Love is a collective group of behaviors and emotions characterized by deep emotional intimacy, passionate intimacy, commitment, and reciprocity. It entails affection, support, closeness, caring, compassion, protection, adoration, joy, beauty, and hope. Love is often associated with an assortment of positive emotional states, such as happiness, excitement, vitality, life fulfillment, and ecstasy.
To further complicate matters, there are two main types of love: one is the emotional type, which is centered on feelings; the other is the physical type, which centers on desires. Emotional love is centered on human needs such as security, safety, love, acceptance, competence, achievement, reliability, power, and a sense of belonging. Physical love, on the other hand, is centered on physical needs such as food, clothing, shelter, performance, procreation, and intimacy.
While there are many different emotional states that promote different feelings, all love is focused on two things: passion and intimacy. Passion is defined as an intense feeling or desire that stems from the central core of our being. One example of passionate love is found in a mother’s love for her children. Another example is found in sexual intimacy between a husband and his wife. Intimate love is the energy and passion that drive relationships and marriages.
In order to fully appreciate the nature of romantic love, it is necessary to examine the other three components, namely, attachment, intimacy, and passion. Attachment refers to our deep and sincere attachment to another person or another thing. Intimacy is considered a bonding or connection that creates a deep emotional connection. And lastly, passion is defined as the strong urge to move towards or away from that other person or object.
Attraction is a term that is commonly used in relationships. It refers to the strong, universal emotional attraction that exists between two people or two things. This attraction may be based on similar characteristics, interests, or behaviors. However, this type of attraction has been compared to a magnet which attracts both positive and negative ions. This type of attraction can be seen in romantic relationships and is most common in friendships, casual dating, co-works, group projects, and day-to-day interactions.
While there are different theories and opinions on the nature of passion, most agree that love and romance are always relational and not sexual in nature. The need to experience love and affection is what fuels passion. Without passion in a relationship, the relationship is destined to break down into multiple conflicts and episodes of hurt feelings. Therefore, the quest for passion is what fuels closeness and romantic love in any relationship.