The Psychology Of Love And What You Need To Know

Updated August 24, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

Can you explain what love is? While most of us could say that it's a feeling or that it is something that we may have for our partner, our children, or for our family, we may not be able to explain just exactly what it is from a psychological standpoint. The truth, however, is that there is indeed a psychology of love, and there is research that describes exactly what love is and what it means for us. This description may change the way you view love.

Understanding the different aspects that make up love can help deepen your relationship with someone—and it can help bolster that relationship through tough times.

The Psychology Of Love

The psychology of love pertains to all the things that are happening in your brain when you feel the sentiment of love and when one person first starts to fall in love with another. After all, love is a pretty deep emotion, so it's not surprising that your brain would go through many complex changes when you meet someone you care about. When you fall in love, you will likely experience some effects that impact your energy, your mental focus, and even your physical body, but what are each of those things, and how exactly are they impacting you? Let's break it down.

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What Happens When You're In Love?

When you feel like you're "in love" with another person, you are likely experiencing many different feelings all wrapped up into one little package with a simplified label on it—love. However, there's a lot going on inside your brain and your body.

You may feel more energetic, you may notice that you have an even greater ability to focus when it comes to doing or thinking about things, and you'll also probably be overflowing with positive emotions. Your energy level, focus, and positive emotions may result in more positive experiences as you move through your day. 

On the other hand, you may notice some things that aren't quite as lovely and pleasant, like the fact that you now seem to have sweaty palms a lot of the time and often experience a feeling of lightheadedness. You may even notice a racing heartbeat, which can be exhilarating or, sometimes, even a bit scary. 

All of these things happen to you because your brain is releasing oxytocin, phenethylamine, and dopamine, each of which participates in causing every one of those feelings and physical responses. When you find somebody special and you fall in love with them, your brain is reacting by sending out signals to the rest of your body, and this is what is giving you all of those reactions, along withal those new, positive feelings.

Triangular Theory Of Love

There are three different aspects to love, according to psychiatrists. These three different components, which make up the triangular theory of love, are intimacy, passion, and commitment. 

When you feel intimate with someone, it isn't just referring to the intimacy of a physical nature. It's referring to you feeling close to someone, feeling a sense of attachment to them, and feeling deeply connected to them. You can have intimacy with many different people in your life and in many different ways. Intimacy is one of the most important aspects of love a person can experience in their lives. Most humans thrive on connections with others.

Passion is about limerence (infatuation with someone, sometimes obsessively so) and often also about sexual attraction to another person. It ties in to those feelings of exhilaration you may experience when you are in love with someone, especially at first. 

Commitment is about wanting to stay with someone and make a relationship work out. Commitment plays a large part in helping maintain your relationships and keeping them healthy, respectful, and long-lasting. 

These feelings of intimacy, passion, and commitment increase over time, as relationships are nurtured and sustained effectively.

Why The Psychology Of Love Matters

So, why does the psychology behind love matter for you and your relationships? 

When you're falling in love, it can help to know all the aspects of love that should be a part of a healthy relationship. Intimacy, passion, and commitment are all things that can be worked on between partners to deepen their connection. Understanding how the brain processes love can help a couple strengthen the quality of their communication and help them to work towards maintaining their overall wellbeing, both as part of a couple and as an individual.

In less fortunate circumstances, when someone has broken up with a partner, it may help to seek treatment to work through all the emotions they're dealing with. With the help of a therapist, one can identify what it is that makes love happen in the brain and the specifics that apply to the individual personally. Being able to understand and gain the capability to overcome the disappointments and the negative effects that can stem from the dissolution of a relationship can help someone move forward. They might even learn what to do (or not do) in their next relationship.

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There are so many things involved in the process of forming and keeping a relationship going. Understanding more about how it starts and where the feelings come from can be just what you need to know when it comes to either fixing your relationship or simply maintaining it in for the long run.

Working On A Relationship

There are plenty of ways that you can work on your relationship if you find yourself struggling with certain aspects of it. The number one thing of importance is that you and your partner both need to be ready and willing to talk about what you are experiencing. You must also be prepared to discuss what the two of you want or need out of the relationship. 

Having these important conversations between the two of you, however, is not always an easy process, especially if you haven't done so before. This is especially true if things are already starting to break down within the relationship for whatever reason. If you're already in the midst of a volatile period of the relationship, this is when you may need a mental health professional or a counselor to help you get back on the right track. It's important to handle things as respectfully as possible and to make sure that you work to understand each other's sentiments regardless of any differing views you may have.

A mental health professional or counselor is required to be completely impartial and does not care who is "right" or "wrong" in your arguments. Instead, their job is to make sure that you and your partner can talk to one another and figure out more about where your differences are coming from and how to resolve them healthily. Their primary purpose is to serve as an understanding and professional mediator for a couple that needs an help in sorting out their concerns and problems with each other. 

There will be fights and arguments in any relationship, and there is nothing wrong with that. Disagreements allow the two people in a relationship to learn to communicate better with each other and learn the skills to help them cope with further obstacles which may come up in their time together. It's important to know how to handle disagreements with respect and grace. This skill can help in building a successful, long, and happy relationship.

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Takeaway

Love has so many parts to it. When you're falling in love or beginning a relationship, it can help to know why your body and brain feel so many different things. Understanding the different aspects of love can ensure that you and your partner are connecting on all levels. When you're not, knowing what might be missing can make it easier to work on, either on your own or with professional help.

Many couples choose an online therapist to help them through their issues. With online therapy, you can choose from therapists all over the world, and you can have sessions from the comfort of home. Online therapy has been shown to be as effective as in-person therapy for helping with relationship issues.

Regain is one online option that allows you to find a mental health professional that is both ready and willing to help you at your convenience. You can log onto Regain from your computer, tablet, or another internet-capable device from absolutely anywhere you may be. You can speak with a therapist via text message, telephone call, or video call.

Once you understand the psychology of love, you can deepen and strengthen your relationship with the person you love and, hopefully, weather any storms.

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