Understanding The Difference Between Love And Attraction
The word “love” is both a verb and a noun, denoting a variety of states of mind and emotions. In its most comprehensive sense, the word describes the fundamental, unalterable, psychological structure by which humans interact with each other. However, “love” can also refer to a more specific, conscious expression of this psychological state. The word can refer to a person’s (or animal’s) desire for love, companionship, and safety. The word can even apply to the motivation people may have to engage in romantic relationships.
Love describes an immense array of emotionally intense states, from the strongest virtue or vice, to the deepest, most passionate emotional experience. It is based on human nature’s need to care and be cared for, and is a highly developed trait found in the best of us. Romantic love is distinguished from other types of love in that it requires an active involvement on the part of one another to maintain it. In romantic love, one person desires the other as though he or she were someone who he or sheirloomed – someone whom he or she could marry and share a life with. The desire for another is often fueled not only by physical attraction – although this too plays a significant role – but also by feelings of bonding, caring, respect, and attachment. All of these feelings are rooted in human cognitive processes that influence the brain’s neural circuits.
In order to understand love better, it helps to examine the relationship between our brains and the various emotional states that we experience when we are involved in a romantic relationship. Although all of our brains send signals to our limbic system, the part of the brain that deals with emotions, love style, and passion, can be activated in different ways. For example, while one partner may be deeply invested in a serious relationship, others may be experiencing a passionate, intense, and highly erotic “spat” – an experience many people compare to being in the middle of a “come here” movement.
Love styles are triggered by many factors. For example, if one partner is feeling loved and nurtured while the other partner is feeling neglected, feelings of abandonment and resentment may set in. The lack of love and attention can cause the other partner to become more motivated to pursue a relationship with a person whose love and attention they long for. As humans are naturally sociable creatures, these “spats” can ignite desires to form new relationships with other people. This does not mean that all spats are negative or that the one who has had a negative experience in a past relationship does not deserve love and compassion; however, this does help explain why some relationships last while others are broken.
Our bodies also have a way of responding to love. When we are feeling particularly loved and cared for, our bodies often signal this through various physical and emotional responses. This includes a rise in blood pressure, our heart rate, and other body responses. This may also include a strong sense of sexual desire that is out of proportion to ones current needs or feelings. When this sexual desire rises, it may cause one to be perceived as sexually desirable, which can lead to an increase in one’s dating opportunities or hook-ups.
All of these physical responses can be related to the concept of lust. However, love and affection are different. In a relationship it is possible for the physical acts to occur without the need for sexual activity. This is often referred to as infatuation in which one another displays an interest that is similar but is non-sexual in nature. It is not uncommon for a relationship to exist where one individual feels completely emotionally connected to another, yet does not feel the need to have sexual relations because the relationship lacks intimacy.
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