The word "love" can have a variety of related but distinct meanings in different contexts.
Many other languages use multiple words to express some of the different concepts that in English are denoted as "love"; one example is the plurality of which includes agape and eros.
In the 20th century, the science of has written a great deal on the subject.
In recent years, the sciences of , , , and have added to the understanding the concept of love.
Although the nature or of love is a subject of frequent debate, different aspects of the word can be clarified by determining what isn't love (antonyms of "love").
Love as a general expression of positive sentiment (a stronger form of like) is commonly contrasted with (or neutral ); as a less sexual and more form of romantic attachment, love is commonly contrasted with ; and as an interpersonal relationship with romantic overtones, love is sometimes contrasted with , although the word love is often applied to close friendships.Interpersonal love is most closely associated with .Throughout history, and have done the most speculation on the phenomenon of love.has attempted to provide various reasons for love as a survival tool.Humans are dependent on parental help for a large portion of their lifespans compared to other mammals.If sexual passion is also involved, then this feeling is called .Interpersonal love refers to love between human beings., a leading expert in the topic of love, divides the experience of love into three partly overlapping stages: lust, attraction, and attachment.Lust is the feeling of ; romantic attraction determines what partners mates find attractive and pursue, conserving time and energy by choosing; and attachment involves sharing a home, parental duties, mutual defense, and in humans involves feelings of safety and security.For example, compassionate outreach and volunteer workers' "love" of their cause may sometimes be born not of interpersonal love but impersonal love, , and strong spiritual or political convictions.People can also "love" material objects, animals, or activities if they invest themselves in bonding or otherwise identifying with those things.