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love

Love means deep affection or strong attraction between creatures, or between a creature and a thing or idea. As a verb, it means to feel such affection. Love is quite possibly the most important, yet the most mysterious, emotion. It takes many forms – familial love, love between friends, romantic love, carnal love, puppy love, Platonic love, careless love, spiritual love, dull sublunary lovers' love, and possibly love at first sight (though the existence of the last is still controversial). Love is the only thing into which you can fall both into and out of.

Love is the touchpoint of a thousand cliches and aphorisms – love conquers all, love hurts, all you need is love, love makes the world go round, love is blind, it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Also, love is a rose but you better not pick it. Love in its several forms fuels entire industries – matchmaking, porn, songwriting, chick flicks, greeting cards.

Modern science – including neuroscience, biochemistry, evolutionary psychology and biology – has increased our knowledge and unlocked a few of love's mysteries, though far from all. For example, we know that testosterone is important in both men and women for sexual behavior, while oxytocin and vasopressin seem to be important for long-term bonding; brain scans can illuminate which areas of the brain are stimulated by feelings of love; and evolutionary psychology can provide insight into how we choose mates, though the validity of its conclusions remains controversial.

Love also means zero points in tennis.

Despite its many mysteries, one thing is certain: love is all around.  No need to fake it.

About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is a Publisher and Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Culture, where he reviews NYC theater; he also covers interesting music releases. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting at http://www.orenhope.com/ you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. Jon also writes the blog Park Odyssey at http://parkodyssey.blogspot.com/ where he visits every park in New York City. And by night he's a part-time working musician: lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado, a member of other bands as well, and a sideman.

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