The word love has many different meanings in English, from something that gives a little pleasure ("I loved that meal") to something one would die for (ideals, family). It can describe an intense feeling of affection, an emotion or an emotional state. In ordinary use, it usually refers to interpersonal love. Probably due to its psychological relevance, love is one of the most common themes in art and music.
Interpersonal love refers to love between human beings. It is a more potent sentiment than a simple liking for another. Unrequited love refers to those feelings of love which are not reciprocated. Interpersonal love is most closely associated with interpersonal relationships. Such love might exist between family members, friends, and couples. There are also a number of psychological disorders related to love, such as erotomania.
Some feelings that are often associated with interpersonal love:
- Affection: feelings of tenderness and/or wanting physical closeness
- Attachment: satisfying basic emotional needs
- Altruism: selfless or unselfish concern for another
- Reciprocation: if love is mutual
- Commitment: a desire to maintain love
- Emotional intimacy: sharing emotions and feelings
- Friendship: the spirit between friends
- Kinship: family bonds
- Passion: whole-hearted desire
- Physical intimacy: sharing of intimate personal space
- Self-interest: desiring rewards
- Service: desire to help
Sexuality can be an important element in determining the shape of a relationship. While sexual attraction often establishes a new bond, sexual intention is considered undesirable or inappropriate in certain love bonds. In many religions and systems of ethics it is considered wrong to act on sexual desire for immediate family, for children, or outside of a committed relationship. However, there are many ways to express passionate love without sex. Affection, emotional intimacy and shared interests and experiences are common in friendships and kinships of all human beings.