The term “love” has many meanings to the people of the world. To the people of the Bible it meant the things that we today call love, romance, infatuation, devotion, bonding, caring, devotion, adoration, charm, and joy. In fact, the very first word in the New Testament for love is, “God from above.” The definition of “love” as seen through the lens of scripture is something so universal, it would be truly reductive to talk about love as if it were one distinct feeling among a multitude. Love is a collection of behaviors and emotions characterized by emotional intimacy, passion, devotion, and reciprocity. It involves reciprocity, caring, intimacy, attraction, trust, support, harmony, and joy.
Love can range from being extremely intense and powerful within a committed relationship to a more passive, emotional type of bonding that occurs when there are no sexual feelings attached. Love can range in intensity and may vary widely over time. It typically is associated with an assortment of very positive emotional feelings, such as happiness, excitement, vitality, joy, achievement, happiness, peace, and bliss, but it can also have strong sexual feelings. When a man feels love for another person it is usually an overwhelming desire to spend time and act as if they were having sex. This is often associated with romantic love, although it can exist in a committed relationship without being classified as such.
One of the most common characteristics of loving relationships is an intense emotional connection. People experience deep satisfaction and joy when they are with the one they love. They experience feelings of calmness, security, wellbeing, confidence, competence, strength, joy, empathy, acceptance, closeness and security. Although different people draw closer to different individuals based on the quality of love they receive, all people respond to love in the same way.
In order to be able to understand the connection between brain function and romantic love it might help to understand how brain function works. When a person is experiencing love or romantic affection their brain is more likely to focus on feelings rather than logic or the intellect. Most likely, your mind is working in a logical, ordered way when you are in love, but when that feelings subside it is likely that your brain will register the feelings and begin to navigate your way through life. Your emotions might trigger thoughts that move your brain in an order that you think they should.
Emotions are contagious and affect everyone’s thinking, feeling and behavior. In fact, most people experience love or affection for someone who is completely different than they are. That is why you find yourself drawn to those you adore and feel drawn to those you do not know very well. It does not matter whether these people are your friends, family, co-workers or people whom you have only met on a few occasions. Love is not a feeling that can be separated from its emotional and physical components. In order to truly experience true unconditional love, it must involve emotions as well as physical intimacy and caring.
Loving relationships do not always go smoothly. It is not uncommon for there to be some pain involved as well as frustrations. This is often true of relationships in which there is an imbalance of love and sex. Love relationships that do not include strong feelings are those where sex is a constant, whereas relationships in which strong feelings are present are less likely to last and are less satisfying than relationships in which strong feelings are absent. Loving relationships can be healthy and fulfilling provided that there is an appropriate balance of intimacy and lust. In this case, the love in the relationship would be unconditional and complete.