About love and love lights! From songs and poems to novels and movies, romantic love is one of the most enduring subjects for artworks through the ages. But what about science?
Historical, cultural, and even evolutionary evidence suggests love existed during ancient times and across many parts of the world. Romantic love has been found to exist in 147 of 166 cultures looked at in one study.
The complexity of love has much to do with how people experience it differently and how it can change over time.
Like, love, or ‘in love?
Psychological research over the past 50 years has investigated the differences between liking someone, loving someone, and being “in love”.
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Liking is described as having positive thoughts and feelings towards someone and finding that person’s company rewarding. We often also experience warmth and closeness towards the people we like. In some instances, we choose to be emotionally intimate with these people.
Passionate vs companionate love
Romantic love consists of two types: passionate and companionate love. Most romantic relationships, whether they be heterosexual or same-sex, involve both these parts.
Passionate love is what people typically consider being “in love”. It includes feelings of passion and an intense longing for someone, to the point they might obsessively think about wanting to be in their arms.
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Corinthians about love 13:4-8
Love is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud, doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13 [1.] If I speak with the languages of men and of angels but don’t have love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don’t have love, I am nothing. If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don’t have love, it profits me nothing.
1 Corinthians 13 [4.] Love is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud, doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with.
1 Corinthians 13 [11.] When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things. For now, we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known. But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love.