Love Versus Passion

Love is a broad group of human behaviors and emotions characterized by emotional intimacy, romance, passion, commitment, and caring. It normally involves closeness, support, intimacy, compassion, desire, attachment, and trust. Love is related to a wide range of emotional states, including happiness, exhilaration, joy, life satisfaction, anticipation, sense of self and protection. People tend to love someone for different reasons including their personality, intelligence, kindness, compatibility, agreement, reliability, and other factors including the way they look or behave.

Love involves two people coming together at a deeper level that is described as “intimacy” or “intimacy plus.” Intimacy is described as deep, intense, committed and focused emotions which are needed for developing intimacy. Intimacy is one of the primary ways to express feelings. Love between a couple may also involve sexual intimacy but it usually does not include a romantic relationship.

The term “love style” describes the general structure and way relationships are formed in the brain. People who love someone demonstrate more brain activity in the “amygdala” and the “prefrontal cortex.” These two brain regions control emotional processes and memory.

People who are highly attracted to another person show a pattern of brain activity called the “amygdala response” in which the person experiences an intense emotional experience that is directly related to physical attraction. An intense emotional response to physical attraction is often present before an intimate relationship is formed. People who fall in love show more activity in the “prefrontal cortex” which is involved in storing and retrieving information that helps people make decisions and solve problems. People who have a loving relationship frequently are attracted because of this very response in the brain.

People who are deeply attracted to one person are “focusing on the love they feel.” This type of person is so focused on their connection and all the great things about the relationship they do not think of any of the negative aspects. They do not focus on the criticism or the hurt feelings. This type of person tends to be more successful in forming relationships and in building passionate, lifelong bonds.

People who form deep and loving relationships, feel loved and are emotionally bonded are in a state of constant well-being. They experience much higher self-esteem and their confidence in their abilities and talents increases. People who experience these kinds of loving relationships are more likely to succeed in life and achieve their goals as well.