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Love, Theories of

Love is a complex and important topic, thus theories of love abound. Theories are coherent and systemic descriptions of phenomena perceptible to humans, and love is a universal phenomenon of human experience. Although there are multidisciplinary attempts to describe and understand love, evidence suggests that human beings understand intuitively what love means to them. Nevertheless, love can be understood from multiple disciplinary perspectives: Law may look at love in terms of the contractual nature of individuals’ relationships; philosophy may look at love in terms of its potential existence; sociology may look at love in terms of its cultural attributions over time and across regions; and psychology studies love in terms of its individual and relational attributes. Marital, couples, and family therapists tend to focus ...

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