Written by DiveThru Team
Reviewed by Natalie Asayag MSW, LCSW
Feeling Loving: A Guide To Your Emotions
Published Dec 23rd, 2020 & updated on Mar 19th, 2021
Ahhh, love. It’s the feeling that inspires all of the best love songs we sing along to in the car. It gives movies their happy ending when the main characters finally beat the odds and confess their feelings for each other. Love is what makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside when we spend time with the people we care about the most in the whole world. When you’re feeling loving (towards anything or anyone), you’re basically floating.
It’s the affection you feel when your pet curls up on your lap, making your heart melt into a puddle of mush. It’s the rush of excitement you get after a great date, and the giddy feeling when you tell your friends all about it. It’s the warmth in your heart when you spend time with your loved ones over the holidays. Even though they can drive you bananas a lot of the time, you just feel more complete with them around. Sooo yeah, it’s safe to say that loving is one of the best feelings, hands down!
Wait! Before you click out of this article to go watch your favourite rom-com, let’s talk a lil’ more about feeling loving. If there’s anything we l-o-v-e more than love itself, it’s diving thru all of our feels!
A Deeper Look At Feeling Loving
What does it mean when we’re feeling loving? Dictionary.com defines loving as: “feeling or showing love; warmly affectionate; fond.” Basically, it’s when you wanna shout from the rooftops: I’M IN LOOOVE! Or when you get a cute AF voicemail from your grandparents and you immediately call them back because they’re adorable. The feeling of love just makes you wanna spread that good feelin’ around by showing lots of affection to the ones we adore. Awww, that’s the cutest.
Psychologist Robert Sternberg has a theory about love: it has three components that form a love triangle (not the kinda love triangle you see on CW shows). Here’s the three components of love according to Dr. Sternberg:
Intimacy (feeling close, connected, bonded)
Passion (physical attraction and romance)
Decision/commitment (remaining with someone and working towards shared goals)
The Different Types Of Love
There’s also different types of love which can stem from any combination of the love triad (except complete absence of the three components is considered ‘non-love’). These are the seven types of love experiences based on the theory above:
There’s intimacy and closeness, but no passion or romance here! Friendship can of course lead to other forms of love down the road, though.
Initial feelings of lust and physical passion are here, buuut commitment is lacking. There hasn’t been enough time yet to develop deeper feelings of romance or intimacy… yet! A stronger connection can still grow.
- Empty Love
Think commitment, without any passion or intimacy. Sometimes strong love can fade over time into empty love. But the opposite does happen, too!
- Romantic Love
This is an emotional bond of intimacy and physical passion. There are strong feelings here for sure, but long-term commitment or future plans might still be undecided.
- Companionate Love
A type of love that is intimate, but not passionate. There’s a strong bond or commitment that lacks physical desire, or desire that has fizzled out over time. This could also be seen as love between close friends or family members.
- Fatuous Love
There’s commitment and passion, but a lack of intimacy. This is usually seen in whirlwind relationships, like when a couple jumps into commitment super fast before really knowing each other.
- Consummate Love
This type of love has all three components of the love triangle: intimacy, passion, and commitment. It represents the ideal relationship we all want! It’s long lasting, overcomes obstacles and never fades. Truly rom-com perfection. *chef’s kiss*
Wow, who knew there were so many different ways to show love?!
How Feeling Loving Shows Up Mentally
Must be love on the braaaiiin!
Ok, so we’ve established that you’re in love. Whether you’re loving your family, friends, partner, or just so obsessed with your pet, your brain has the same chemical reaction each time. Feeling love releases the neurotransmitter in the brain called dopamine, which is associated with reward and pleasure. Basically, when you think of the person you love, dopamine is released and it makes you super excited to see them. When you actually do get to spend time with your loved one, you get more hits of dopamine as a reward.
This is obviously why we wanna spend time with the people we love! ‘Cause it makes us feel good to have them by our side. Another love hormone we experience is oxytocin which makes us feel trust, safety and attached to our loved ones.
Now that we’ve told you about WHICH chemicals in your brain make you feel good, let’s talk about HOW they make you feel:
Oooooo how wonderful (and kinda sexy tbh). Love is such a fun and exciting feeling that we just can’t get enough of it!
How Feeling Loving Shows Up Physically
But wait, there’s more! There are actually some awesome benefits to this loving feeling! You might think that love lives just in the heart, but think again. Your body feels it too and there are some amazing health benefits to love. Here are some positive impacts that feeling loving can have on your overall physical health:
- Reduced stress
- Lower blood pressure
- Decreased risk of heart disease
- Boosts immune system
- Quicker recovery from illness
- Longer life span
- Pain relief
Ok, we knew that love was a good thing, but we didn’t always know it was THIS good for us! We don’t know about you, but we’re gonna go love something. Oh wait, but first we have to finish this article together!
5 Ways To Appreciate Your Loving Feelings
Sooo, you’re feeling loving, affectionate, warmhearted, etc. Now what? Ya, we could leave you to your own devices, but that doesn’t seem fair. You’re reading this article for a reason, and we’re gonna give you what you came for, dammit! We want to help you continue the good vibrations in your heart with these tips and tricks.
Journaling our thoughts and feelings is one of the best forms of self-care, in our opinion. Try putting your emotions down in words, and explore what has made you feel this way. Fair warning: hand cramping might occur if you get carried away!
2. Engage in compassionate self talk
In the famous words of RuPaul: If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else?! It’s pretty great to show yourself some love, too. Try to say some things you love about yourself out loud. You deserve to hear it, even if it feels silly!
3. Practice meditation
Meditation is a method that’s been used to relieve stress and improve mental clarity since, like… forever. This practice allows us to slowww down and shift our mindset. If you’re currently in a loving state, meditation will only elevate that inner peace. If you’re not sure how to meditate, start out with a guided practice. Hey, everyone’s gotta start somewhere!
4. Practice gratitude
Seek out all of the positive things in your life, take notice and show appreciation. Thank the people in your life who make it better by showing acts of kindness! Passing along the good vibes you’re experiencing will feel 10/10 amazing.
5. Connect with a friend
It feels good to spread the love, so reach out to a friend or loved one! Have a great chat or spend some quality time. Maybe they could use some TLC right about now!
There you have it, lovebirds. Thanks for stopping by! We hope you enjoyed our tips and continue to feel alllll the good feelings. P.S. We <3 you!