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James Kauffman

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Boston, MA

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What is Love?

I wrote this short essay when worked at

Love is one of the most complex and confusing emotions in existence. It is a topic that has inspired philosophers, poets and writers for generations. It has also been a favored subject of research by scientists and psychologists. Despite the many differing opinions about what love is, there are some fundamentals.

Moreover, the term “love” can be applied to other objects of our affection such as sports teams or books. Athletes have a love of sports; readers have a love of reading; and family members often have a love for their children. Love can also be applied to non-human animals or to principles and beliefs.

When talking about love, it is important to distinguish it from lust and attraction. Though both involve a feeling of intense desire and physical attraction, only love leads to long-term commitment and intimacy. In contrast, lust is associated with an intoxicating rush of chemicals and physical arousal.

While some scientists and psychologists define love as a primary emotion, others view it as a secondary emotion that derives from other primary emotions. For example, some researchers believe that love is an emotional response to a person’s behavior and character. They argue that the feeling of love is based on a combination of other emotions such as trust, loyalty and concern.

Regardless of its definition, most people can agree that loving someone means wanting the best for them. It also means accepting them for who they are, including their imperfections. According to psychosexual and relationship therapist Sarah Calvert, “love includes accepting the things about them that you might not like so much.”

There is also a distinction between loving someone and being in love with them. While loving someone can be calmer and less dramatic, being in love usually involves a high level of passion and can be quite chaotic. There are plenty of books, films and poems about unrequited love – it can be a very painful experience.

The chemistry between two people is what makes them fall in love, but the way they treat each other over time is what sustains and deepens it. It is important for those who are in a relationship to communicate openly, listen carefully and support each other through the good and bad times of their lives. They should also make a point to spend quality time together.

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