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.
Casual relationships, relationships extending beyond one night stands that exclusively consist of sexual behavior, the participants of which may be known as fuck buddies or friends with benefits when limited to considering sexual intercourse or sexual partners in a wider sense.
Sexual relations between two friends may alter that relationship by either "taking it to the next level" or severing it if the sexualrelationship ends.
Sexual partners may also be friends: the sexualrelationship may either enhance or depreciate the friendship.
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