Love has additional religious or spiritual meaning.
This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.
These effects rarely last more than a few weeks or months.
Attraction is the more individualized and romantic desire for a specific candidate for mating, which develops out of lust as commitment to an individual mate forms.
Abstractly discussed love usually refers to an experience one person feels for another.
Love often involves caring for, or identifying with, a person or thing (cf.
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").
Several common proverbs regard love, from Virgil's "Love conquers all" to The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love". Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle, defines love as "to will the good of another." People can be said to love an object, principle, or goal to which they are deeply committed and greatly value.
Since the lust and attraction stages are both considered temporary, a third stage is needed to account for long-term relationships.
Attachment is the bonding that promotes relationships lasting for many years and even decades.
Throughout history, philosophy and religion have done the most speculation on the phenomenon of love.
In the 20th century, the science of psychology has written a great deal on the subject.
In recent years, the sciences of psychology, anthropology, neuroscience, and biology have added to the understanding the concept of love.