When readers submit good questions through our Heartalytics ask page, we send them directly to our team of matchmakers.
These tidbits of insight usually end up being funny and informative- and everyone can benefit from a little extra matchmaker expertise! You can find this series tagged as "Matchmaker Says," if you would like to read more.
This week's question: What is Love? What does it feel like?
Matchmaker Melody says:
Wow... I think philosophers, psychologists, theologians and researchers of all kinds have been grappling with this one for thousands of years.
I think it greatly depends. Are we talking about romantic love only?
In general, I experience love as appreciation and caring for a person in a way that I want the best for them and deeply desire their happiness, regardless of the kind of relationship I have with them. This goes for family, friends and also lovers/partners. Even when there's a breakup, I know I love someone because I want them to be happy with or without me.
Love can also be a longing to connect in the deepest way, whether with ourselves, others or even the sacred/divine. That desire for union can sometimes be confused with love.
And how does it feel? I think that greatly depends on our attachment styles (secure or insecure, which include anxious and avoidant).
When we have an anxious attachment style, it can feel like approval, like we're lovable despite our flaws. With a secure attachment style, it tends to feel more like companionship. Yes, there's a desire to spend time with that person, but it doesn't feel like they are filling a deep void and we would shrivel without them.
I'm not sure what it feels like with avoidant since I haven't experienced it myself.
That's on a practical level, I suppose.
"But when I go into my body, receiving love feels like a warm glowing smile in the vicinity of my heart, which expands to the rest of my body. And giving love feels like a desire from my heart to create ways for the other person to be happy and supporting them in pursuing what is fulfilling for them."
Of course, it doesn't have to be all serious. There's lots of fun in that, and in getting to know another person deeply. There's an insatiable curiosity about the other person and what makes them 'them.'
I would like to highlight also, there's a difference between the feeling 'in love' and feeling love. There's love that is steadier and more sustained, beyond the infatuation phase.
I've found that my best and healthiest relationships have been those that started with curiosity and attraction, but not a blind infatuation. That kind of chemistry most people look for has always blown up in my face. The ones that started with a more moderate chemistry built into something way more intimate and meaningful and (eventually) HOT, that wasn't ruled by hormones, but by mutual appreciation, respect, enjoyment, and a commitment to listen to and understand the other.
Matchmaker Sabrina Says:
Love can take on so many forms-- but I know when I'm in love I feel like I have the desire to achieve anything and everything, because my partner gives me the courage to do so. It's this jet pack-like propulsion of energy that just won't quit. That, in combination with the "warm glowing smile" Melody describes, is part of what being "in love" feels like to me!
Matchmaker Gaby Says:
Being in love is a mixture of emotions. The joy of finding someone you feel expressed around in a rare way, some fear that it will end. People often confuse pain with love. It's important not to do this -- someone mistreating you is not love. Someone treasuring in you the parts of yourself you treasure -- and even showing you more about who you are IS love.
Matchmaker Jane Says:
My grandmother only likes Sweet'N Low in her coffee. My grandfather only likes Equal in his. So, my grandmother carries SWEET'N LOW AND EQUAL in her purse - that way, they both have what they like when they need it. That is love. I'm serious! In the simplest terms - it's putting someone else's needs above your own because you know they'd do the same for you. Sometimes it's in big ways - but most of the time it's the little things.
You have to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes on a road trip - love means they won't even roll their eyes.
You're home sick and can't get out of bed - love means there will be soup on a tray without you even asking.
You always get sunburnt on one spot on your back you can't reach - love means it's already been lathered up.
You've been watching puppy videos all day but are embarrassed to admit - love watches with you and sends you one more.
"And when life gets really hard and you think you might not be able to get through it alone - love holds your hand and gives it a squeeze."
Your Tawkify Matchmakers
Art by Eugenia Loli