Two people embracing each other, him kissing her neck
(C) Love Matters | Rita Lino

Is it love?

Love is a powerful, positive emotion. Like all emotions, you may experience it differently depending on your age, the relationship you're in, and the kind of person you are.

Loving someone isn’t the same as being in love with them.

Being in love is the intense feeling at the start of a relationship, when you only see the positive things about the other person and walk around with your head in the clouds. This feeling can be so intense it actually hurts – especially if the person doesn’t feel the same way about you.

The feeling of being in love develops over time, and becomes a deeper, steadier, tender feeling for the other person – you love them.

Love develops in stages, and doesn't always follow the same pattern. But in most cases love begins with 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 – sometimes for a lifetime.

Read also: 5 signs of healthy love

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!

Scientists have tried to find out what makes us feel this way, and what happens to our brains when we're in love. They found that really does go to our heads: our bodies produce more of certain hormones like oxytocin, commonly known as the 'love hormone'.

Read also: 9 useful tips to talk to someone you like

Making love

Having sex is also called 'making love' because it's such an important part of a romantic or intimate relationship. But love and sex aren't the same thing – you can have one without the other. Many people only have sex with someone they love, but you can also have sex out of lust – just for the pleasure of having sex. Still, most people find deeper pleasure in having sex with the person they love.

Read more about making love.

Did you learn something new?

