Older couple lie in each other arms and laugh as symbol what is love

What is Love? Find Out What Love Makes Such a Special Feeling

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by eharmony Editorial Team - April 26, 2024
This article has been reviewed by Dr Lalitaa Suglani, an eharmony relationship expert. The content has been checked for accuracy and legitimacy based on the qualifications of our expert prior to publication.Reviewed by Relationship expert Dr Lalitaa Suglani

Have you been totally patient, kind, protective, and trusted someone with your heart?  Have you experienced the feeling of opening up to someone – all those parts of you that are messy, complicated, and of course not social media worthy because you felt the comfort? We have heard of people saying love is beautiful, sweet, pure, unpredictable, and painful all at the same time. So, what is love? The simplest definition of love is the connection and comfort you share with someone.

The different definitions and variations of love

How do you know you’re in love with someone? And if you do know, can that love be measured? You cannot be demanding or selfish in love. It has to be ‘real’ and should allow space and freedom. Love is in the smallest things, yet it is so much more. It comprises a host of feelings, emotions, and attitudes. Let’s look at love in an all-inclusive holistic approach and understand the different perspectives.

What is love historically? Understanding the concept of love in ancient times

History says love covers a wide range of emotions and conducts. History offers a prevailing concept of love – it is a cultural invention and we are not at the end of its evolution. In ancient history, love is defined as the emotional attraction between individuals. It is expressed in aesthetic pleasures arts, dance, music, painting, sculpture, and nature. Do you think people around the world have fallen in love the way we do now?

Religious views on love – Love is Respect. It is giving space for all

Love takes on different variants and to some love is equal to God. To make a relationship thrive, mutual respect, space, great chemistry, quality communication, and also sometimes similar religious or spiritual beliefs become important. Having different faiths does not imply you are going to have problems in a relationship. Sharing similar values, worldviews, and strong faith in God is also essential.

Falling in love is associated with increased energy, narrowing of mental focus, sometimes sweaty palms, light-headedness, racing heart, and a lot of positive feelings” says Dr. Rachel Needle a well-known psychologist1.

What is romantic love in particular? A beautiful yet complex mystery. In Psychology, love is classified into three components and is called the Triangular Theory. They are intimacy, passion, and commitment. When these needs are met, couples’ bond well.

The Biological basis of love – Science behind the attraction

Love is chemistry – your brain can release a whole set of chemicals that can influence different emotions. Love has the power to heal – our body seeks love and responds positively to interaction with loved ones. It can influence our health and well-being.

According to biology, there are three major drives in love – libido, attachment, and partner preference. Love is known to share proven chemistry with hormones making it a biological process involving more science than magic!

What is love in reality? What factors go to finding real love?

Love can be overwhelming, inspiring, and supportive. The most intense and healing form is true love. It is unconditional and makes you feel seen and heard the most. Does unconditional love exist? Yes. Here’s a list of signs that will help you recognize ‘real love’.

The 8 essential aspects of real love

  1. Mutual respect: Respect for each other is the most important aspect to sustain love. It does not fade away during difficult times. It allows enough space for personal growth and you treat each other as equals.
  2. Trust: A relationship without trust will be dysfunctional. When you trust someone, you will have the comfort to confide in them. Trust helps in building love.
  3. Acceptance: Valuing and tolerating differences is equally important. When you learn to appreciate each other’s qualities and be compassionate before judging your partner’s vulnerabilities, the relationship will be beautiful. In real love, you acknowledge differences instead of trying to change your partner.
  4. Selflessness: Love is all about caring about your partner’s needs as much as caring about your own. To receive real love, you must be able to keep aside your selfish desires and learn to appreciate his/her selfless gestures for you.
  5. Companionship: Love is about having someone to share our lives and to be on our side through thick and thin. When you genuinely like each other and enjoy spending time together, share common values and views, then the relationship can stand the test of time. You feel safe with each other.
  6. Effortless Attraction and Passion: When you are truly in love with someone, you never have to “try” to spice things up. There is no need to convince or coerce anything on each other. You know you’ve created a deep, lasting connection when there is an intense longing to be with another. Lasting love requires time, effort, and commitment but nothing is forced.
  7. Good teamwork: If you’re not keeping a score on who’s winning and losing and instead focusing on inspiring each other then, you two make a great team.  When you can identify the shift in moods and energies and respond affectionately, positive feelings grow. A loving partner provides plenty of emotional support and tries to meet all your needs.
  8. Compatibility: What is love lastly?  It’s also about compatibility – sharing values, beliefs, and life goals. In a romantic relationship, when two individuals are completely in sync, a long-term relationship is possible.

