Love is complex.
A mix of emotions, behaviors, and beliefs associated with strong feelings of affection, protectiveness, warmth, and respect for another person.
Love can also be used to apply to non-human animals, to principles, and to religious beliefs. For example, a person might say he or she loves his or her dog, loves freedom, or loves God.
What Is Love?
Love has been a favored topic of philosophers, poets, writers, and scientists for generations, and different people and groups have often fought about its definition.
While most people agree that love implies strong feelings of affection, there are many disagreements about its precise meaning, and one person’s “I love you” might mean something quite different than another’s.
Ready to speak to someone about love, relationships, and commitment issues? Click here to search for a therapist near you today.
Some possible definitions of love include:
- A willingness to prioritize another’s well-being or happiness above your own.
- Extreme feelings of attachment, affection, and need.
- Dramatic, sudden feelings of attraction and respect.
- A fleeting emotion of care, affection, and like.
- A choice to commit to helping, respecting, and caring for another, such as in marriage or when having a child.
- Some combination of the above emotions.
There has been much debate about whether love is a choice, is something that is permanent or fleeting, and whether the love between family members and spouses is biologically programmed or culturally indoctrinated. Love may vary from person to person and culture to culture. Each of the debates about love may be accurate in some time and someplace. For example, in some instances, love may be a choice while in others it may feel uncontrollable.
Love versus Lust
Especially in the early stages of a relationship, it can be difficult to tell the difference between love and lust. Both are associated with physical attraction and an intoxicating rush of feel-good chemicals, coupled with an often overwhelming desire to be closer to another person, but only one is long-lasting: love.
Love is something that is cultivated between two people and grows over time, through getting to know him or her and experiencing life’s many ups and downs together. It involves commitment, time, mutual trust, and acceptance.
Lust, on the other hand, has to do with the sex-driven sensations that draw people toward one another initially and is fueled primarily by the urge to procreate. Characterized by sex hormones and idealistic infatuation, lust blurs our ability to see a person for who he or she truly is, and consequently, it may or may not lead to a long-term relationship.
For instance, Lana is in a committed relationship with Steve and her sexual desire for him is waning. She loves and cares for him, but she finds herself feeling restless and dissatisfied with their physical relationship. When she meets Brendan, she experiences instant feelings of attraction and longing. The chemical messengers in her brain start sending signals to pursue this new man, even though she does not know anything about him other than how his presence makes her feel physically. Instead of working to improve intimacy with her current partner, she is overcome by lust for someone new.
The ideal intimate relationship scenario, some might say, involves a balanced combination of love and lust. After all, lusting after someone is typically an important early phase of a long-term partnership, and reigniting that initial spark is a practice worth cultivating for committed couples.
Love and Mental Health
Although almost no one can agree on a single definition of love, most people do agree that love plays a significant role in both physical and psychological well-being. Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of love. Love’s role in mental health is far-reaching, but some examples include:
- The fact that babies who are not shown love and affection in the form of frequent holding and cuddling may be developmentally delayed or ill.
- Feeling unloved is strongly correlated with feelings of low self-esteem and depression.
- People who both feel loved by others and who report loving other people tend to be happier.
- Love can play a role in long-term health, and feeling emotionally connected may help increase immunity.
- Anonymous. (September 2, 2002). How to tell whether it’s love, like or lust. Jet 102.11, 12-14. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ez.trlib.info/docview/199970680/1833AF113A8E4DCAPQ/3?accountid=1229
- Prinz, J. J. (2007). The emotional construction of morals. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Wilson, G. D., & McLaughlin, C. (2001). The science of love. London: Fusion Press.
Last Updated: 08-1-2020
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emmanuel q.January 1st, 2017 at 11:50 AM
i have now realize the difference between love and lust
چال روی گونهMarch 7th, 2018 at 8:22 AM
I love your believs
چال روی لپJuly 20th, 2018 at 11:46 AM
i think you like to be loved
arwin c.March 1st, 2019 at 6:55 AM
Love also pay lust always receive
TheodoreJune 30th, 2019 at 8:24 PM
Wow! I have really learnt from this
BrookeApril 10th, 2017 at 11:50 AM
What is love? That’s an age old question we may never find a simple answer to. However, the effort you made in this post is incredible. I love your writing style, and you really gave some meaningful insight.
