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Love, Let Me Count the Ways

Updated on February 2, 2020
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.


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

~ George Sand


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


Are We 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, Ph.D., 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 proves though, biology is not all the love story. Young babies bond emotionally with regular caregivers with the same affection. D'Arcy Lyness, Ph.D., a child psychologist, and psychology editor for, 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


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. ~

"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


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 the use of brain scans, Dr. Helen Fisher and other scientists found dopamine starts in the middle of the brain and stretch 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 has 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


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 Long 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 a 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 the 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 is 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 an 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


Nonstop Love Songs

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Jackie Lynnley


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