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Are You Really in Love?

What is Love?

That question is one of the most asked and one of the least answered questions in the entire world. What really is love? When did it start and where did it come from? We will probably never know but that’s part of the beauty of the word.

We can’t give a definite answer to the meaning of love but we will always be able to explain what it feels like and how it affects us. Love is an everlasting emotion where you feel like you will be unable to live without that person, an emotion where they are all that you think about and all that you want in your life. Love is patient and love can be kind but love also has the possibility of being cruel.

There are 3 scientifically defined stages of love:

- lust
- attraction
- attachment

All 3 of those stages may occur with a single person but in some instances, we may not get past the first. Lust is the emotion that we feel when we are sexually attracted to a person. Lust and love are different because love is a deeper and a more serious attraction than lust is. Lust is playful, deviant, and short lived. Attraction revolves around the initial feelings that we may have when we first meet a person. They mostly come from lust but sometimes they come from deeper rooted emotions. When attraction comes into play, we commonly forget to think rationally because all that matters is the fact that you want to get to know that particular person better. Attraction is known to be a physical characteristic due to the fact that you are generally attracted to someone due to their physical appearance and what you find interesting about a person’s face or body.

The final stage, attachment, is an emotion that comes later on in a relationship. At this point you have passed the idealistic fantasy stage and you are moving on towards real love, something that has the capability of lasting forever. Oxytocin, endorphins, and vasopressin are all hormones that play a key role in the attachment phase and they are commonly referred to as the “chemistry of love”.

When you are in love, you have an immense amount of chemicals rushing all around your brain and body. As scientists delve further into the emotion, they are beginning to discover more about the roles that each of these chemicals play in developing love. So maybe “What is love?” is easier to explain that we had first thought. Dopamine, the pleasure chemical, produces a feeling of bliss and norepinephrine is a chemical that is similar to adrenaline and it produces a racing heart and excitement. When you first realize that you are falling in love it is common to experience a racing heart, sweaty palms and a flushed skin tone. When dopamine and norepinephrine are combined together they create elation which is an intensified state of happiness and intense energy.

Love is an everlasting emotion that can’t be shaken from a person’s heart and mind. Although there isn’t an absolute definition as to what love really is, we are able to define it by the way that we feel. We are also able to explain where it comes from and why it happens, due to scientific experiments. With the combination of the chemicals in our brain, love is love and there is no getting around it because we know how we feel. Everyone who has been in love will either have a positive or a negative view on the emotion, but it is inevitable and unavoidable because after all, we’re just human.