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Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.The word "love" can have a variety of related but distinct meanings in different contexts.Love as a general expression of positive sentiment (a stronger form of like) is commonly contrasted with hate (or neutral apathy); as a less sexual and more emotionally intimate form of romantic attachment, love is commonly contrasted with lust; and as an interpersonal relationship with romantic overtones, love is sometimes contrasted with friendship, although the word love is often applied to close friendships.(Further possible ambiguities come with usages "girlfriend", "boyfriend", "just good friends").vulnerability and care theory of love), including oneself (cf. In addition to cross-cultural differences in understanding love, ideas about love have also changed greatly over time.Some historians date modern conceptions of romantic love to courtly Europe during or after the Middle Ages, although the prior existence of romantic attachments is attested by ancient love poetry.Love is a variety of different emotional and mental states, typically strongly and positively experienced, that ranges from deepest interpersonal affection to simple pleasure.An example of this range of meanings is that the love of a mother differs from the love of a spouse differs from the love of food.
Ancient Greek philosophers identified four forms of love: essentially, familial love (in Greek, storge), friendly love (philia), romantic love (eros), and divine love (agape).Recent studies in neuroscience have indicated that as people fall in love, the brain consistently releases a certain set of chemicals, including the neurotransmitter hormones, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, the same compounds released by amphetamine, stimulating the brain's pleasure center and leading to side effects such as increased heart rate, loss of appetite and sleep, and an intense feeling of excitement.