What True Love is - The Characteristics and the Science
Understanding the science of love & characteristics of true love
Nov 26, 2018
The question of love has intrigued us all for centuries. How do you explain love? or the reason we love or the way we love? All these questions have at some point in our life, crossed all of our minds because love is a feeling we all have experienced. Whether it is platonic love between a mother and a child or romantic love between two people, the emotion is experienced by everyone.
The science behind love is complicated and simple at the same time. While we all may think and symbolize love with the heart, it is, in fact, a chemical reaction that takes place in our brain and makes us act the way we do when we are in love. Many scientists in recent times have categorized romantic love to include three main components that are lust, attraction, and attachment. Scientists have made further distinctions between these categories according to the hormones released during these three feelings.
Lust is all about the physical attraction and physical desires that are innate in every human being. It is the desire for humans to procreate and reproduce and something that cannot be separated from human nature. In lust, sex hormones are stimulated by the brain which increases libido and the desire to procreate. Estrogen and testosterone also are known as female and male hormones and cause desire or lust.
Attraction is similar yet different at the same time. In the case of attraction, the brain pathways that control the reward behavior are engaged. Attraction can exist with lust as well as without. Dopamine and norepinephrine make us feel good about ourselves and make us euphoric, giddy, and energetic; all things felt in attraction.
Attachment is best explained by feelings that we feel for our family and is especially predominant in long-term relationships. It’s the bond that is created by two people during sex, breastfeeding, childbirth etc. It includes the bond between spouses as well as between parents and children. Oxytocin and vasopressin knew as cuddle hormone are produced making us feel warm and comfortable around loved ones.
The Meaning, Characteristics, and Signs of a true love
Many may argue that there is no such thing as true love and that love is in fact just love. However, the best way to explain true love is love that has lust, attraction, and attachment that lasts such as in most happy marriages. Here are some characteristics that will help you identify signs of a true love:
1. True love is instinctive and easy
If love is effortless in a relationship and attraction comes naturally then this is definitely a sign for true love. Not having to try too hard to spice things up is a good sign for true love.
2. True love is selfless and liberating
True love does not come with expectations. It is free and liberating and it is how it is. There is no acceptability involved and it is a natural bond.
3. True love is louder than words
True love is action and not just feeling. If you truly love someone you will do anything in your power to make them happy.
4. True love is mutual respect
True love is respecting your partner and accepting them just as they are.
5. True love is trust
Trusting your partner also comes naturally in true love. You are sure that you are safe with your partner and that he or she will never hurt you or let anyone hurt you.
Is True Love really blind? Find out the science behind
Being blind or blinded by something is an uncomfortable feeling to come to terms with. And when it comes to love, it can be even more perplexed for individuals to accept or digest the fact that love is making them blind. The question is how does love make you blind?
1. Love is Blind, Pure and Vulnerable
When you are in love, you are invested in a person whom you think you know well and that you know every aspect of their personality and their life. It is in love that you let your guard down in front of another person and there is total transparency in that relationship. This transparency is something that is required when you are in love and therefore cannot be escaped. It is also something that makes us vulnerable in front of that other person and makes us dependent on them.
It is important that when you are in love with your partner and show your true vulnerable, raw self, that your partner is also at that same level of emotion and attachment. If one person is more invested than the other in a relationship of love this makes the more invested partner in some ways blind. The more invested partner will think less critically about their partner and might trust them more and the partner who is more invested is likely to overlook their lovers’ flaws and faults, hence blinding them in love.
2. Love is Blind and it sees perfection
Another way love can make you blind is through time. True love has the power to create an illusion of perfection in your partner.
All this is also proven by science. According to a research study done by British Broadcasting Company (BBC), our brain reacts differently towards our partner when we have been in love for long, “once we get close to a person, the brain decides the need to assess their character and personality is reduced.” This makes it easier for us to overlook our partners’ flaws and to forego their faults. We think our partner is perfect in the true sense of the word. We stop noticing their physical flaws as well as character flaws. In other words, we are blinded by our love for our partner.
3. Overlap of platonic and romantic love
In another study conducted By University College London by the department of neuroscience a very interesting conclusion was made. In this study, romantic love was compared to the platonic love of a mother for her child. The research had some fascinating findings which showed that the love felt for a partner and a child has many overlaps and similarities in terms of chemical reactions in the brain.
The study showed that a woman scientifically speaking feels the same for her husband as she does for her child in the world of the brain. This shows that all loves are the same and that the attachment aspect of love is common in platonic and romantic love. Therefore, the cuddle hormone, as well as dopamine, are hormones that are universal in all loves. These are also the hormones that make our bonds stronger with our love partners making us somewhat blind in a relationship.
4. Love is blind for Heartbroken People
People who have had their heart broken are most likely to vouch for the feeling of blindness in love.
In heartbreaks, a persons’ trust is shattered and she/ he questions their ability to ever love again. This is primarily because when they are in love with their social judgment about their partner is one-sided and flawed. They stop noticing things that they would otherwise notice in a new relationship or in other social interactions. Things that make them distrust others are no longer visible or obvious to them. Making them blind in love.
Quotes on True Love
True love doesn't happen right away; it's an ever-growing process. It develops after you've gone through many ups and downs, when you've suffered together, cried together, laughed together.
Life is a game and true love is a trophy
True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen.
True love cannot be found where it does not exist, nor can it be denied where it does.
To summarize, love is a complicated yet simple feeling which can be understood by all but cannot be explained fully at the same time. True love is a concept where love exists and then lasts for longer than any feeling. The feeling of love doesn’t necessarily stay the same, it evolves and changes with time. While people newly in love might experience all three aspects of love i.e. lust, attraction, and attachment, these feelings will increase and decrease and change in intensity with time. While initially, lust may be important in a relationship, in later years attachment is what keeps love intact and going.
Either way love as beautiful as it is, it makes one vulnerable and some may say makes you blind... but maybe that is exactly what we need to find an escape from all the chaos around us.. the sense of safety that makes being vulnerable easy and the illusion of perfection that we don't seem to find in the flawed world around us. This is why don't scare away from falling in love! Finding true love is hard but its so worth it.