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Love, Let Me Count the Ways

Updated on February 12, 2018
Jackie Lynnley profile image

Healthcare comes first and foremost. It is so much wiser to look at prevention as often as possible, before we need the cure.

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There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.

~ George Sand

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We all have felt love. What a powerful emotion! How many times do we fall in love before we find the final one?

In our youth it is very much connected to sexuality and that is OK. We were created that way, human and animals, birds and the bees.

As we age love becomes less about sex and more about love and companionship. (Well, for most of us.)

How much does it have to do with chemical reaction in our brains? It feels like the heart but is it really or does the brain control the heart?

Love is Such a Complex, Abstract Emotion

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Born Knowing Love Exists

Many think we know love in utero which is in the uterus, before birth. We have learned the unborn baby knows pain as early as eight weeks in utero, recoiling from pain so we can assume they then know comfort, but love? That would be nice, but hard to answer.

We see those smiles almost immediately and the baby searching out voices and faces he or she prefers. Is that love?

According to Lawrence Cohen, PhD, author of Playful Parenting (Ballantine) children form deep, loving bonds with their parents and friends from a very early age, starting before a child can verbally express likes or dislikes. Newborns, too, feel attachment from the moment they're born, it is claimed!

In the womb, before breath, babies hear, feel, and even smell their mothers (yes they say so) so it's believed that they're attached as soon as they are born. Adoptive parent prove though, biology is not all the love story. Young babies bond emotionally with regular caregivers with the same affection. D'Arcy Lyness, PhD, a child psychologist and psychology editor for KidsHealth.org, explains, a baby is dependent on caregivers for nourishment, care and all their needs including safety, making a bond very strong.

This he says sets the standard for what a baby expects growing up in later relationships, in terms of emotional security, trust, and predictability.

Love is Like Oxygen

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From the day we come into the world, oxytocin and vasopressin are essential neurotransmitters in forming the bonds between a mother and child. So if you think about it, it only makes sense that it would be the end result of a romantic relationship. If love truly is, "life greatest prize," then you know you've received it when your feelings of attachment have set in and the dependency on that person is no longer scary, but just fact. ~ www.bustle.com

"There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment."

― Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

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Infatuation to Attachment

Scientists have compared the serotonin levels in the brain at the falling in love stage as being equal with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Falling in love has been compared to being high on cocaine, because of the brain pathways and structures that are active during this time, explaining why it can be so addictive, perhaps.

Serotonin and norepinephrine play a big role in beginning stages of infatuation, but the chemical that’s really working overtime is dopamine. With use of brain scans, Dr Helen Fisher and other scientists found dopamine starts in the middle of brain and stretches outward attaching to the basal ganglia part of the brain, the home of cognition and emotion, that get things going. It causes “euphoria, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, and a rush of motivation...otherwise known as infatuation.

Psychologist Dorothy Tennov says this only last two to three years in healthy situations then moving on to attachment. Things have cooled but you know you cannot live without this person. A lot of chemical reactions are taking place at this time that have been recorded actually through brain scans! The varying stages of love show how we may be attracted to a certain person according to Dr. Fisher who has dedicated much of her life to this study!

[ Intense energy, elation, mood swings, emotional dependence, separation anxiety, possessiveness, a pounding heart and craving are all central to this madness. But most important is obsessive thinking.” As Fisher says, “Someone is camping in your head.”]

Love - let me choose my favorite.

Do you have a favorite for feelings of love?

See results

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.

~ Dalai Lama

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Three musts in a marriage are communication, respect and trust. Goodwill, determination, keeping promises, good intentions and putting our partners equal to ourselves are all so important.

Love and Lasting Relationships

Marriage is based on love and respect. It is not about who is right and who is wrong or getting even. Our commitment to marriage is as important as the person we choose.

We will not always get along with times when our spouses drive us nuts. We will at times wonder why we made this choice but be sure this happens to everyone. We learn to keep our cool and get on with living until these times pass.

It gets better. But it is never perfect and we learn to not expect it will be.

We have to make marriage, not our children our top priority. One day our kids will leave home, leaving just us and our spouses and that is the relationship we cannot go without working on.

