Love is a group of feelings and behaviors typically characterized by emotional intimacy, commitment, passion, and romance. It involves emotional intimacy, care, closeness, adoration, concern, loyalty, and trust in a relationship. Love can range from being occasional to constant and can vary greatly over time.
In general, humans fall in love with someone based on similarities such as age, personality, ideals, occupation, status, religious beliefs, and other shared characteristics. Human adults identify with the traits of their parents and other significant others. Parents may be the most important person in a relationship while siblings can play an important role as well. Children may feel essential or even dependent upon their parents or siblings.
The human brain has several areas of function that impact our feelings and behavior. One area of function is the mirror system which is involved in forming relationships. Another area of function is the limbic system which includes the brain’s emotions, memory, and body. The almond shaped part of the brain that houses the almond shaped portion of the human brain has been described as relating to feelings, love, or romance. The limbic system affects the functioning of the heart and lungs and stores information regarding past memories.
Oxytocin is considered a neurotransmitter that is present in the human brain and is responsible for the bond between human beings. Oxytocin is thought to be responsible for love making. In animal species, the bonding process is based on the sharing of an individual’s affection and food. However, studies have shown that human infants begin to behave towards each other based on the secretion of neuropeptides. Neuropeptides are present in the brain through the endorphins that act as opiates.
In order to understand the concept of romantic love, it is necessary to understand the nature of attachment. Attachment generally refers to the voluntary association between two people or an animal. It is the voluntary sharing of an individual’s intimate feelings with another person. It is thought that attachment occurs when two individuals successfully synchronize their behaviors, thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. Some people are less susceptible to attachment because of genetics while other individuals are more susceptible due to neurological factors such as neurological problems, neurological disorders, neurological deficiencies, or due to previous neurological trauma.
According to the University of Toledo, attachment parenting refers to the process of regulating and shaping healthy attachments in children from early ages. Attachment parenting involves the use of authoritative roles and positive guidance in child rearing as well as educational development to promote healthy attachment in young people. Attachment parenting also involves significant involvement in the child’s life, ranging from time spent with family members, caretaking, monitoring, to recreational activities. The University of Tennessee reported that a child needs at least two years of attachment parenting in order to develop healthy interpersonal skills and emotional well-being. A child needs twenty-one months of attachment parenting in order to establish stable, secure attachments with both parents and caregivers. In addition, studies have suggested that children need at least three years of attachment parenting in order to develop a sense of self and attain healthy self-esteem and personal attributes.