YogeshApril 30th, 2017 at 4:29 AM
I agree with this post but i personally think that love is something that drives us and keep us on a the right path. If we are alone and have no love in our life we may not be as worried and thriving towards better life as we do when we are concerned about people we love and giving them a good and healthy life. Love is what comes from inside. Loved this post keep up good writing also if your are free i would like to see your review on my blog post on the same topic : dhananjayd-mysteryoflife.blogspot.in
markjhanMarch 21st, 2018 at 7:52 AM
its better to be love than never
EdenJuly 21st, 2017 at 5:53 AM
Love is what u do not what u say .it is a mutual attraction that binds two or more people together
yogeshMay 11th, 2020 at 2:55 PM
BrightJuly 24th, 2019 at 10:57 PM
Love is love, if you can love you`ll be loved.
jessicaAugust 14th, 2019 at 3:27 AM
Me and my boyfriend
sbadreckMay 16th, 2017 at 11:01 AM
wow I like this
JoMay 27th, 2017 at 6:40 PM
Can i get lana’s number
dunnoAugust 29th, 2018 at 3:57 AM
did u get it ? askin fora friend
JudyJune 4th, 2017 at 11:39 AM
Wow i really love this post
KailashJune 7th, 2017 at 4:57 AM
it is good post.
NicetracyJune 16th, 2017 at 6:58 AM
I Love All U Guys Post.,so Let Lov Lead Since We Knw D Meaning Nw..
AnneNovember 1st, 2019 at 10:56 PM
I have a dilemma for you, this is a hypothetical story, OK.
I know someone who is caring, loving, honest, reliable and committed to whatever she does, more than anything she is likeable and staunchly protective of those close to her. She volunteers in her community and people like and respect her, OK so far, yes, good.
Now one day she gets a request for friendship of social media, who is a male just a little younger than her, normally she would dismiss this straight to the bin, but this time something makes her respond to this mystery male. Now this is completely out of character for her to do this, she is a woman that has been happily married for over 40years, why suddenly be tempted to stray from that. But she tells me as soon as he replied to her, she knew, knew what? I asked.
She said it was weird, she just felt an unusual rush of such intense emotions and the sense of familiarity, that she felt overwhelmed and shocked by her reaction. She had at this point not seen what he looked like, so she felt even more confused that these feelings were for some one sight unseen. She told me she knew it was destiny, and she felt she knew him before, and she said when they continued talking she felt she’d come home. What I find strange is the male concerned, felt the same about her. So tell me is it love or is it lust?
BinduJanuary 3rd, 2020 at 5:32 PM
I am very honest when I love a person but over a time feel.. I really love and care but I don’t feel like I am loved….
Then I start thinking What is Love??
There I found and answer…. We are looking outside what we really are….. ” I AM LOVE”
and in Bible I found a word in 1 John 4-8 God is Love… If God is Love then what is Love… Love is God….
Then where is God? Within us
So where is Love within US..
We cannot find LOVE outside… Come to that awareness “I Am LOVE”..
So whatever comes from external with expectations… So we cannot explain its list od the flesh or lust of money.. Or something else….
Truth is “I AM LOVE” when we look it outside for it, we will lose our energy and time…
What we are in this earth part of a character.. I mean.. Same time we act as Father or mother, child, husband, colleague, Boss, according to our situation so we do live as an actor everyday… Playing the role of a husband or wife… Children or brother or sister, friend or colleague… So whatever we feel it’s all emotions…
LANDALESApril 2nd, 2020 at 6:46 AM
There is truly nothing wrong in finding your soulmate/s via social media or otherwise. Looks don’t matter the soul knows who makes it complete. Your soulmate/s accept you completely and are happy wen you are happy (whether that means you’re married or with another soulmate).
Convention dictates there can only be one soulmate/kismet out there. But love is exponential
If there is more than one soulmate be truthful with all concerned and if they’re your soulmate they will accept the other in time and help strengthen everyone’s bond.
OkoAustinJune 24th, 2017 at 10:45 PM
do love still exist? because I been trying to love but it seems that material things have taking love away from this new generation rather what we experience now is lust amoung our self. inshot I so much like this page thank you so much.
VioletJune 26th, 2017 at 8:31 AM
LOVE is impossible to define and different for everyone. That sits very well within me.
RahninhoJuly 4th, 2017 at 8:58 PM
Well explained & now gat a primarily know of love is
JenniferJuly 15th, 2017 at 7:28 AM
love is something u can never express,so strong nd emotional
isaacAugust 17th, 2017 at 12:12 PM
I have learnt a new aspect of love.