How many times have we gotten so mad at our spouses over something knowing we could never forgive them and being so hurt by them yet given time or a night’s sleep gives us a different perspective?

What benefit or toil is it to spend close company with one person for years on end? We know nearly half of marriages do not make it. It is thought if there are not a few disagreements at least that a lot of suppression is going on which could well end in a big blow up! So better to grieve our differences in a peaceful manner.

Perhaps some are on a second marriage and trying so hard to do better. Trying hard to not make the same mistakes twice.

Being reliable, responsible and honest are of utmost importance in marriages and still you would be hard pressed to find a perfect one. Experts advise pairing with someone who is a close match on core values: religion, sex, parenting, money and family. It seems in all this, chemistry plays the big part in early stage, but as we age our maturity and strength of our love is all to get us through.

When it comes right down to it, it was not a person we could live with that we chose for a long relationship, but someone we could not live without!

Three Stages of Love

Infant
Young
Mature
Bonding
Chemical
Learned
 
 
 
 
 
 

Nonstop Love Songs

© 2018 Jackie Lynnley

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  • Jackie Lynnley profile imageAUTHOR

    Jackie Lynnley 

    4 days ago from The Beautiful South

    Thank you PS, sorry to be so long getting here...life.

    Yes, when you think about it love is not just a one way emotion, in every way we look at it, it can appear a different way. Such as for parents and siblings and children...even each one of those differs, don't they? Then friends and our one true love of course is maybe most different of all and the love there branches out different ways in the relationship. I would say there could never be one answer.

  • pstraubie48 profile image

    Patricia Scott 

    10 days ago from sunny Florida

    Love is a complex experience for sure. I love in some many ways and blessed there are those who share my affection. It is interesting that love is studied by scientists and psychologist and others....how can something so life-changing and life-altering ever really be understood? well said...Jackie. Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

  • Jackie Lynnley profile imageAUTHOR

    Jackie Lynnley 

    2 weeks ago from The Beautiful South

    You are so right Shaloo! Thanks for reading!

  • swalia profile image

    Shaloo Walia 

    2 weeks ago from India

    Beautifully written! Love is not just an emotion. It's our very existence.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile imageAUTHOR

    Jackie Lynnley 

    3 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Thanks Kathi for your thoughts. I suppose our hearts could not take that euphoric endlessly, too bad huh?

    Always great to see you!

  • Fossillady profile image

    Kathi 

    3 months ago from Saugatuck Michigan

    So very interesting Jackie, I remember having that euphoric feeling of young love, but I also remember how that goes away after awhile, yet you still feel so attached to that person. Sometimes, I would like to have that euphoric feeling again . .. hee! Of course animals do feel love! I especially like the Dali Lamas quote!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile imageAUTHOR

    Jackie Lynnley 

    5 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Thank you Peggy for sharing that. It is true. I think age brings to the forefront what is most important in a relationship and what better than someone to depend on and be a friend until the end? It is very sad for all those who don't.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    5 months ago from Houston, Texas

    I truly enjoyed your perspective on love and relationships. My husband and I have now been married 47 years. Each day brings new experiences. It is wonderful growing old together!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile imageAUTHOR

    Jackie Lynnley 

    5 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Thank you so much Peg. My photos are like my babies...or my little puppies!

  • PegCole17 profile image

    Peg Cole 

    5 months ago from Dallas, Texas

    Beautifully expressed. Our feelings of love are as essential as food to our bodies. You're right about the effects of infatuation growing into a deeper and more lasting sort of love. As always, your photos really enhance the text and are as lovely as your thoughts.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile imageAUTHOR

    Jackie Lynnley 

    5 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Thank you Jan! Good luck to you too!

  • janshares profile image

    Janis Leslie Evans 

    5 months ago from Washington, DC

    Nice summary of the human types of love, Jackie. Good luck with the contest.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile imageAUTHOR

    Jackie Lynnley 

    5 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Thank you Bill and yes I did take these. I would almost call my photos the love of my life but of course that would not be true but I do adore them and never tire of them. These are not my best. Shows how beautiful it is where I live for many months of the year. Spring is in just a couple of weeks! Magnolias will be blooming in about three! They usually get frozen right after they come out but they always come back!

