If sexual passion is also involved, then this feeling is called paraphilia.
Love encompasses a variety of different emotional and mental states, typically strongly and positively experienced, ranging from the deepest interpersonal affection to the simplest pleasure.
An example of this range of meanings is that the love of a mother differs from the love of a spouse differs from the love of food.
Recent studies in neuroscience have indicated that as people fall in love, the brain consistently releases a certain set of chemicals, including the neurotransmitter hormones, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, the same compounds released by amphetamine, stimulating the brain's pleasure center and leading to side effects such as increased heart rate, loss of appetite and sleep, and an intense feeling of excitement.
Research has indicated that this stage generally lasts from one and a half to three years.
Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.
The word "love" can have a variety of related but distinct meanings in different contexts.
Love has additional religious or spiritual meaning.
This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.
Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of love: infatuated love, self-love, and courtly love.
Non-Western traditions have also distinguished variants or symbioses of these states.
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