YUSUFMay 5th, 2020 at 11:47 PM
HI MY DEAR FRIEND
SaharNovember 29th, 2017 at 7:44 AM
Im sahar and Im from Iran
This post its very intresting and I agree with this post
saeidMarch 31st, 2019 at 4:40 PM
SAHAR!!! which city from IRAN?
Ahmed TDecember 25th, 2017 at 2:44 PM
Love’s simply an excuse to get hurt.. By it’s sweetness. I love You all_
biiraJune 6th, 2018 at 8:39 AM
love is understandable
vaibhav k.January 31st, 2019 at 6:48 AM
i love your way of explaining true love..
rasheedFebruary 9th, 2019 at 1:42 AM
love is life
nomfundoApril 3rd, 2019 at 9:23 PM
To me only blibical and love from homes makes sense because from then you’ll be able to pass it on
LauraMay 2nd, 2019 at 9:45 AM
I agree to me love is family, people I know, people I trust, people who look after me and just the people around me that care for me!
PrinceMay 15th, 2019 at 12:44 AM
I agree with this post but i personally think that love is something that drives us and keep us on a the right path. If we are alone and have no love in our life we may not be as worried and thriving towards better life as we do when we are concerned about people we love and giving them a good and healthy life. Love is what comes from inside. Loved this post keep up good writing.
BrixJune 16th, 2019 at 3:27 PM
The true meaning of love is when God gave his only son for the forgives of all our sin. He is a God that dresses himself to become a human so that He will feel what we have have felt from this earthly thing. Now he sit at the right of His father all He ask is to forgive all those people who had sin with us. Forgive so that we can meet the true love. Forgive your self before you gave forgiveness to others.
sophistJune 25th, 2019 at 12:17 AM
Love is what u do not what u say. It is a mutual attraction that unites two people together. There is a major difference between love and lust. Nowadays people are considering love on the basis of attractive looks, money, bank balance. If Love marriages are based on these criteria than people bind themselves officially for lust and when it’s over they separate.
WinterJuly 2nd, 2019 at 11:07 AM
Love is the deepest part of life, no one can reach its end. It’s the subject of the life we live.
Love is like light formed out of darkness brighten everything in every little opportunity.
RahulJuly 5th, 2019 at 4:15 AM
love is …………
PronamikaJuly 5th, 2019 at 6:36 AM
I am interested in your topics
WilAugust 5th, 2019 at 1:36 AM
That’s a slight bit confusing.
WilAugust 5th, 2019 at 1:43 AM
Life is a game and love is the prize
angelAugust 7th, 2019 at 4:22 AM
this is one of the best definition about love
VARUNSeptember 2nd, 2019 at 12:30 PM
muhammad u.September 8th, 2019 at 11:13 AM
It is true but love have a large pain for follower. and i am in thin pain.
muleSeptember 8th, 2019 at 12:03 PM
Love is to adjust your principles and become vulnerable.
Love is to love no matter whether the idiot loves you back
Love is a process of losing ur brians to emotions.
Krishnendu DSeptember 15th, 2019 at 11:51 AM
This article is very nice… good explain what is love? Good website
Geaniece MSeptember 23rd, 2019 at 1:27 AM
Now I know what love really is.
JarvisOctober 13th, 2019 at 2:15 PM
The difference between love and lust.. hmmm wow interesting I just hope I get help cause I really need to stop lusting over people
PopMay 14th, 2020 at 4:39 PM
I didnt know that artifical intelligence could lust
KfNovember 14th, 2019 at 1:16 AM
Love is about how much you can sacrifice for others. Can you sacrifice your favourite tv show to accompany your partner to go shopping etc? If someone can sacrifice their life for their loved ones, that is ultimate true love.
Soubhagya BeheraDecember 12th, 2019 at 2:39 AM
It is helpful.
ajayDecember 16th, 2019 at 8:14 AM
Nice Article. I really like this.
You may like this.
RohanDecember 18th, 2019 at 7:32 AM
It’s just a chemical reaction that compels animals to procreate from science point of view just like the article I mentioned states but well, people can define their own meaning of love
TesfayeDecember 30th, 2019 at 12:33 AM
what is love?
it is an inprofed ! it imposebel to give defination!
meryJanuary 16th, 2020 at 12:35 PM
Love is the deepest part of life, no one can reach its end. It’s the subject of the life we live.
Love is like light formed out of darkness brighten everything in every little opportunity.
https://modto.ir/February 5th, 2020 at 4:49 AM
You always gain by
rockyFebruary 5th, 2020 at 7:30 PM
Thanks sir share this information. I really helpful this article. I read full content. Thanks you so much..
