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LearnEnglishBest / Рассказы, статьи / Топик Love Is Life - Любовь это жизнь

Топик Love Is Life - Любовь это жизнь

What is love? Even in this advanced age of science, when people conquer space, do the shopping via the Internet, clone animals and transplant organs, they still don't fully understand the nature and purpose of love. There are numerous definitions of love. For example, the dictionary defines love as 'a strong feeling of fondness for another person, especially between members of a family or close friends'. Love is a mixture of complex and extremely powerful feelings. It is a major theme in philosophy, literature, music, poetry and cinematography.

A great number of scientists and psychologists have been trying to understand the essence of love. Robert Sternberg, an American psychologist, has proposed a triangular theory of love. To his mind love is made of some combination of intimacy, passion and commitment. According to Robert Sternberg, intimacy 'encompasses feelings of closeness, connectedness, and bondedness'. Passion 'encompasses drives that lead to romance, physical attraction, and sexual consummation'. Commitment is 'the decision to remain with another, and in the long term, the shared achievements and plans made with that other'. Robert Sternberg has affirmed that 'passion is the quickest to develop, and the quickest to fade. Intimacy develops more slowly, and commitment more gradually still'. Different stages and types of love can be explained by different combinations of these three elements. Robert Sternberg has also distinguished such types of love as nonlove, liking or friendship, infatuated love (pure passion), empty love (commitment without intimacy or passion), romantic love (emotional and physical bonds), companionate love (intimate, non-passionate love), fatuous love (passion without intimacy), consummate love (perfect love).

Scientists affirm that love has a chemical basis. Recent studies in neuroscience have shown that when people fall in love, the brain consistently releases a certain set of chemicals that stimulate the brain's pleasure center and cause increased heart rate, loss of appetite and sleep, and an intense feeling of excitement. This stage generally lasts from one and a half to three years. So it is not unusual that passion which characterizes the first stage of love disappears with the passing of time and other feelings such as respect, tenderness and affection set in. Only true love stands the test of time. People who are truly in love and who have been together for years don't grow apart but draw closer to one another.

Studies have also indicated that brain scans of people who are in love resemble to those with a mental illness. Scientists say that love deactivates the brain regions associated with negative emotions, with social judgment and with judging other people's intentions and emotions. That is why people in love are often unable to make critical judgments and they look at their partner through rose-coloured spectacles.

What is the secret of long-term relationships? Why do some couples live long and happily together while others separate? Maybe the secret is to try to understand and forgive each other and to feel the responsibility for your partner's life. Shared interests unite people while sincerity and mutual understanding form emotional closeness. And of course it is very important to have confidence in each other as in true love there is no room for doubt and jealousy.

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