Definition of Romantic Love

How to distinguish among romantic and other kinds of love

Man kissing, teasing woman over coffee
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Romantic love is when the chemicals in your brain kick in and you feel an emotional high, exhilaration, passion, and elation when you and your lover are together.

The old saying about love being blind describes romantic love. Many who are in the midst of romantic love want to be with their lover all the time and can overlook faults, conflict, and in some cases, even serious problems such as abuse.

Also known as the honeymoon phase, puppy love, or having a crush, romantic love has inspired poets for centuries and been the subject of plays, songs, movies and any other creative or artistic endeavor you can think of.

Infatuation and Romantic Love

For the most part, infatuation, the early, illogical phase of physical attraction, is considered an aspect of romantic love. The emotional high, often described as similar to intoxication, is thrilling and exciting. 

However, few people can sustain that type of emotional high for an extended period of time; usually, it recedes after the first year or so. A person will sometimes realize that the infatuation/romantic love phase of their relationship is declining/wearing off when a sense of disillusionment sets in. That doesn't mean that the underlying feelings of love and attraction go away, but can evolve into something more long-lasting and stable. 

Sticking with a person who inspired romantic feelings, and communicating your dreams, desires, thoughts, and feelings with one another can lead to the next stage of love.

Mature Love Follows Romantic Love

Just because the passion doesn't stay red-hot and unrelenting doesn't mean that love doesn't continue. Mature love is the next phase, the kind of devotion found in long-term relationships and successful marriages. In mature love, two people are together because they want to be together and not just because they feel an irrational desire or need to be with one another.

Signs of mature love include acceptance, emotional support, commitment, calmness, respect, caring, kindness, friendship, and consideration.

Scientific research proves that the brain activity of couples in mature relationships is very similar to the brain activity of those newly in love. Just because you're not pining for the person doesn't mean it's not true love;  in fact, mature love is usually deeper and more meaningful (not to mention much more sustainable) than its younger counterpart.