A recent article in the magazine Psychology Today reported that one of the greatest tasks that we have in life is searching for love. Love is an experience that may be hard to describe or place in a category, and the fact that love comes in different types just complicates the matter even further. There is physical love, which is also called sexual attraction or lust. The next type of love is romantic love, and this is an attraction based on more than just physical characteristics. The third type of love is true love, and this involves a long term attachment and a love that grows stronger over time instead of fading away. It is possible to feel more than one type of love for a person at the same time. When you know the characteristics of each type of love you will be able to identify your real feelings toward your partner.
You Feel a Physical and Sexual Attraction
This can be a symptom of every type of love, but in the initial stages of a relationship this symptom signifies lust or sexual attraction. Do you enjoy touching your partner? Do you want to hold, stroke, and kiss them all the time? Is it difficult for you to keep your hands to yourself when they are around, even when you are in a public space? This can be identified as sexual attraction or lust, because you crave physical and sexual contact. Man describe this stage of love as being similar to taking a narcotic because the hormones produced and released by your brain are like a naturally produced heroin in your body that creates a sense of euphoria.
The Eyes Say It All
The old saying that the eyes are windows into the soul is not far off according to neuroscientist Dr. Lucy Brown. When you love someone you will find yourself staring into their eyes whenever possible, because the eyes are key to emotional bonding and intimacy. When you feel love for someone and you look into their eyes your pupils will actually dilate so that you can see them better. This effect allows more light into your eyes and will make the lighting seem brighter even though the same wattage is being used. If you notice that the room brightens when your partner comes in then this is a sign of love that is probably more than just sexual attraction or lust.
Your Partner is Constantly in Your Thoughts
During the attraction stage, also known as the romantic stage, emotional an social cognition areas of your brain are more active. This increase in activity also produces and releases important hormones that affect the way you feel. These hormones include adrenaline, oxytocin which is also known as the love drug, and vasopressin. These biological changes in your brain cause you to have more energy and you will find that your thoughts frequently stray to your partner. Some experts have compared the obsessive and compulsive activity in this stage of love with the brain activity and characteristics that occur with r obsessive compulsive disorder. You find that no matter how hard you try you can not stop the thoughts about your partner.
Your Comfort Zone and Security are Your Partner
True love, also called long term love, is the final stage of love and what most people hope for in a romantic relationship. Unlike the first two types of love this type is stable and lasting. You will have a strong emotional bond and attachment with your partner and they represent security and comfort to you. This type of love may have different feelings and signs for each individual. Many believe that their partner in this type of love is their soul mate, and they feel familiar and extremely comfortable with their partner. Many people describe this type of love as a feeling of coming home.
Love is a Journey Unique to the Individual
Decades have been spent on research into human emotions and the various types of love, but love is a journey that is unique for each individual. This journey is one that can be very personal, very intense, and varied when it comes to time lines or schedules. Love is like any other emotion, it does not stay static. In your life you will have periods of ebb and flow when it comes to love. Some relationships may seem stuck in the first or second stage of love for a very long time, others may skip a stage on the journey. Love represents an unwavering commitment, and the relationship requires time and hard effort if you want to reach the final stage.
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