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A Simple Interpretation of Love

Updated on May 4, 2015
Talking About Love
Talking About Love

What Causes the Feeling of Falling in Love: racing heart, flushed skin, and sweaty palms

The chemicals dopamine, norepinephrine, and phenylethylamine are responsible for the “falling in love” feeling but what establishes a long term relationship is oxytocin and vasopressin. Dopamine produces a feeling of bliss. While, norepinephrine is like adrenaline, producing a racing heart and excitement. Together these two chemicals produce elation, intense energy, sleeplessness, craving, loss of appetite, focused attention, short term memory, and goal oriented behavior. When Oxytocin is released it helps bond the relationship, creating an emotional bond. Vasopressin is a chemical associated with the formation of long term relationships. Together these chemicals interfere with the dopamine and norepinephrine, which explains why passionate love fades as attachment grows. Even Though, passion fades warmth and comfort is left behind. When Dopamine and Norepinephrine are gone, you are then able to see him or her rationally. At this point the relationships is strong enough to endure or it ends. That is why the longer the courtship the strong the long-term relationship. Although the chemicals endorphins will provide a new sense of well being and security, while oxytocin and vasopressin will continue to work.

  • To find out more on the chemistry behind love, click here. The website provides credible information and the author is qualified for writing and publishing on the website. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism and advertising.

What’s interesting is that people in love have lower levels of serotonin, causing them to obsess about their partner. This obsessive compulsive disorder explains why love is blind. Psychology hypothesizes that we tend to see as attractive and choose as mates people who look healthy. Romance doesn’t just apply to the Western culture, but also to the non-western culture because our brain works the same. Romantic love may be universal but culture expression is not. For example, in India there is emphasis on friendship in the love relationships of young men in Indian culture. Although, India romantic love is dangerous, considered a threat to the caste system in marriages arranged to preserve lineage and bloodlines.

  • A relatable story for those who have found true love, but the passion has faded away, is Lauren Slater's story on True Love.

Hatfield and Walster in 1978 Distinguished:

Passionate Love: short and intense relationship

Companionate Love: close and enduring relationship

Your Love Styles

What do you consider your love style to be?

See results

Different Love Styles

There are six independent styles of Love:

  • Primary:

    • Eros- passionate, romantic, and emotionally intense; An individual is looking for a psychologically intimate open relationship. They have strong ideas about the type of person they want as a partner

    • Ludus- Enjoys having multiple partners and isn’t interest in commitment.

    • Storge- Love that involves a slow developing friendship. Trust and acceptance are central to this love style.

  • Secondary:

    • Pragma- Practical love; A partner position and place in community is central. Similarities of interests and background will likely make a good partner for life.

    • Mania-Possessive and dependent love; Intense emotional involvement with concerns about loss of other which leads to jealousy.

    • Agape- Selfless love style; They seek spiritual and emotional identification, and are willing to make sacrifices in interest of lover.

The Social Construction of love differs in the Western and Asian culture, because of traditions. The West has an individualistic culture and the non-west has a collectivistic culture. Characteristics that define individualism (applying to us) are personal initiative, personal autonomy, self-reliance, and personal freedom. Characteristics that define collectivism are family integrity, family until, and family loyalty. In a collectivistic culture, a person at birth belongs to a family or clan that safe guards his/her interests but expects permanent loyalty. Therefore, individualistic cultures give love greater importance to marriage than collectivistic cultures. Portugal is viewed as collectivistic but has changed since 1980. Now Portuguese and British students are considered individualistic. India is still considered collectivistic.

In Asia, choosing a partner involves the whole family. In a study that Neto conducted, he founds Koreans were less romantic than Americans. While, Chinese men were more storge and agapic in their love styles than were Chinese women. In India, participants revealed higher scores on Pragman, Mania, and Agape then the British and Portuguese participants. But, the did have lower scores on Ludus then the British and higher Storge than Portuguese. There is also differences in gender. For example, Indian and Portuguese men were more ludic than indian and Portuguese women. And British women were higher on Ludus then British men. From this study, it can be seen that females are more pragmatic, manic, and storgic than males and males are more ludic than females. Yet, no gender or cultural difference in erotic love styles were found.

