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Home Strengthen Relationships COUPLES Love and Intimacy Intro to Love and Intimacy

Introduction to Love and Intimacy

BY ARLENE F. HARDER, MA, MFT

There are many definitions of love, but no matter how you define it, love is wonderful

The first definition of "love," according to The American Heritage College Dictionary, is "A deep, tender feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship or a sense of oneness."

Then, after ten more variations on the theme, the dictionary lists several synonyms that "denote feelings of warm personal attachment or strong attraction to another person" — love, affection, devotion, fondness, infatuation — and describes how they compare.

Love is the most intense: We married for love.

Affection is a less ardent and more unvarying feeling of tender regard: Parental affection is the feeling most parents have toward their children.

Devotion is earnest, affectionate dedication and implies selflessness: He was a leader who inspired devotion.

Fondness is strong liking or affection: She had a strong fondness for small animals.

Infatuation is foolish or extravagant attraction, often of short duration: Their infatuation blinded them to their differences.

A precise meaning of love may not be possible, although the writers of dictionaries certainly try their best. However, the articles in this subcategory focus on the love and affection of couples who have committed themselves to one another; and how they can increase that sense of connection.

The more couples work toward deep love and intimacy that opens the heart, the more they will find joy in one another and that joy will make a real contribution to the connection with one another that the world needs very much.

To read more about love and intimacy, check out the articles in the navigation bar on the left.

© 2012 Arlene F Harder, MA, MFT

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