wendy davids
Wed, 12/17/2014 - 11:28 pm
am in lve with a guy,we hve mved on for eight months nd we have gone ahead nd have sex,so ma worry z,we r nt communcatin as much as we used tew before nd he doesnt kip his promises as he used tew am word plz hlp
Wendy, have you tried talking to him about it? Takes some time to explain what it makes you feel like when he behaves like it? Relationships are about good communication, and it sounds like this is something you can work on.
Wed, 01/07/2015 - 02:46 pm
i met a guy a month ago,we bcame very close en good friends after some tyme he expressed his feelings... he explained tht he has fallen inlov wth mi en that he wants mi 2 b his lady.. at first i rejected him bt as days went by he showed much love en care 2 mi.. i thnk i lov him 2 bt tha problem is he has not ended his relationship wth tha previous gal... what shal i do?
Sat, 01/10/2015 - 11:25 pm
Hi....I hvnt bin d8ng 4 mnths so i joined a sight called Badoo in dat sight i made it clear dat m looking 4 frndshp so it hppnd i chat 2 dis guy so we kept on chatting evridae so we started being frnds 1st so i hppnd 2 lyk hm bcs he hs da kind of personality i luvd frm a guy n he's exactly evrithng dat i wntd frm a guy.As da days went passd so he confessed dat he lyks me rememba i ddnt tel hm dat i lykd hm too so i playd hard 2 get cz i ddnt wnt hm 2 thnk negative abt me as da tym went by i confessd 2 so he wud col me evridae n chat 4 hours n then we finaly decided we wud meet each atha n d8,so we met,d8d so my luv 4 hm strtd 2 grow n gt stronger.We d8 2 b honest he treated me lyk a queen,appreciated me,wen i ws wit hm i wud fil safe n secured,he wud make me 4gt abt evrithng n he wud tel me he fils da same.So as da tym went by we hd a small misunderstanding so he said i hd drama whch i ddnt cz i askd hm questions soo he decided 2 end da relationshp so i said 2 hm fine ivn though twsnt cz i ws gyving hm wat he wntd bt i wud fil lonelyness n sent hm sms apologising n telling hw i fil ivn though i wsnt da 1 hu ws wrng n he wud nt reply on dem. I decided 2 stop sending hm cz i wud c dat he's nt da ws dis atha day i wud thnk of hm an smile 2 myslf,thnk of his jokes,da thngs he wud say 2 me,hw he wlks n his smile,etc,i dnt wanna lie he also played a big ''impact'' in my life in only these past few mnths we were 2geda. So i sent hm an sms telling hm hw i truly mis hm so he replied 2 dat he also misses me he also said he guesses dat i also played a big impact in his lyf so he said he wnts us 2 start fresh bt nw m in doubts abt him cz i kept on thnkng if he's nt gna do da samethng again cz wen we broke up he neva gave me any reason y he broke up wit me n nw wen i sent hm smses he wud nt reply on dem or he wud reply wen he fils lyk replying. I dnt knw wat 2 do plz give me an advice n i stil luv hm n so mch bt m in doubts.
Sun, 01/11/2015 - 07:43 pm
He dasnt let me n i thnk hs avoiding me in sum case cz i've askd hm 2 cum 2 my place or ndiye kwakhe bt he's alwys making an excuse... Du u thnk he's d8ng sum1 else?
Wed, 01/14/2015 - 02:49 pm
Hi Love matters,I have been in love with someone for 5 years but it's a long distance the beginning it was tough but we have managed to overcome the obstacles.i think am ready for Marriage.
peter chege macharia
Sat, 01/17/2015 - 09:14 pm
Yes love is trong,I don't know what's wrong with me.bcos I have the blood of love and every time when I look a lady I fear and I thin'k this I not my right person.pls wat can I do?
Peter, Reaching out to people that you are attracted to can be difficult because of the fear of being rejected. However, they are no different than how would approach a friend, family or other person. The initial hello and coming up with small talk is the same idea except the person is front of you is attractive. The best way to do this when you are nervous is to talk to people who share interest. Do they go to school with you? Are they working? Did you meet them at the movies? This way there is already a commonality between you an it gives you the first conversation topic. Find other people who like what you like and try to mingle from there. Otherwise, just be honest. Tell them who you are, why you approached the (they said something smart, they like the same team, you find them beautiful etc) and then build the conversation from there. Tell them about yourself, and ask questions about them. You are attracted to them and ideally as you learn more about them you will become interested in them. Everyone has nerves and the girls know that. They will be flattered that you even tried to reach out and talk.
There is a girl I love so much but I never had time with her to express my feelings towards her and sometimes when I get little time with her, I lack words to say. What can I do?
Abri, make a plan for the next time you get time with her. Write down what you want to say and practice it. Or: get her phone number and see if you can start talking some more over text, whatsapp, or by calling her. You will be just fine! Good luck!
am in love with a guy and we've neva met only see him wen i go to church.i don know if he feels the same, wat are the indicators i should luk for to know if the feeling is mutual?
Hi Sally, have you talked to him? Do you sometimes catch his eye? Does he say 'hi' to you all the time? People show their interests in different ways. Observe him and see if you can find out!
Patricia N
Wed, 02/11/2015 - 10:54 am
I was blindly inlove that I didn't see all the lies infront of me. I hate the fact that I went through so much hardship just for a man.its like duh
Am in love with my bf xo much bt he is still going out with his Xe's n at tym he even post their pics with him in his profl pic either in fb or whtsup what should I do cz I love him alot?
Am in love with my bf xo much bt he is still going out with his Xe's n at tym he even post their pics with him in his profl pic either in fb or whtsup what should I do cz I love him alot?
am in love wid a guy at chach but i don even know hiz name, we'v neva met, av tried to make eye contact wid him bt its lyk he avoids it . being a girl i don av da guts to approach him coz every tym i see him my hrt beats fast n i feel happiness in me, how shud i know if he feels the same?
but i dont think african men take the idea of being approached by a lady too kindly,it lowers their ego,any other alternative pliz?
Wed, 03/04/2015 - 12:58 pm
I feel so great whenever i chat with my guy... And i feel soo empty when he's bzz in a meeting because we can't chat... When he calls me i feel my heart is jumping up...
av been in love with a gal now 1yr we've been living a happy life bt all of a sudden she decides not to communicate now 2months and any time i try talking about it with her she say she want us to break that she nolonger have time to love ..plz help
Tue, 03/31/2015 - 10:40 pm
I ws in luv bt i disappoint my partner bt nw i wnt us 2 back together & i really mean it bt she's refusing & say that let us be frnds plz help me wat can i do 4 us 2 be together again plz i still loves her help me plz.
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