The term “love” is used in a wide variety of contexts. However, when applied to psychology it usually refers to a broad spectrum of experiences that involve one or another of the following: attachment, affiliation, commitment, companionship, and empathy. In everyday life, we tend to think of love as a romantic idea, a description of a powerful bond of connection between two people. Love encompasses a far wider range of positive and negative emotional and psychological states, from the highest personal ideal, the greatest lifelong habit, or the most intense intimacy, to the easiest pleasures. It is also used to refer to emotional states that support bonding, such as care, security, and trust.
One of the major fields of research in love and relationships studies is attachment styles, which seek to understand how people relate to each other in terms of their attachment language. Attachment styles can range from completely open and free forms of romantic attachment to closed and mutually dependent relationships. In addition, there are several specific attachment styles, such as:
The unconditionally attached person may feel that he is completely loved by everyone, and he may feel no need to take actions to secure those feelings. On the other hand, this same person may feel very close to some people but be repelled by others. This individual’s needs may be quite different from his lovers’ needs.
Individuals who fall in love at first sight have a unique brain architecture compared to others. These individuals have stronger neural pathways in the brain than others. Because of these unique brain structures, they have easier connections with others. They are also better able to remember details about new people and their personalities, even if they haven’t been in romantic relationships before. In comparison, individuals who start out with opposite personalities often have difficulty forming strong bonds with others. Those with a personality disorder, especially bipolar disorder, tend to suffer from mood swings, which disrupts their ability to form close relationships.
When an individual is in a stable relationship and enters into a romantic relationship with a great partner, he or she tends to spend more time with that partner than with others. However, with a new partner, this shift in attention can occur even if the individual has always spent time alone. It is because of this primary love language between partners that it is easier for them to transition to time together as opposed to moving from one romantic relationship to another. In the words of an old proverb, “Time likes a man who spends time with a woman.”
Individuals who fall in love at first sight experience increased levels of several positive emotions, such as: joy, hope, excitement, satisfaction, compassion, and empathy. However, there is a drawback. This type of person experiences these positive emotions too intensely to allow himself to have any needs or wants satisfied. Rather than achieving balance and happiness through these strong emotions, he tends to do only what is necessary to survive and thrive in the relationship. In order for a newly-loved individual to experience balance in his relationship, he needs to develop the ability to focus on the needs and wants of his beloved rather than on his own wants and needs.