Love is an important factor in intimate relationships. Research has established that love is more than just liking a lot, and is distinct from sexual attraction. Typically love in relationships is divided into two types: passionate and companionate. Passionate love is intense longing, and is often accompanied by physiological arousal (shortness of breath, rapid heart rate). Companionate love is affection and a feeling of intimacy not accompanied by physiological arousal.
Anthropological research has shown some variations in intimate relationships. In the Mediterranean, the idea of passionate love is frequently present, whereas in Sub-saharan Africa there is a lesser amount. Chinese couples tend to value companionate love over passionate love, whereas with American couples the reverse is true.
Different cultures have different conceptions of love. In Japan, there is the concept of amae, love felt passively, as an object of love. In China, there is a type of romantic love called gan qing, which is expressed through helping or working. In Korea, jung is a personal connection, or feeling of connected fates.
A lovingrelationship is one in which the individuals involved grow in their understanding and loving acceptance of each other's differences and encourages each person to reach out and share as much beauty and love as is possible to find.
A lovingrelationship is one in which each person fearlessly allows a deep awareness, knowledge of the other, and sensitivity, to grow between them, with the understanding that no one is perfect, but that love is perfect, and therefore, as the basic tool for relating, can solve all problems.
A lovingrelationship is one in which each one sees the beloved not as an extension of self but as a unique, forever becoming, beautiful individual -- a situation in which the persons can bring their own special I to each other, a blending of selves without the fear of loss of self.
While there may be no concrete proof that a lovingrelationship is beneficial to one's health, it certainly seems to have a positive effect on one's overall well-being.
Healthy relationships are not perfect; no relationship ever is. But when a person does not feel comfortable enough to discuss his or her feelings with a partner, those emotions will build inside, causing stress that may later lead to serious health conditions.
But if a person has a healthy, lovingrelationship to look forward to, the mind may work to speed up the healing process so that the individual can return to their state of health because this individual wants to be able to continue enjoying the love that he or she receives.
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