What even is love?
Great complex question, right?
Some people go their entire lives searching for it, others fear it and the repercussions of it; you can love your dog, a stuffed animal, your family, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your best friend. You can love painting, writing, dancing, photography, walking, running, crying, laughing, marching, swimming, decorating, or even sleeping. The list is ongoing and endless, yet lacking in explanation.
If you ask this question to anyone, you will receive a multitude of answers because no one really knows. Sure, scientifically, love is categorized as a chemical reaction in the Limbic System of your cranium, which is called the amygdala and it is responsible for the response and memory of emotions, but how much weight does science really hold on the true experience of each individual and their take on love? I'm not saying that science doesn't have an answer for you, but is this the answer that we should all accept when love is so much more complex than the release of energy and chemicals? We're talking about the brain here - the brain is prone to making mistakes, filling in the blanks, and continuously creating something out of nothing. We are infinitely complex, as is the world around us, so are we supposed to just settle for the simplicity of serotonin in our minds that reach receptors to receive this chemical? There are so many different layers to explore that it's a wonder we even love at all. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows seem to create a deep chasm in ourselves that we yearn to fill, may it be because of the societal standard for a never ending hole, or because of human nature, how are we supposed to understand all of that?
Do we decide to love or is it a genuine game of chance and irrationality? Why does it matter so much? Why are we so obsessed with finding it, keeping it, or even running from it?
There are people out there who spend entire lifetimes searching for the right kind of love, but also this love is subjective to them. Is it because of familiarity or a yearning need to find something so opposite of what we know? Maybe it's just our mental wiring of having to reproduce. Does it matter who we're trying to reproduce with? It has to, because if it didn't, the feeling of love wouldn't feel so good, or even so bad for that matter. It must be the body saying something... right?
Again, according to science, there are 3 different stages of love: Lust, Attraction, and Attachment.
- Lust = testosterone and estrogen to attract one another for sex
- Attraction = the release of Adrenaline, Dopamine, Serotonin and other chemicals to induce strong feelings of partnership that build into Attachment
- Attachment = the consistent release of the chemicals Oxytocin and Vasopressin to solidify the bond between two people.
These are all things that our bodies are doing out of reaction. The biological chemistry within ourselves is so sensitive to the way that we respond to our life experiences that we as people are victim to a frenzied state of mind dictated by nature.
Still, that can't just be it.
But then what is it?
When you find yourself searching for something that can answer your questions the feeling can be futile and the journey ominous of sorts. As humans, we like to dictate our own lives and others to fit a belief system that we have instilled within ourselves to make sense of the fact that we even exist. With or without purpose is subjective, but it is too difficult for any of us to wrap our heads around that fact without going absolutely insane. So we categorize, we label, we try to put everything into neat little packages that makes sense to us and live by it, and love just happens to be one of those things that we have created to pass the time that we have here, in order to feel something other than nothing.