All Women's Talk

What Exactly is Love Anyway

By Karen

What exactly is love? It means different things to different people, but it cannot be turned on as a reward or turned off as a punishment. One theory is it is a drive, and according to biological anthropologist Dr. Helen E. Fisher, humans have evolved the following 3 emotional systems used in mammalian mating and reproduction. So here's your answer to what exactly is love?

1 Lust

This is also known as sex drive or libido. It is the urge for sexual consummation and is associated with estrogens and androgens.

2 Attraction

This is an emotional system that causes a person to prefer courtship with specific individuals. In humans, it is also known as passionate love.

3 Attachment

This is companion love and the emotion that keeps long-term partners together.

So, what is a healthy romantic relationship in modern society? Here are a few essential ingredients:
• Healthy communication that involves speaking up when something is bothering you and showing respect for each other’s feelings.
• Relationship boosters to use when a relationship becomes stale. These include date nights and participating in fun activities that you both enjoy.
• Awareness of the elements of an unhealthy romantic relationship. These include partnerships based on power and control as well as any type of abusive behavior.

Being in a healthy romantic relationship can bring about many health benefits. And relationships, (romantic relationships, friendships, familial relationships), really do matter. Studies show that people who engage in supportive, positive relationships produce more oxytocin and seem less likely to succumb to the negative effects of stress, anxiety, and depression.

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