AliciaFebruary 17th, 2020 at 8:58 PM
I believe that love is a choice. I am currently going through a divorce. I was recently questioned about whether or not I really ever loved my husband. After giving the question some thought, I came to the conclusion that love is a choice. It begins as lust, as you said, and grows through mutual respect and trust. As long as my husband was good to me, and I him, it was an easy choice. But as years went by, my husband became abusive. First, he lost my trust, then my respect, and at the end, I stopped making the choice to love him and I left. I don’t think this means that I never loved him, I did, and I do still care about him in the sense that I wish no harm on him. I think there are a lot of preconceived notions that begin at a young age that are cultivated from fairy tales that love IS a fairy tale.
sandipMarch 1st, 2020 at 1:41 AM
Love is loss of life..
Love is not anything without loss..
PaigeMarch 27th, 2020 at 10:00 PM
There is this boy, he recently broke up with his girlfriend (3 months ago) and he told me he just wanted time, and I respect that. But one day he took me on a date and he kissed me. So naturally I went home and asked if we were dating and he said no. I just want to know if that kiss actually meant something to him or if I was just something for him to do.
puspaApril 7th, 2020 at 3:37 AM
Nice I am really clear about love and lust.
CHRISTIANAApril 10th, 2020 at 6:18 AM
I love this post
SwarsattieApril 17th, 2020 at 6:53 AM
“Love and Love in an ideal intimate relationship scenario is a balanced combination?” All in one. Thank you for sharing this article with the world including me. I learned some deep meaningful insight of what love is and how to I identify the difference between love and lust. I read all the others comments and I learned plenty too. Thank you guys so much! I needed this.
RambidoApril 26th, 2020 at 6:41 AM
Love is long suffering (more than patience), it is kind, love does not envy, love does not boast, nor puffed up with pride, does not act unseemly, has no self interest (an important test!), is not provoked, does not impute harm. Love DOES rejoice with the truth, bears all, believes all, hopes all, endures all. Love never fails. Love is a decision we make, not something we fall into or out of.
Muhindo A. M.May 8th, 2020 at 3:08 AM
I have learnt that there is true love and false love and in any case true love is better because it heals and the opposite is vice- versa. And besides good therapy is the best because it covers all other types of love since it works on the premise of the well-being of humans and other creation in the universe.
MobieMay 19th, 2020 at 10:25 AM
BethuelJune 18th, 2020 at 12:00 PM
Shubha TJune 23rd, 2020 at 11:09 AM
Excellent article..explains so beautifully🙂
EmmanuelJune 28th, 2020 at 10:48 AM
GiftJune 29th, 2020 at 8:32 PM
Love is a feeling.
thuonghlvAugust 1st, 2020 at 12:08 AM
I find it so amazing! Thanks for sharing this post!
GabriellaAugust 11th, 2020 at 7:44 PM
Thanks for sharing this great post!
Expressing your love is important not just because it helps you become a better person, but also because it allows you to establish strong and honest relationships with other people.
SamuelAugust 15th, 2020 at 6:54 PM
Nice Article Keep It Up
IbrahimAugust 21st, 2020 at 12:33 AM
Yes, I agree with wath u say but love is blind and nobody can say he or her can’t fill it.
XfhhhjAugust 21st, 2020 at 2:54 PM
For me love in relationship is with wjom you want to share everything …who understands you eithout ypur words..in whom you found a shekter…whom you really need in your life…like if he is not in your life your sorrows or your happinesses canf get its true values you think…match of souls..whewre your all emotions mathches…like all expectation matches…his smilecmakes you smile …with the same reason you both act same to each other…who you really need in your life intemately…without hiim you may be have all good things but thete is no true value
StevenAugust 29th, 2020 at 7:04 AM
Love is that witch makes us want to be alive.
LamiSeptember 16th, 2020 at 6:26 PM
Love is the best feeling on Earth if d world come back to love everything will be fine on Earth I believe and God will consider d world
PeterSeptember 17th, 2020 at 7:22 AM
Thanks for the blog filled with so many information. Stopping by your blog helped me to get what I was looking for.
JimSeptember 27th, 2020 at 7:46 AM
Love was real easy to find in the old days, and now most women unfortunately have their very high unrealistic expectations and standards.
QueenbabyOctober 21st, 2020 at 1:06 PM
Pls is love still existing
EzeuduOctober 24th, 2020 at 10:08 AM
That’s cool 😎
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