Tuesday, March 25, 2008


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.

Interpersonal love

Some feelings that are often associated with interpersonal love:

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.

Impersonal love

A person can be said to love a country, principle, or goal if they value it greatly and are deeply committed to it. Similarly, compassionate outreach and volunteer workers' 'love' of their cause may be borne not of interpersonal love, but impersonal love coupled with altruism and strong political convictions. People can also 'love' material objects, animals, or activities if they invest themselves in bonding their identity with that item. In these cases, if sexual passion is actually felt, is called paraphilia.

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