Read this first: There’s No Such Thing as Everlasting Love (According to Science)
I guess people need to feel and live their own happiness and being comfortable alone before loving another living thing. I think it exist, however the notion of love takes different shapes after a certain time. At the beginning, the relationship is like an honeymoon, as we move further, people will notice the real nature and behavior of that person. They will question if they are with the right person or not, etc, therefore love takes the shape of communication.
Whenever in doubt--and by the way, no relationship is bullet proof to that emotion--you question and talk, don’t wait until they make a move, be bold and move forward and ask, if they're receptive, great, another step in the relationship we call being considerate. Golden key is communication, openness to understand one another, considerate, and bottom line, being respectful. I like to use this analogy; a relationship is like a car, find the right model for you, take care of it, wash it with compliments, maintain all the components will only make you considerate and don’t forget, don’t take for granted because it runs alright.
I've live and witness that people depend on others happiness to bring some kind of fulfillment within, however it cures your personal security for a certain period. Being alone, how much people can't stand it and how much are in an emotionally dependent relationship, that is sad. The "needs" and "wants" for love will vary from one person to another. Our take on "love" may not necessarily be as important for another as he/she may value other elements as theirs. Yes, love is complex, but let's face it, if you to make it work, each has to honest about their expectations, and second, take the time needed to know each other, put a hold in the intimacy department, it will come later if it happens, but focus on the person. Putting intimacy first will likely complicate a lot of factors along the relationship or it can have an adverse effect, who know’s only you and the other person will.
I think science has some figured of it out, but the difficulty with love is just because you understand it doesn't mean you can attain it. Also, since our consciousness is highly evolved, its tough to quantify it, since we are probably the only creatures to feel it on this level. You can understand what chemicals and neural exchanges take place, but on a physical level you can never find love until you learn to compromise with your significant other and get to know them. The down fall of man is that we all attempt to rush finding it and marry quickly and date quickly. We need to start slowing things down. If your not happy with yourself, you will never be happy with someone else. Then once again we get back to compromise, both people have to compromise if the output isn't equal, that relationship is doomed to fail, and ultimately you have to find someone who will support your dreams and goals. Lastly, lets remember no one is perfect, don't toss someone because they are only 80% out of what you want, you may never get the close again.
Love is the dependence/reliance/increased desire to experience a series of chemicals released when a specific set of criteria are met regarding external stimulus. It is a combination of human physiology and psychology. Our lives are a series of chemical reactions and associations based on external stimulation. We associate favorable reactions with specific stimulus; this is how we build our world. Favorable experiences trigger certain chemicals and become associated with similar stimulus that have caused that reaction in the past. We form our preferences based on those connections. Love, in all its forms (familial or otherwise), is merely the increased desire to experience the chemicals released when we experience favorable stimulus.
Love is like the weather, you can have a forecast of how its gonna be, but how it's gonna end up might surprise us. Love changes, love is complicated, love as its dark side like its sunny side, either way we need to adapt to change and be ready for the unexpected.
Don't worry about dehumanization of emotions. Just because we understand the inner workings of something, it doesn't mean will takes away from its significance. At the end of the day, love to the best of our knowledge is still the product of those chemical processes. However, that doesn’t make it any less significant. I have also seen love defined as consciousness seeking a state of lower entropy--less disorganization and chaos. This is obtained, by focusing on the other, rather than the self.
I believe in great mysteries. I believe in something sacred and I believe in everlasting love. It's a different kind of commitment then the romantic variety. It is a willingness to be completely vulnerable with another and allow another to do the same. It is a deep and abiding kind of intimacy. It is a kind of thing that I don’t want science to explain.
I don’t believe love is just chemical reactions. There's a difference between emotions and neurons, like oxycontin and nerves. Neurons carry messages around the brain and control your senses like touch and sight. The difference is that neurons can be manipulated scientifically. For instance, I can make you think you’re touching something by sending electromagnetic charges to the neurons that control your sense of touch, but I can't make you feel sad by manipulating you in such way.
Emotions are reactions to exterior conditions. The difference between the theory of "emotions being chemical and the reality of emotions" is this: I can send charges to your nerves and electronically control your senses, without asking you and I can bypass your free will in this sense, but when it comes to emotions, the emotions are a lot more complex than this, because for one I can't manipulate your emotions without your consent. I can trick you and give you illusions, but the only way those illusions would be approved by you is if I use illusions I know you already (in your own free will) chose and approved and liked.
Your brain does have a reward neuron and chemical, it releases when you're happy, but that doesn't mean that all aspects of your emotions are all chemical reaction. You're don't feel an emotion because of a chemical reaction; the chemical reactions are what react to the emotions you're feeling. The emotion always comes first.
Love is just the skin of knowing. There is a center in our brain known as lymbic system which is believed to be in charge of feeling and emotions. This center has a potential connection with gray matter and with age and experience it can activate a synaptic route to communicate with grey matter of the brain. In this case both heart and mind can do the job together.
If you were all knowing or all loving, one would excel. The choice is based on your character-drama inherited in youth. To know all, person would still love, but their love may not last because they know when to let go, so they don’t get hurt. If someone was all loving, they love no matter what causing them to naively trust over and over with full knowledge of the consequence, they could suffer just to forgive again as to where the all knowing can't be fooled twice, or their all knowing perfection would be flawed. If you were all knowing and all loving you would be a hermit because you would get hurt too much and let your love fade till you forgot why you shut the world off and went out again to avoid feeling because of you're supreme knowledge. When it comes to love I speak from experience, I wish I was all knowing so I wouldn't get hurt.
The nature of love is acceptance, acceptance that someone is doing wrong and acceptance that you need to leave their company. Love doesn't mean you don't change, love means you constantly change because you see everything as it is. Trust is anticipation of past being repeated in future, love is acceptance of what is now. That someone may do hurtful things is not a reflection of you as not good enough, but because of them as not aware of this moment and being able to love. Love is not absence of wrong and only experiencing right, but acceptance of wrong being the opposite polarity of right and peace being the center we swing around. Love is not affection or attraction, it is seeing the "self" in another.
Why do we often heard people say "If you give all your love (all loving), you are exposed to being hurt." Isn't it possible to be all loving without being hurt? Hurt is a subjective feeling that can be overcome. If a person is all loving then don't they accept people at face value irregardless of ones faults? A person doesn't have to be all knowing to be all loving and being all loving doesn't mean a person is stupid. I am an all loving person that always got me hurt but would never regret giving my all and even more than my all.
Alright. The bottom line is science can't define love because love changes everything. It's like art or music in this sense; we can describe it scientifically, but that would mostly be a very dry, technical description of it. Love is subjective. Science establishes empiricism and objectivity. What love "is" and how a person perceives it varies from person to person. We are person based biology, not biological based persons. Start with the right premise, then define love.
Science can certainly tell you the how emotions are manifested on a biological level, but it cannot objectively ascertain whether someone is in love or not. Nor can it rationally quantify "how much" a person loves something, or how deeply in love they are.
Furthermore it cannot objectively define what love means on a person to person basis. All of these things vary greatly from individual to individual. I’m not an expert of Love Theory. I’m just the doer and lifelong learner. Hopefully we’ll find the right answer.