referred to as Mania, Pragma, and Agape. When Eros and Ludus are combined together, it results for Mania or obsessive love. Pragma is the realistic or practical love while Agape is selfless love. All of the words he used are from the language Greek. Unlike the modern day definition of love, Greeks used different terms to refer to different kinds of love. Today, saying “I love you” can mean a lot of things so it may be necessary to add a modifier to make it more specific.
3. Love is a passionate commitment
According to the philosopher Julian Baggini, love is a passionate commitment. Although he acknowledges that love is hard to find and define since it comes from many things, he believed that all kinds of love is a kind passionate commitment that people nurture and develop even though we did not ask for it to come to our lives and even though it came to our lives uninvited. We can have different kinds of love like love for God, family, parents, lovers, children, country and friends. Every kind of love we give also is known to have different qualities, some are unconditional, blinded, steadfast, fickle, misguided, one-sided, taken-for-granted and reciprocated. But more than these qualities, love is a powerful feeling but without a passion, it can only be determined as dedication and without commitment, it is only an infatuation. It needs nurturing to survive.
4. Love drives all great stories
Jojo Moyes, an award-wining novelist describes love as the driver of all great stories. It does not only drive amazing love stories but also motivates a lot of other love like the unconditional love of a mother or parent to a child, the worshiping love of people to God, the patriotic love of people for the nation, and the love for nature and friends. She added that love depends on the degree of our bond to it and the degree of how secure we feel with it. Love can be as dull as ordinary or as essential as the air we breathe. It can make us feel a lot of feelings like when we are deprived of it, sometimes it makes us feel obsessed, consumed and hurt but that is what drives a beautiful story.
5. Love is free, yet binds us.
What is love for Catherine Wybourne, a Benedictine nun? She ironically stated that “Love is free yet binds us”. It is a seemingly unbelievable statement but it is true. The paradox of love is that it is supremely free but it attaches us with bonds stronger than death. Love is God’s greatest blessing in our life. We can hold on to it for as long as we want since it can never be bought or sold and there is nothing that it will not be able to encompass. No huge obstacle can defeat it. To Catherine, love is much easier to be experienced rather than defined. We can love anyone but we should love God above all things and love our neighbors above ourselves. Love is the act of generosity, kindness, self-sacrifice and selflessness that binds us all.
6. Love is an intangible connection
Brene Brown also had an answer to the question “What is love?” She noted that love is an intangible connection between two people that feels exceptionally good. It is a strong and deep connection between people. The connection can commonly be measured by the degree of self-acceptance each person has for themselves and the level of honesty, exposure and vulnerability a person is willing to surrender and give to each other. There are also qualities that must be present in the connection. These are trust, respect and affection. Trust is the belief that someone is reasonable, reliable, honest, and good, and has good intentions and integrity toward us. Respect is a particular way of thinking that someone is valuable, important and worthy of appreciation. And affection is the demonstration of good intentions to someone through action. Furthermore, she added that love is not an emotion but a connection where our feelings tend to be the reaction to the quality of connection or bond that is created. If there is connection, it will be easier to find love.
7. Love takes many forms
The psychotherapist Philippa Perry once said that “Love has many guises”. According to her, our ancestors did not just lump all different variations of feelings in one word like we did with the word “love”. The types of love mentioned were Philia, Ludus, Pragma, Agape, Philautia and Eros. She may have defined them slightly different from the colors of love by John Lee. Philia was defined as a deep and commonly non-sexual love for best friends and family. Ludus was referred as an affection with so much play just like flirting and fooling around. Pragma is the love between long-term lovers which has maturity, commitment, understanding and goodwill. Agape is the generalized love for all humanity. Philautia is caring for oneself or self-love. And Eros is the most controversial of all which is love with sexual desire and passion. Although it is impossible to get all the types of love from one person; friends, family and humanity plays an important role for everybody.
8. Love is an emotion in action.
If Lee used the round color wheel to demonstrate the meaning of love, the Psychologist Robert Sternberg used triangle shape to propose his love theory. Here is Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory of Love. He said that love is composed of three components: intimacy, passion and commitment. Different combinations of these components results in different types of love. There are eight types he mentioned: Nonlove which is a casual interaction with the absence of the three components, Liking is intimacy alone which is seen in friendships where there is warmth, intimacy and closeness but lacks passion, decision and commitment, Infatuation is passion alone which is common on “love at first sight” events and is usually an extreme attraction for someone which lacks any real intimacy and commitment, Empty love is commitment alone where partners lack intimacy and passion which can commonly be seen on arranged marriage and at the end of long-term relationships, Romantic Love is the combination of passion and intimacy which is characterized by a strong closeness and connection with a powerful physical attraction, Companionate Love is a combination of intimacy and commitment which can be seen on best friend relationships, Fatuous Love is combined passion and commitment but lacks intimacy, and lastly, Consummate Love which is the combination of the three components but is described to be un-achievable and rare. In this theory, we can answer the question “What is true love?” with consummate love.
9. Love is mere exposure
What is the definition of love? How does it happen? In 1968, Robert Zajonc, discovered the ‘mere exposure’ effect’ where we tend to like things and people that are familiar to us. We all get exposed to different things and different people every day and as it happens repetitively, it unwittingly allows us to practice love. The mere exposure theory also aids in explaining propinquity – the idea that one of the main determinants of interpersonal attraction is physical proximity. Let’s delve deeper into the theory of love and attraction. The Social Psychologist, Leon Festinger et al. conducted a series of studies back in 1950 where they discovered that the development of friendships are directly related to the distance. People are more likely to become friends and lovers when they live closer to each other.
10. Love is attraction to similarities
Despite the famous science fact which can often be regarded as a love quote “Opposite attracts,” the theory of clone attraction says that we are actually more attracted to people who are similar to us in some ways. It can be similarities on personality, religious beliefs, physical appearance, education and many more. Research also dictates that couples with similarities last longer and live happier. A controversial tests also discovered that people tend to choose morphed versions of their faces when asked to pick an image that they think is attractive. Remember the common joke around circles of friends when we try to tell long-term couples that they are already starting to look alike. Maybe at the start, similarities are not obvious but it is eventually realized.
Learning about the theories of love can help each of us to have a good start on how to find love. Finding love is never easy but having an idea and a definite answer in mind on the question “What is love?” makes it easier for us to realize matters about what we feel. Indeed, there are a lot of definitions and theories about love but in the end, the decision on what you should consider as love lies in your opinion and beliefs. Let this list be your guide in finding love and feel free to share images with someone special on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest. If you love the article and is desiring for more, check out Lovely Wedding Quotes, Letting Go Quotes, Saturday Quotes, Friday Quotes, Quotes about Strength, Thanksgiving Quotes, Tagalog Love Quotes and Sexy Love Quotes.