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LoveFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaFor other uses, see Love (disambiguation). Archetypal lovers Romeo and Juliet portrayed by Frank Dicksee.Love is the emotion of strong affection and personal attachment.[1] In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. In religious context, love is not just a virtue, but the basis forall being ("God is love"[2]), and the foundation for all divine law (Golden Rule).The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure ("I loved that meal") to intense interpersonalattraction ("I love my wife"). "Love" can also refer specifically to the passionate desire and intimacy of romantic love, to the sexual love of eros (cf. Greekwords for love), to the emotional closeness of familial love, or to the platoniclove that defines friendship,[3] to the profound oneness or devotion of religious love. [4] This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define,even compared to other emotional states.Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.Contents [hide]1 Definitions2 Impersonal love3 Interpersonal love3.1 Chemical basis3.2 Psychological basis3.3 Comparison of scientific models4 Cultural views4.1 Persian4.2 Chinese and other Sinic cultures4.3 Japanese4.4 Ancient Greek4.5 Turkish (Shaman & Islamic)4.6 Ancient Roman (Latin)5 Religious views5.1 Abrahamic religions5.1.1 Judaism5.1.2 Christianity5.1.3 Islam and Arab5.2 Eastern religions5.2.1 Buddhism5.2.2 Hinduism6 See also7 References8 Sources9 External linksDefinitionsPart of a series on loveBasic aspectsCharityHuman bondingChemical basisReligious viewsPhilosophy of love
 
HistoricallyCourtly loveTypes of emotionEroticismPlatonic loveFamilial loveRomanceSee alsoPuppy loveLimerenceLove sicknessLove addictionHuman sexualityUnrequited loveValentine's DaySexual intercourseInterpersonal relationshipThis box: view
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editThe word "love" can have a variety of related but distinct meanings in differentcontexts. Often, other languages use multiple words to express some of the different concepts that English relies mainly on "love" to encapsulate; one exampleis the plurality of Greek words for "love." Cultural differences in conceptualizing love thus make it doubly difficult to establish any universal definition.[5]Although the nature or essence of love is a subject of frequent debate, different aspects of the word can be clarified by determining what isn't love. As a general expression of positive sentiment (a stronger form of like), love is commonlycontrasted with hate (or neutral apathy); as a less sexual and more emotionallyintimate form of romantic attachment, love is commonly contrasted with lust; and as an interpersonal relationship with romantic overtones, love is sometimes contrasted with friendship, although the word love is often applied to close friendships. Fraternal love (Prehispanic sculpture from 250
900 A.D., of Huastec origin). Museum of Anthropology in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.When discussed in the abstract, love usually refers to interpersonal love, an experience felt by a person for another person. Love often involves caring for oridentifying with a person or thing, including oneself (cf. narcissism). In addition to cross-cultural differences in understanding love, ideas about love have also changed greatly over time. Some historians date modern conceptions of romantic love to courtly Europe during or after the Middle Ages, although the prior existence of romantic attachments is attested by ancient love poetry.[6] Two hands forming the outline of a heart shape.Because of the complex and abstract nature of love, discourse on love is commonly reduced to a thought-terminating cliché, and there are a number of common proverbs regarding love, from Virgil's "Love conquers all" to the Beatles' "All you need is love". St. Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle, defines love as "to will the good of another."[7] Bertrand Russell describes love as a condition of "absolute value," as opposed to relative value. Philosopher Gottfried Leibniz said that love is "to be delighted by the happiness of another."[8]Love is sometimes referred to as being the "international language", overridingcultural and linguistic divisions.Impersonal love
 
A person can be said to love an object, principle, or goal if they value it greatly and are deeply committed to it. Similarly, compassionate outreach and volunteer workers' "love" of their cause may sometimes be borne not of interpersonal love, but impersonal love coupled with altruism and strong political convictions.People can also "love" material objects, animals, or activities if they investthemselves in bonding or otherwise identifying with those things. If sexual passion is also involved, this condition is called paraphilia.[9]Interpersonal loveInterpersonal love refers to love between human beings. It is a more potent sentiment than a simple liking for another. Unrequited love refers to those feelingsof love that are not reciprocated. Interpersonal love is most closely associated with interpersonal relationships. Such love might exist between family members, friends, and couples. There are also a number of psychological disorders related to love, such as erotomania.Throughout history, philosophy and religion have done the most speculation on the phenomenon of love. In the last century, the science of psychology has writtena great deal on the subject. In recent years, the sciences of evolutionary psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, neuroscience, and biology have addedto the understanding of the nature and function of love.Chemical basisMain article: Chemical basis for loveBiological models of sex tend to view love as a mammalian drive, much like hunger or thirst.[10] Helen Fisher, a leading expert in the topic of love, divides the experience of love into three partly overlapping stages: lust, attraction, andattachment. Lust exposes people to others; romantic attraction encourages people to focus their energy on mating; and attachment involves tolerating the spouse(or indeed the child) long enough to rear a child into infancy. Simplified overview of the chemical basis of love.Lust is the initial passionate sexual desire that promotes mating, and involvesthe increased release of chemicals such as testosterone and estrogen. These effects rarely last more than a few weeks or months. Attraction is the more individualized and romantic desire for a specific candidate for mating, which develops out of lust as commitment to an individual mate forms. Recent studies in neuroscience have indicated that as people fall in love, the brain consistently releasesa certain set of chemicals, including pheromones, dopamine, norepinephrine, andserotonin, which act in a manner similar to amphetamines, stimulating the brain's pleasure center and leading to side effects such as increased heart rate, loss of appetite and sleep, and an intense feeling of excitement. Research has indicated that this stage generally lasts from one and a half to three years.[11]Since the lust and attraction stages are both considered temporary, a third stage is needed to account for long-term relationships. Attachment is the bonding that promotes relationships lasting for many years and even decades. Attachment isgenerally based on commitments such as marriage and children, or on mutual friendship based on things like shared interests. It has been linked to higher levels of the chemicals oxytocin and vasopressin to a greater degree than short-termrelationships have.[11] Enzo Emanuele and coworkers reported the protein molecule known as the nerve growth factor (NGF) has high levels when people first fallin love, but these return to previous levels after one year.[12]Psychological basisFurther information: Human bondingPsychology depicts love as a cognitive and social phenomenon. Psychologist Robert Sternberg formulated a triangular theory of love and argued that love has three different components: intimacy, commitment, and passion. Intimacy is a form in

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