    Thanks for stopping by.

  • lifegate profile image

    William Kovacic 

    5 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

    Really interesting stuff, Jackie. I understand myself better now - lol. Beautiful pictures! Did you take them?

  • Jackie Lynnley profile imageAUTHOR

    Jackie Lynnley 

    5 months ago from The Beautiful South

    I so agree Ven. It is just too bad we do not have as much sense in our twenties as we do later in life. But almost half make it. Guess that is not too bad in the big picture!

  • Venkatachari M profile image

    Venkatachari M 

    5 months ago from Hyderabad, India

    A nice presentation of the significance and the concept of Love. You elucidated every aspect and theme of it so beautifully and very clearly.

    It is very true that marriage should be an eternal bondage between two people with great faith in each other, with true affection in spite of mutual differences, with perseverance and a commitment to carry on the relationship till the end.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile imageAUTHOR

    Jackie Lynnley 

    5 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Thank you Rachel. I have been married many years too and so happy that I realized my life wasn't all about my kids. I think many mothers make life about their kids and make a big mistake. Hard enough to keep up with the husband isn't it, much less the kids! lol

  • Rachel L Alba profile image

    Rachel L Alba 

    5 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

    What an intense and complicated but necessary subject, love is. But you made it "lovely". You hit it on the head when you said marriage is based on respect, not who is right or wrong. My husband and I will be married 48 years this September and I learned that respect is very important. We are also very considerate and polite to each other. We had and have our arguments, but it wouldn't be natural if we didn't. You were also right saying the children leave and you are left with your spouse and the marriage. Thank you for this subject. It was very thoughtful.

    Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile imageAUTHOR

    Jackie Lynnley 

    5 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Thank you Dora and Happy Valentine's Day to you!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile imageAUTHOR

    Jackie Lynnley 

    5 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Welcome Eric, thanks for stopping by.

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 

    5 months ago from The Caribbean

    Great insights on love--different types and different stages. I agree with your conclusion and I like the Sarah Dessen quote. Happy Valentine's to you.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    5 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Thank you for this.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile imageAUTHOR

    Jackie Lynnley 

    5 months ago from The Beautiful South

    That's great Lori and a perfect love to write about. I would certainly want to read it!

  • lambservant profile image

    Lori Colbo 

    5 months ago from Pacific Northwest

    I've been reading in 1 John a lot lately and it's full of information about love. It's not about romantic love but supreme love between God and people who have accepted Him, and how loving God and the brethren are proof that we are his children. This was a great hub. I'll check out the contest.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile imageAUTHOR

    Jackie Lynnley 

    5 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Thank you Nell! So pleased you liked it!

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 

    5 months ago from England

    Love is such a strange thing. You know you feel it, but you can't quite grab why that person is the one you love. Interesting stuff Jackie, loved it!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile imageAUTHOR

    Jackie Lynnley 

    5 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Thanks Linda. It was for me too, especially getting answers to those highs love brings us!

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 

    5 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

    This is an interesting and informative article, Jackie. I enjoyed learning about the different stages of love. It's a fascinating emotion!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile imageAUTHOR

    Jackie Lynnley 

    5 months ago from The Beautiful South

    So true Bill, we all need love. Thanks for a quick visit! I am hoping I did it all the right way! Kind of out of practice.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    5 months ago from Olympia, WA

    You jumped on that contest quickly. Well done! I know without love I wouldn't be alive today, so that's a pretty strong endorsement.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile imageAUTHOR

    Jackie Lynnley 

    5 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Thank you so much Mary. I learned quite a bit too researching this. Now we know it was just chemicals making us so crazy in love!

  • aesta1 profile image

    Mary Norton 

    5 months ago from Ontario, Canada

    We work on our relationships all the time. People we love sometimes fall off on the way because of neglect. You've explained so well how love connects us. It makes it easier to understand.

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