The Guardian

What is love? You asked Google – here’s the answer

Every day millions of people ask Google life’s most difficult questions. Our writers answer some of the commonest queries
‘Basically, love helps a species to cooperate. It’s a kind of “biological bribery”.’ Photograph: Emilija Manevska/Getty Images

Experts say the western ideal of romantic love is constantly disappointing us. Which is a shame because our culture loves romantic love. It’s an idea that pervades pop music, novels, TV and film. Somewhere out there our perfect match is waiting to meet us, so the theory goes. But maybe love isn’t really about The One. Maybe the early films of Richard Curtis don’t have all the answers.

So what is love, actually? There are many answers to this question, says the anthropologist Anna Machin, but let’s start with

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