How Do You Know If You’re in Love?
We all feel love, whether we admit it or not. There is something indescribable about feeling love, yet it is the most powerful emotion that can guide our lives. Love is a group of behaviors and emotions characterized by emotional intimacy, commitment, passion, and devotion. It involves caring, intimacy, devotion, protection, adoration, and trust. Love can range from a light appreciation to an intense love, depending on the type of relationship we are involved in.
Love between a man and a woman is normally described in romantic terms such as loving, loyal, committed, passionate, and intimate. Although love between two opposite-sexed people may not be viewed as romantic in the same way as love between a man and a woman, it still involves feelings of caring, appreciation, dedication, trust, adoration, and romance. Positive emotions associated with a romantic relationship include excitement, trust, compassion, joy, anticipation, imagination, and sharing. It does not require an individual to love his partner in a specific romantic way to feel these strong positive emotions toward another person.
Another research study has found that people who have same-sex sexual orientation are more likely to develop romantic love than those who do not have same-sex sexual orientation. Same-sex attractions are thought to involve more physical and mental stimulation, as compared to same-sex attractions of the opposite sex. One reason why same-sex attracted people experience more intense romantic love for another person could be because they are exposed to a more stimulating environment when in a relationship compared to their partner. Another reason could be the role of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is primarily responsible for the brain’s pleasure response.
Neuropsychologists have studied the physical and mental responses of human beings towards each other. During affectionate relationships, the nervous system, the sympathetic nervous system, the brain, the immune system, the endocrine system, and the gastrointestinal system are activated. The responses of these systems are correlated to the extent of intimacy experienced by the couple. Thus, scientists believe that physical and mental bonding plays a critical role in relationships whether the relationship is romantic or platonic.
Love and affection are described as a natural desire to bond with another person. It may be defined as a powerful sense of delight, one that is motivated by feelings of love, security, assurance, or adoration. Love, unlike lust, does not come on suddenly or easily. Love involves feelings that come over the years, rather than on a whim or as an impulsive response to a stimulus such as a compliment. It is the emotion of attachment, which continues to change and develop with time, just as one would expect from a parent to their child.
People who experience romantic relationships with one another have greater levels of brain activity related to feeling emotionally connected and bonded to another person. These results show that during those times when one feels that special sensation of being emotionally connected with someone else, there is a heightened level of brain activity associated with those feelings. This study revealed differences in brain activity that were specific to emotions versus other stimuli. There was a difference in the brain’s response to pleasurable versus unpleasant stimuli. This study provides the biological basis of how we may feel love and develop those feelings as we age.