Love has been a debated topic since the beginning of time. What is love? Where does it come from? How do you know what true love is? Is love a feeling or a choice? Is love real?

Love is simply a human virtue that is based on compassion, affection, and kindness. Love is an emotion in action: you get what you put in. The word love is used and abused for the expression of different sets of feelings, for example, “I love chocolate” (pleasure), or “I love my wife” (affection). But, there are many different types of love. In the Greek language, there are seven different words for seven different types of love:

  • Storge: family affection, natural affection
  • Philia: love for friends
  • Eros: sexual or erotic love (positive or negative)
  • Agape: unconditional divine love
  • Ludus: playful, childish love, like flirting
  • Pragma: long standing love, marriage
  • Philautia: love of self (positive or negative)

So, where does it come from? Love is one of three basic brain systems that evolved for mating and reproduction:

  • Sexuality-evolved for humans to seek potential mating partners.
  • Romantic love and attraction-evolved for humans to have one mating partner.
  • Attachment-evolved in order to stay with a mate long enough to rear a child.

Helen Fisher of Rutgers University in the States has proposed 3 stages of love – lust, attraction and attachment.

  • Lust is driven by testosterone and estrogen
  • Attraction is driven by adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin
  • Attachment is driven by oxytocin and vasopressin

What you feel is controlled by the right side of the brain, and language is controlled by the left. So saying I love you can activate only half the brain if you don’t feel it.

Love is a choice and a feeling. You feel love, but you choose to say “I love you” to a person that you love. You choose to be with that person, based on your feelings. Those feelings are very real, they are chemical and biological. And these feelings are different for different types of love. In cultures that believe in the reality of true love, and how it affects our state of being, there are different words to describe the different types of love. So I ask, how do you define love?

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CC BY-SA 4.0 What is Love? by Sophie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

12 Comments
  1. Gaby 2 months ago

    I agree with your post “love” is hard to find and hard to figure out what love is or what love means Great post!

  2. Chidiogo 3 months ago

    Sophie, I really like the topic that you chose and how you explored the different ways that we approach using the word love or how we feel about that word. I do agree with you that love is a choice and feeling because we do have the choice to love something or not to. This was a nice article.

  3. Nikki 3 months ago

    your post interests me because the way you talked about your subject you used interesting information but didn’t go in to too much detail yet i still wanted to keep reading the post

  4. Nyelle 3 months ago

    Dear Sophie
    i am satisfied with your post because you really hit the key points of defining love. you didn’t go into deep detail but, you even gave us information no the brain which was pretty cool. thanks for sharing you post with us

  5. Samantha 3 months ago

    Dear Sophie,
    I am satisfied with with your post because you were very clear and specific about what love actually is and how many different ways to love there is. One thing you said that stood out to me was when Sophie said, “Helen Fisher of Rutgers University in the States has proposed 3 stages of love – lust, attraction and attachment..” I think this is very interesting but it can be confusing to other because of what each of these stages of love really mean. Your post reminds me of my life personally because love is very important to me and the way that I love others around me like my friends and family. Thank you for sharing your post.

    Regards,
    Samantha Lamas

  6. Paola 3 months ago

    Sophie your post was interesting. It’s weird how you broke love down into more of a science. I myself see love as something with no explanation, we all feel love differently. You can’t explain what you feel but you know it’s there, and I personally disagree with your idea about how love is a choice. You don’t get to choose who you fall for and I have learned that the hard way.

  7. Arthadius 3 months ago

    Dear Sophie
    I am interested in your post because many people ask what is love. you don’t go to deep in to detail but I see that there is enough information here to want people to want more that will make them want to go out and look for more of what the word means and we all have a different mean of it .

    Arthadius Sanders

  8. Taylor 3 months ago

    Dear Sophie,
    I found your post to be very interesting because I have always debated with others over If love is real or not. I agree with you that “love is used and abused for the expression of different sets of feelings” I feel as though many people don’t actually know if they love someone or not but they say it anyway because they have lust for that person. I also feel as though after a while that love just fades away into nothing.Overall, I enjoyed reading your post!
    ~Taylor Snoddy

  9. Christopher 3 months ago

    Dear Sophie
    I was very intrigued by your post because I feel like love is very subjective and is more based on the type of person you are. I can personally relate to the fact that people perceive love differently and I’d ask the same question that you did, and this really interested me and stood out in my opinion was how you ended with the question, “How do you define love?” This question really picks at a persons true emotions and thoughts and really shows how a person could change based on there opinions of you. I’m excited to see what you come up with next.
    Regards,
    Brandon Rangingisan

  10. James 3 months ago

    Dear Sophie,

    I found your writing intriguing because love even in a chemical reaction is fascinating. Even how it can be more than just simply, a chemical reaction. A way to find someone who feels the same way as you. The feeling of “romantic love” to find a partner. What else stands out to me is how many ways there are to say love in different ways through Greek. That is what most intrigued me.

    Regards
    James Hawkins

  11. Ivy 3 months ago

    Dear Sophie
    Your post really stood out to me because I believe love is such an important thing in life. Love from family, love from friends, love from a partner, but most importantly love for yourself. I was fascinated by the fact that you brought up the different types of love and how the brain connects to love and the 3 different parts of the brain that it is broken up into. I agree with the statement that love is a feeling and a choice. Feeling love for someone is something that just happens but pursuing love is a choice. You can separate yourself from someone and remove the love and that is a choice. This article was very eye-catching.
    Ivy Slatten

  12. Jaliaya 3 months ago

    Dear Sophie
    I am interested in your post because I am always asking myself what love is. I know that you didn’t really go into much detail but it was enough information to want to know more. One thing that stands out to me is “In the Greek language, there are seven different words for seven different types of love:” I think that is interesting because I never knew there were so man different meanings for the word love. What inspired you to want to write about love.
    Regards,
    Jaliaya Thomas

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