Ancient Greek philosophers identified five forms of love: essentially, familial love (in Greek, Storge), friendly love or platonic love (Philia), romantic love (Eros), guest love (Xenia) and divine love (Agape).Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of love: unrequited love, empty love, companionate love, consummate love, infatuated love, self-love, and courtly love.People can also "love" material objects, animals, or activities if they invest themselves in bonding or otherwise identifying with those things.
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.
Love often involves caring for, or identifying with, a person or thing (cf.
vulnerability and care theory of love), including oneself (cf. In addition to cross-cultural differences in understanding love, ideas about love have also changed greatly over time.
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.
For example, compassionate outreach and volunteer workers' "love" of their cause may sometimes be born not of interpersonal love but impersonal love, altruism, and strong spiritual or political convictions.
Such love might exist between family members, friends, and couples.
There are also a number of psychological disorders related to love, such as erotomania.
An example of this range of meanings is that the love of a mother differs from the love of a spouse, which differs from the love of food.
Most commonly, love refers to a feeling of strong attraction and emotional attachment.