“Love is but the joy that love gives” – William Shakespeare. In his Sonnets, he depicts the elation and passion in his heart for his beloved; the purity and beauty of their love; the happiness that comes to both in union. To love is a feeling that one shares with another. To love is a state of mind that brings happiness in all its forms.
Love encompasses an assortment of positive and negative emotional and physical states, from the purest virtue or perfect virtue, the most intense personal passion, to the easiest personal delight. In the most basic terms, love is a desire or a deep desire to be loved. Love differs from sex in that, in the case of love, there is no need to actively participate in sexual intimacy.
Love generates many unique brain functions within the human brain. The reason why romantic love generates such unique brain functions is because it is uniquely related to human memory. While passionate love is formed from within the human brain, memories are formed outside of the human brain. In this sense, passionate love may not be entirely based on memory function, but rather on some kind of emotional association.
The emotional responses that result in romantic love may be based on feelings of superiority, an underlying sense of power or responsibility, or a desire to control the relationship. Romantic partners tend to have stronger relationship anxiety than more typical couples, probably because they share a deep sense of identification with each other. In later stages of a relationship, these powerful feelings may transform into feelings of resentment and even envy. These often lead to deeper conflicts and problems that would otherwise have been avoided if the romantic partner had not entered into the relationship.
Love involves positive emotions, which are closely associated with happiness, power and healthy relationship functioning. Although all of us experience some positive emotions at times, too much of them will not be a good thing. Love that is too much can cause negative emotions to be dominant and can interfere with our relationships. Too little romance, on the other hand, can create a feeling of sadness and loneliness, and can actually contribute to negative emotions.
Whether the relationship is founded on love or lust, one or the other of these needs to be present for the relationship to be sustainable. The need for love may be strong enough to drive two people to commit to a long term commitment, but the need for love may also be strong enough to keep things alive and exciting between two people in a relationship. Even when lust is the motivation for forming a relationship, the emotional elements need to be present for a successful outcome. For example, although lust may be the driving force behind a relationship, it is often not strong enough to make a relationship last.
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