Influences on Relationship Satisfaction

Financial Security


Age at marriage

Interparental Conflict

Religiosity values and expectations

Length of Courtship

Marital Expectations

-Those in their middle years of marriage have lower relationship satisfaction.

Childhoods Environment Can Leave us Scarred for Life

Marriage has changed, ever since love was included as a reason to marry. Perhaps that is why divorce rates have increased because when love was lost so was the marriage. What many don’t realize though is that love is influenced by experience and the environment we come from. The Social Construction begins in a family unit. it is parental relationship factors that affect marriage. The strongest one is interparental conflict, which can determine an offsprings conflict in their later marriage and it relates to low levels of relationship harmony.

In a study conducted by Kristy L. Soloski, she gathers data on the effects interparental conflict and other factors have on one's marriage. High levels of interparental conflict is associated with low levels of love and expectations. While lower levels of interparental conflict are related to higher levels of love a person reports within relationship and high levels of marital expectations. Despite this, being exposed to a parent’s marital conflict isn’t as bad as you would think. In fact, it influences a person's own experience in a relationship and resolution skills with partner. But the amount of love that a person expects to experience decreases. That is why having high expectations can make a relationship last for only a short term instead a long term. Parental marital status(whether parents are divorced, separated, married) doesn’t affect one as much as interparental conflict. Although, having separated parents is associated with higher relationship expectations because that’s how the child reacts. Other factors that influence a marriage is religion, age, or race. It has been proven that high levels of religiosity and getting married at a young age equals high levels of love within a relationship. Now, race contributes to the expectations of love in a relationships. Divorce levels for minority couples are higher than for whites. This indicates a low expectations for commitment in a relationship.

Deaths Connection with Love

Now let’s look at love from a different perspective. Human interaction (including physical touch) is essential for our development and well being. It is through this interaction that an attachment or bond is created based on love. That is why the passing of a loved one causes pain. Without emotions such as love, the death of a loved one wouldn't affect us the way it does. Life generates its own meaning, while non life is inactive but death is chaotic. The root of human anxiety. Without such emotions, life would be meaningless.

Interpretation of Love

Love: A primary human need. An emotion so powerful that it cannot be denied. Love can lead us to make irrational decisions because of the chemicals behind it, that blinds us to see our partner for who he/she really is. This emotions can lead to confusion and cannot be removed. There is no proper understand of love, only three aspects that make it whole: intimacy, passion, and commitment. Yet, remember that the definition of love is different to every person and it becomes different as it is socially constructed.

The Mathematics of Love

Surprisingly, you can use mathematics to find love. According to Hannah Fry, there is a connection between love and mathematics. She states that, “human emotion isn’t neatly ordered and rational and easily predictable,” but mathematics can still help in finding love. Math is the study of patterns and love is full of patterns, thus both are connected. Fry gives three mathematical tips for love, all which involved online dating. The first one is to use the only dating website OKCupid. It is a website made up of a mathematics study that collects data of interactions between people on other online dating websites. The second one is to use the mathematical theory, to pick the perfect partner. Which is to reject the first 37% in dating window and pick the next guy. It’s a risk but statistics show that it works. finally the third tip is to avoid divorce. Do this by having positive conversations, which lower the risk of divorce. Successful couples are the ones that don’t let things go unnoticed and give each other room to complain. To see the 20 minute presentation she gives on this topic, simply go to Ted Talk and look her up.

Hannah Fry: The Mathematics of Love

Focus on love in your relationship when it’s present, and don’t heighten expectations. Allow for things to happen naturally, this can strengthen satisfaction. Therapy can also be conducted to create effective treatment plan and therapeutic interventions. A method you can try, if the connection is being lost, is to stare into each other eyes for two minutes after sharing thoughts about each other. This exercise can help couples who have a busy life and can’t dedicate enough time to each other.

— Argentina Mena


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Wow this information is really helpful. Love is one of those mystery's in life but I knew science was involved somehow. Thank you for the research. I loved this article!

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile image

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Nice research!


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