We all love someone whether we realize it or not, and the truth is that everyone enjoys a little bit of love in their lives at some point. The idea of love, however, goes beyond the idea of having something nice to put on the Christmas card tree. Love includes a whole range of positive and powerful psychological and emotional states, from the highest sublime spiritual virtue or good behavior, to the easiest natural, bodily pleasure.
No matter what your religious beliefs or cultural upbringing, one of the strongest emotions humans experience is love. Even atheists have some sense of this spiritual force, as evidence by the number of people who choose to share their bed and comforts with another person of the same religion or belief system. Love transcends culture and religion and is experienced whenever two people are intimate with one another, whether it’s a romantic love or platonic love or even just lustful, sexual love.
Love, however, might involve feelings other than love. For example, one might feel a strong emotional bond with a parent, but might also have strong feelings for a child, sibling, or even an in-law. This can make a relationship very complicated, especially if one’s feelings for another are mixed, as is often the case when two people are attracted to each other but have differing opinions about religion and/or ethics. In such a situation, it can be hard to see where one’s affection for the other person begins and ends. And yet, for the long term, a committed relationship between two people who are in love with each other often requires a level of intimacy and emotional connection that love alone cannot provide.
So, when love is part of the equation for those who are in committed relationships, good health, strong physical and emotional wellness, and even well-being, all play a role. Physical well-being, in particular, has a lot to do with feelings of safety and security, which are part of attachment parenting. Those who have been in an intact relationship for some time usually know when they are safe to share their feelings, whether they are having a difficult time communicating about their problems at work, in their home, with their friends, or with their parents. Thus, their physical well-being can support feelings of love and security.
However, not all of this is based on physiological needs. Attachment parenting, in particular, relies on the idea that physical touch and affection are important for creating a sense of security and safety for children. It is also thought that being parent means giving and taking of physical touch and affection, so when one’s partner walks out on them or lets them know that they aren’t welcome at a party, it can lead to serious distress for children. Thus, for those who love their partners deeply, the act of being separated from the other person during the time of separation can be a painful experience that can prompt them to channel love language to their partner instead of the love language to their child.
As you can see, there are many ways to define romantic love. But one thing that all of them do share is the importance of giving affection and physical contact in their relationships. So when you are thinking about how love can or does vary from one person to another, consider how you are able to connect with your partner on a personal level through physical contact, and think about what types of affection you can engage in with them. If it is more than a pat on the back or a hug or smile, then maybe it doesn’t really matter which love language you are using!