How Do We Realize That We Love Someone?
The word “love” can mean many different things. The one that is most often used in our daily vocabulary is love as a romantic word, normally used in a relationship context. However, love encompasses a much broader range of positive and constructive emotional and psychological states, from anesthetics, the deepest personal joy, to the most simple pleasure. Love is the basis for human existence; without it nothingness would be a possible state. But does love produce good things?
Love is a tremendously complex phenomenon that produces from and through all of our complexions. We are often blind to how much we truly love because our experiences with love are so intimately intertwined with all of our other emotions and experiences. Love is not only the basis for romantic love, but also compassion, trust, respect, security, acceptance, and joy. It can be the glue that holds us together as a group, family, or community, and can even bring one person close to another when they feel separate.
What then does love produce? Well, for starters love is the basis for all other emotions-fear, satisfaction, friendship, trust, respect, intimacy, pleasure, and happiness-in which two people come together to experience their unique combinations of feelings. Love also generates physical contact: for example, the sexual intimacy that develops when two people come together to have sexual intercourse, the touching of whose body to which one is attracted, or the visual appreciation that another person’s body gives.
But do those physical touches and experiences produce happiness or satisfaction for those involved? Studies of couples indicate that physical contact can lead to a temporary increase in the individual’s level of happiness (perhaps as a consequence of feeling loved), while sex tends to lead to a greater degree of satisfaction and longer periods of happiness. But does this mean that love itself is a negative emotion? Not necessarily. There are many different individuals who can demonstrate feelings of love to those who care about them.
Emotions like trust, respect, and affection are often associated with sexuality and intimacy, but these same feelings can also take the form of other emotions. For instance, if you loved someone and they hurt you, this would be a form of affection, but it would not necessarily be considered love. Similarly, if you fell in love with someone and they hurt you, this would be a negative form of affection, but it would not necessarily be considered hatred.
Do we really trust our partners after we have hurt them? Are we willing to let them experience the painful feelings of rejection that others feel when they lose their confidence in us? It seems that there is a good chance that we are uncomfortable with expressing our own negative emotions, but many individuals still choose to do so, and they often carry these feelings into the relationship. If you want to feel loved differently, you have to first reject rejection. Letting someone know that they cannot have you or that you do not love them anymore will only push you further away, and you may find that it will be harder to let go of the love that you once felt for this person.