The Feeling of Love

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How can you define love? Into which box do you place it?

What is love?

According to philosophy, human or religious judgment, love is related to the affection and attachment that is experienced towards a person. This leads to passionate emotions and intimacy. According to science, it is only a state of primitive evolution of survival that facilitates the continuity of species.

We have multiple ways to look at love, but on an inner personal level few would define it so clinically.

So how would you describe love to someone?

In psychology, the terms affection and love are of great importance. As all intellectual phenomena have been classified as sensations by scientists, all emotion is perceived as a simple mental affection, the element by which all emotional manifestations are greatly pronounced.

The psychologist Henry Murray (1893-1988) developed an organized personality theory in terms of motivations and needs. According to Murray, these psychogenic needs function mainly through unconsciousness, but play a major role in the personality of individuals. Murray categorizes these five needs of affection:

  • Affiliation: spending time with other individuals;
  • Nurturing: caring for another person;
  • Play: having fun with others;
  • Social rejection: rejection of other individuals;
  • Protection: be useful or protective of others.

So affection is a feeling of love, and yet as a mere type in the very broadest sense: a positive feeling therefore that like other forms of love makes us wish for the well-being or happiness of others, or even pushes us to participate as best we can. One can compare affection to friendship or tenderness, and its expression to benevolence or simply to kindness. A person with affection is said to be affectionate.

Affection has sparked a number of studies in philosophy and psychology concerning the feeling itself (popularly love, devotion, etc.) as well as the influence of this state of mind.

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