The Truth on Being in Love

“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love”

-Mother Teresa

Truth on Love

As humans we naturally crave connection with others.  For many reasons, some biological and cultural in nature, we believe that we need love to be truly fulfilled.  Love does not exist in an unchanging state.  We need to constantly work at it and it requires a certain amount of selflessness and vulnerability.

According to Dr. Melanie Greenberg, the following are 10 science-based facts that help to explain ‘what love really is and is not.’

(1) Love is different from passion or lust

An emotional love is different from lust.  According to brain studies, love lights up the regions of our brain associated with caring and empathy whereas lust lights up the regions associated with motivation and reward.

(2) Love is both a momentary feeling and long-term state of mind

Love can be momentary in the sense or we can feel so united with our partner that we can mirror each other.  Love can be a long-lasting mental and emotional state as well.  This occurs when you care so deeply for your partner that you experience a deep level of empathy for their emotions.

(3) Building lasting relationships takes work

Studies show that partners with lasting love support each other’s personal growth, take on shared experiences together in an effort to grow and think positively of each other when not together.

(4) We can increase our capacity to love

According to research, our brains are capable of learning to form a secure attachment pattern.  The consistent practice of mindfulness and self-compassion meditations allow our brains to connect better with empathy and positive emotions while decreasing activation of fear.

To read the full article by Dr. Greenberg visit Psychology Today.