Love and Components of Love

No single definition of love is accepted by everybody but it is well know that being in love with someone involves feelings of romance, attraction, caring, etc. Love differs from having sex as people may be in love but not have sex and some people may have sex without being in love with each other. Love has different components as described below.

Intimacy: It is defined in behavioural terms as 'mutual self-disclosure and other kinds of verbal sharing, as declarations of liking and loving the other, and as demonstrations of affection. ’A definition of intimacy in romantic relationships is ‘the level of commitment and positive affective, cognitive and physical closeness one experiences with a partner in a reciprocal relationship.’ The feeling of intimacy also involves a sense of mutual understanding with the loved one, a sense of sharing one’s self, intimate communication with the loved one, involving a sense of having the loved one hear and accept what is shared and giving and receiving emotional support to and from the loved one.

Passion: It includes physical attraction and the drive for sexual expression. Physiological arousal is an important part of passion.

Decision or commitment: This component has two aspects. The short-term aspect is the decision that one loves the other person. The long-term aspect is the commitment to maintain the relationship. Commitment is what makes the relationship last. Passion may come and go from a relationship.

We now know that understanding concepts of Love and Sex development is complicated. But still we make judgments around sexual behavior. Read this interesting Moral Dilemma story to put a thought on your values and norms.

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