Love is the conscious union of two people based on a deep emotional bond. It is a voluntary association of two people in which one person provides the other with caring, attention, protection, intimacy, and support. It involves an array of emotions, such as excitement, love, peace, assurance, joy, pleasure, peace, trust, safety, friendship, tenderness, devotion, patience, sweetness, and joy. It can vary greatly in intensity and may vary significantly over time.
Love is an emotion that results from feelings of connection, caring, security, trust, safety, and romance. It can be very intense, yet often doesn’t evolve into love unless there is an initial commitment to continue the relationship. Love often involves feelings such as attraction, intuition, desire, attachment, delight, appreciation, loyalty, companionship, sharing, empathy, dedication, devotion, and calmness. Love frequently involves an assortment of feelings and is most often experienced when one feels emotionally connected and wants to express his or her love.
Love relationships develop in much the same way as relationships develop in different areas. People in loving relationships are drawn to each other and want to become close, they build intense feelings of intimacy and closeness that spill over into their daily interactions with each other. When the chemistry between two people is present, the relationships are based on feelings rather than logic or facts. When love is based on logic, facts, or concern, it is typically considered conditional – based on what the other person does not do.
Love is often described as a feeling rather than a fact. Physical attraction may be the initial motivation for sharing love, but it does not always lead to a deeply meaningful relationship. Attraction is based on attraction and there is no guarantee that one person will like the same things as another person. For example, one person may be attracted to another person because of their physical appearance or because they have something in common. Love is different; it is based on feelings and a desire to connect with another person.
If the physical attraction fades, the feelings that motivated sharing the relationship also fade. If one person does not feel as connected as they did when the relationship was new and deeper, they may wonder why they aren’t in a deep and serious relationship. If the relationship ends, the question why the feelings that brought it about have now ended also causes some internal pain.
The feelings that we have for another person begin to change when they are no longer a romantic interest. If the emotional connection is no longer there, then we have to be able to put our own feelings into perspective and make sure that we are not relying on another person to validate our connection with ourselves. It is easy to fall into the pattern of expecting someone else to fulfill our needs and feelings. When this happens, we can lose sight of what our true needs are and begin to rely on someone else in order to be happy. When this happens, a feeling of detachment occurs and we may find ourselves questioning if love is really there or if we are just puppets of the system in order to survive. This is not a healthy place to be and can lead to unhealthy patterns of dependency.