Real Love: What It’s not

You might be wondering… what’s the difference between love and infatuation? Or love vs lust, for that matter? They have a lot of things in common, but neither lust nor infatuation is the same thing as real love.

What lust means

Let’s start with lust. Lust is a feeling of strong sexual desire for someone. It can be a driving force initially when it comes to being attracted to someone, and it helps keep long-term relationships alive and sexually satisfying, but it’s not the same thing as real love. Lust is, at its core, based on physical attraction – it’s perfectly normal to have pants feelings for someone you wouldn’t date in a million years, let alone settle down with. Real love, on the other hand, has a strong emotional component and is based on compatibility not just inside the bedroom but outside it as well.

Is it love or just sex?

Wondering whether you’re in a serious relationship or it’s all solely based on sex? Let’s take a look at 7 signs you might be confusing love and sex.

What Infatuation means

Infatuation refers to an intense and often short-lived emotional attraction or obsession with someone, characterized by strong feelings of admiration, desire, and idealization. Neurological responses in our brain can contribute to those intense feelings of euphoria and longing that often occur during infatuation2.

It can lead individuals to believe they are deeply in love, but it is often based on superficial qualities and can lack the depth and stability of true love. When you’re infatuated with someone, you think about them 24/7, your palms sweat, your heart races, and your stress levels rise. Infatuation is short-term and unsustainable, and based on your idea of someone; real love, on the other hand, is a lasting kind of love, based on knowing the whole person, flaws and all, and not easily set aside.

While both lust and infatuation are important parts of the initial stages of a relationship, and aspects of real love, they’re not a replacement for real love itself.

Infatuation vs love

These emotions aren’t as similar as they seem. Learn how to tell the difference between infatuation and love in your relationship.

Love is never rushing into relationships – try eharmony for real love

Love brings with it a host of positive vibes – it can make you happy, grateful, hopeful, inspired and it can even change your life for the better. But quite often, people find themselves in a situation where they’ve fallen in love with the wrong person. Rushing into relationships is always a mistake.

eharmony paves the way for real love. We have a holistic approach to online dating:

  • A Compatibility Quiz that let you find out more about yourself and what you want in a relationship
  • A Compatibility Matching System that is the core of our product and lists new compatible Matches for you
  • A variation of useful communication features

We have developed time-tested matching tools based on the psychological principles of attraction. With engaging profiles, you feel like you know the person before you even start talking. Our smart scientific algorithms are known to forge meaningful connections, and our success stories are a testament to the fact that real love exists.

Love at first sight and the meaning of it

Dive into the science and signs behind this captivating phenomenon, and learn how to turn initial attraction into lasting love.

What you need to know about fairy tale love

Let’s talk about fairy tale love, how it fits with reality and dating and the difference between fairytale love and real love.

Finally, what is love? Real love will always encourage you to be positive and grow

It is not a discovery of fate, it is something you put effort into and cultivate. In love, you accept someone wholly, the good and the bad. This feeling encourages you to grow as an individual. When you meet someone and form a good connection, it gives a great feeling. A compatible relationship unfolds uniquely. Find someone who is compatible and who truly deserves you. Take that first step to finding true happiness and love today and register for eharmony.

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