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You can view all of our content for Brain Awareness Week here. Anecdotally, love is a matter of the heart. However, the main organ affected by love is actually the brain. We investigate.


Infatuation is rather short-lived, however, lasting perhaps only a matter of months or as long as a year or so. The couple shares passion; the spark has not died, and the closeness is there. Kersten provides a look at the dynamics of breaking up.

What does love do to our brains?

The specific details are being worked out. We have been looking at love in the context of many kinds of relationships. Mania is a style of love characterized by volatility, insecurity, and possessiveness. Romantic Love : Intimacy and passion are components of romantic love, but there is no commitment. This independent type of relationship can end without suffering emotionally.

Love makes you happy.

It often begins as a friendship and becomes sexual much later. Ludus refers to a style of loving that emphasizes the game of seduction and fun. The next step is to begin to disclose more personal information through self-revelation.

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Intimacy involves the ability the share feelings, personal thoughts and psychological closeness with the other. In the end phase, the decision to leave has been made. If you are thinking that this is not going to work-you are right. Commitment is the conscious decision to stay together. Agape is an altruistic, selfless love. This may be true because they are not in a position to make such commitments or because they are looking for passion and closeness and are afraid it will die out if they commit to one another and start to focus on other kinds of obligations.

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But their physical attraction may have never been strong or may have just died out. And each individual has self-respect and confidence that enriches the relationship as well as strengthens the self. The wheel must continue in order for love to last. Sometimes this is out of a sense of insecurity and a desire to make sure the partner is locked into the relationship. Sternberg suggests that there are three what components of love: passion, intimacy, and commitment. This type of relationship cannot easily accommodate change and the partners are vulnerable should change occur.

One may still try to make contact, but the other is clearly disengaged and is considering the benefits and costs of leaving the relationship. With love, partners come to rely on each other for need fulfillment. Such a lover stays away from commitment and often has several love interests at the same time. Fatuous Love : However, some person who have a strong physical attraction push for commitment early in the relationship. Based on the can theory of love, love relationships begin with the establishment of rapport.

Love promotes emotional and mental wellbeing

However, once partners begin the process of breaking up, these views are abandoned and questionable qualities are once again flaws and imperfections. Pragma is a style of love that emphasizes the practical aspects of love. Partners feel free to be themselves and disclose personal information. As you read these, think about how these styles might become part of the types of love described above. It tends to be based on chemical attraction and an image of what one thinks the other is all about.

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A breakup could be devastating. These partners are likely to remain friends even after the breakup. Passion refers to the intense, physical attraction partners feel toward one another. The A-frame relationship is one in which the partners lean on one another and are highly dependent on the other for survival.

10 people explain what love means to them

The beginning phase of breaking up involves seeing imperfections in the relationship but remaining hopeful that things will improve. Storge is a style of love that develops slowly over time. A person who is infatuated finds it hard to think of anything but the other person. Rapport involves sharing likes, preferences, establishing some common interests.

These partners give of themselves without expecting anything in return. Gradually, partners begin to disclose even more about themselves and are met with support and acceptance as they build mutual dependency. The M-frame relationship is interdependent. Passion and commitment, however, are not.

15 ways love affects your brain and body

Infatuation consists of an immediate, intense physical attraction to someone. Partners must continue to rely on one another to have certain needs fulfilled. Liking : In this relationship, intimacy or knowledge of the other and a sense of closeness is present. What time they do share is usually spent meeting obligations rather than sharing intimacies. Partners can love each other without losing a sense of self. Once intimacy has been established, partners may resolve to stay in the relationship.

Once it becomes clear that efforts to change are futile, the middle phase is entered. Eros is an erotic style of loving in which the person feels consumed. Would you want your partner to try to change you? The pragmatic lover considers compatibility and the sensibility of their choice of partners. This lover will be concerned with goals in life, status, family reputation, attitudes about parenting, career issues and other practical concerns. Nevertheless, partners are good friends committed to one another.

They feel like best friends as well as lovers and they are committed to staying together. In our next lesson, we will focus more specifically on marital relationships. Here the partners are committed to staying in the relationship for the children, because of a religious conviction, or because there are no alternatives perhapsbut do not share ideas or feelings with each other and have no physical attraction for one another.

6 strange things love does to your brain and body

Reiss provides a theory of love as process. This ability comes from a strong sense of self-love. Companionate Love : Intimacy and commitment are the hallmarks of companionate love. Although many would agree that all three components are important to a relationship, many love relationships do not consist of all three. Sexual intimacy may also become part of the relationship.

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Flaws and imperfections do not go unnoticed; rather, they are described as endearing qualities. Partners talk less and less, make little eye contact, and grow further apart. Passion can be found in the early stages of a relationship, but intimacy takes time to develop because it is based on knowledge of the partner.

But before we do, we examine the dynamics of falling in and out of love.

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This is often the ideal type of love. If the wheel turns backward, partners talk less and less, rely less on one another and are less likely to disclose.

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Partners have a strong sense of connection but also are able to stand alone without suffering devastation. There is no intimacy and the commitment is premature.

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They may feel that the other person knows them well and can be honest with them and let them know if can think the person is wrong. This phase is marked by disappointment. Passion and commitment are aspects of fatuous love. The H-frame relationship is one in which the partners live parallel lives. When relationships are new, partners tend to give one another the benefit of the doubt and focus on what they like about one another.

Lee offers a theory of love styles or types of lovers derived from an love of writings about love through the centuries. Another useful way to consider relationships is to consider the amount of dependency in the relationship. They rarely spend time with one another and tend to have separate lives. Although this work is primarily about divorce, the dynamics of dissolving any long-term relationship are similar.

Love relationships vary depending on the presence or absence of each of these components. When one person begins to open up, the social expectation is that the other will follow and also share more personal information so that each has what some risk and trust is built. Physical chemistry and emotional involvement are important to this type of lover. Empty Love : This type of person may be found later in a relationship or in a relationship that was formed to meet needs other than intimacy or passion money, childrearing, status.

If this relationship ends, partners will be hurt and saddened, but will still be able to stand alone.

13 scientifically proven s you're in love

These partners are friends. Consummate Love : Intimacy, passion, and commitment are present in consummate love. Partners rarely talk seriously or share their ideas. This lover does not self-disclose and in fact may prefer to keep the other guessing. Partners love and respect one another and they are committed to staying together.

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They focus on their intense physical attraction and yet one, or both, is also talking of making a lasting commitment. This lover gets highly upset during arguments or breakups, may have trouble sleeping when in love, and feels emotions very intensely.

This lover can end a relationship easily. Davidson suggests three models. So, as long as the offending partner makes the necessary changes, and of course the offended partner will provide the advice, support, and guidance required, the relationship will continue.

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When you first fall in love, dopamine, the feel-good brain chemical associated with reward, is especially active.


Can't get that girl or guy out of your head?


Many people describe love as something you just have to learn to recognize when it happens.


We all need these kind of close connections to feel a sense of security and belonging in the world.