Being in love is the way you might feel at the start of a relationship, when you only see the positive things about the other person and you walk around with your head in the clouds. The feeling can be so intense it actually hurts – especially of course if the person doesn’t feel the same way about you.
Over time this in-love feeling changes, and you have a deeper, steadier, tender, caring feeling for the other person – you love them.
To round it up, love develops in different stages. First comes the passion of sexual attraction, then the dreamy, overwhelming in-love stage, and finally the deeper attachment that develops over time and can last for years or a lifetime.
ARE YOU IN LOVE?
When you’re in love, you think about the person you’re in love with all day. You think everything they do is wonderful. Being in love can make you feel on top of the world, but it can also make you nervous and edgy.
You get a strange, restless feeling when you see the person. You might even get stomach ache. You can’t help smiling. You don’t know what to say when you see them – or you talk too much because you’re trying to impress them. If all this sounds familiar, you’re probably in love!
A lot of research has been done on what happens to your brain when you’re in love. Scientists have found out that when someone’s in love, their body produces extra amounts of certain hormones. One of them is oxytocin, which is commonly known as the ‘love hormone.’
Having sex or making love is an important part of a romantic or intimate relationship. Many people only have sex with someone they’re in love with or whom they love. But love isn’t the same as sex and sex isn’t the same as love. You can also have sex out of lust, just for the pleasure of having sex. But for most people, deeper pleasure comes from having sex with someone you love.
For more on this read our section on making love or having sex.