Romantic love is a timeless subject for art, from songs and poems to novels or movies. But what about science?
Evidence from historical, cultural and evolutionary perspectives suggests that love existed in ancient times across many countries. In 147 out of the 166 cultures examined in one study, romantic love was found.
Do you mean love, or in love?
Over the past 50 years, psychological research has explored the differences between loving someone, liking them and being “in-love”.
Liking can be described as feeling positive about someone, having positive feelings towards them and finding their company rewarding. People we like often feel warmth and closeness. Sometimes, we may choose to be emotionally close with these people.
Love someone brings out the same positive feelings and experiences as when we love a person. We also feel a deep love and commitment to that person.
“in love” encompasses all of the above, but also includes feelings of sexual attraction and arousal. Research into the views of people about love shows that not all types of love are created equal.
Passionate vs companionate love
There are two types of romantic love: companionate and passionate. These parts are essential in most romantic relationships, heterosexual and same sex .
Passionate Love People often refer to this as being “in love.” This is a feeling of passion and intense longing for someone.
The second part of the equation is companionate and. Although it is not as intense, it is complex and connects feelings emotional intimacy and commitment with deep affection toward the romantic partner.
What happens to love as it changes over time?
Research analysing the changes in romantic love over the years often finds that while passionate love begins high, it decreases over time.
This can be due to many reasons.
Routines are formed as partners get to know each other better and feel more secure in the long-term relationship. There are also opportunities for novelty and excitement that can decline. This can lead to a decline in passionate love.
While a decrease in passionate love does not affect all couples, several studies have shown that approximately 20% to 40% of them experience it. The second decade is the most likely time for couples to experience a severe downturn in their marriages.
Passion can be affected by life events and transitions. There are many responsibilities that people have which can affect their energy, and limit the opportunities for passion. This is an example.
Companionate Love tends to grow over time.
Research shows that most romantic relationships are composed of both companionate and passionate love. However, a lack or reduction in companionate love can have a negative impact on the longevity of a relationship.
But is love really worth it?
The emotion of love is what keeps people committed and bonded to each other. According to evolutionary psychology, love evolved to keep parents and children together so that they could survive and achieve sexual maturity.
Humans have a longer period of childhood than any other species. Love is vital for humans because offspring depend on adults for years to survive and develop the skills and capabilities needed to live a successful life.
It’s hard to imagine how humans could have evolved without love.
Also, a biological foundation
Love is not only rooted in biology, but also has an evolutionary basis. Research into the neurophysiological basis of romantic love has shown that those who are in the throes or passionate love experience greater activation in brain areas associated with reward and pleasure.
The brain regions that are activated are actually the same as the ones activated by cocaine.
These chemicals are released from the brain, such as dopamine, vasopressin, and oxytocin. They produce feelings of happiness, euphoria, and can also be linked to sexual arousal, excitement, and sexual stimulation.
These brain regions don’t activate when we think about friendships and other non-romantic relationships. These results show that liking someone isn’t the same thing as falling in love.
Which is your preferred love style?
Research identifies three main styles of love. The three love styles were first created by John Lee. They are eros (lupus), (storage). These styles are a guideline for romantic relationships and reflect people’s views and attitudes about love.
This type of love is referred to as erotic love. It focuses on sexual attraction, engaging in sex and the rapid development of strong, passionate feelings for one another.
This style is often described as “game-playing” and emotionally distant. This love style is not for everyone. They are often reluctant to commit and feel uncomfortable ending relationships.
Sturge is often considered a mature form of love. Sturge is a preferred form of love. It is more open to sharing affection with someone who shares similar interests and less on physical attractiveness. People who are high in storage love have a strong sense of trust and aren’t dependent or dependent on others.
Is a mix more your style?
It is possible to wear more than one of these styles.
Evidence indicates that some people have a combination of the three main love styles. Lee referred to these combinations as mania (pragma), agape (agape)
Manic love can be defined as intense feelings for your partner and worry about the commitment of the relationship. Pragmatic love is about making responsible choices and finding a partner that will be a friend and companion. Agape is selfless love driven by a sense or duty and selflessness.
What is it that you love so much?
The genes have little to do with a person’s love life. It’s more closely related to the person’s past relationships and their personality.
A few studies found that people with dark traits such as narcissism and psychopathy, love more of a pragma or ludus love style.
People with an insecure attachment (involving a need for validation and preoccupation about relationships partners) endorse more mania love. Those who are uncomfortable with intimacy or closeness don’t endorse erosive love.
No matter how different people experience love, there is one thing that remains constant: humans are social animals with a deep fascination for it.