A friend suggested that I look at Wikipedia for a definition, description and clarification. It is massive, but the aspects I would like to talk about are:
Interpersonal love refers to love between human beings. It is a more potent sentiment than a simple liking for another. Unrequited love refers to those feelings of love that are not reciprocated. Interpersonal love is most closely associated with interpersonal relationships. Such love might exist between family members, friends, and couples.
Helen Fisher, a leading expert in the topic of love, divides the experience of love into three partly overlapping stages: lust, attraction, and attachment.
Lust is the initial passionate sexual desire that promotes mating, and involves the increased release of chemicals such as testosterone and estrogen. These effects rarely last more than a few weeks or months. Attraction is the more individualized and romantic desire for a specific candidate for mating, which develops out of lust as commitment to an individual mate forms. Recent studies in neuroscience have indicated that as people fall in love, the brain consistently releases a certain set of chemicals, including pheromones, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which act in a manner similar to amphetamines, stimulating the brain’s pleasure center and leading to side effects such as increased heart rate, loss of appetite and sleep, and an intense feeling of excitement. Research has indicated that this stage generally lasts from one and a half to three years.
Since the lust and attraction stages are both considered temporary, a third stage is needed to account for long-term relationships. Attachment is the bonding that promotes relationships lasting for many years and even decades. Attachment is generally based on commitments such as marriage and children, or on mutual friendship based on things like shared interests. It has been linked to higher levels of the chemicals oxytocin and vasopressin to a greater degree than short-term relationships have – Wikipedia
Gary Chapman conceptualised the “Five Love Languages” to help people “speak” and understand love expressed through behaviour – words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, or physical touch. (Excellent book – I highly recommend it.)
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.” (1 Cor. 13:4–7, The Bible – NIV) (Excellent book– I highly recommend it.)
Wow, but what does all of this mean to you and me? How does it affect our behaviour? How should it affect us?
We can see from above that it is chemical, time-based, behaviour as well as attitude.
Do we have to look at how we measure it?
Or is it more based on how we experience it?
There is the internal (self-love) component that for some reason determines or limits the amount of love that you are willing to accept from others (external). According to some you can only accept love on a level that you are willing and able to extend to yourself.
I have always though that the true measure of love is the degree someone is willing to put their wishes and desires to the side in favour of the one they love’s.
It would seem that it is more complex than that…..
For the first time my blog post is not giving information, it is asking a question. I would like to get your personal view.
We will all agree – Everybody has an opinion. All opinions are all viewed as equal in this forum. We respect others.
So what do you think? (For more in depth discussion – go to FutureTrust)