A tl;dr of the definition from my theory of emotions
Love is not a feeling, it’s a bond.
Pleasure is often mistaken for love which is a feeling. Pleasure is the result of satisfying a desire. A new relationship is full of this, as everything is new and there are many desires to fulfill. As time goes on though, you don’t “desire” as much because you are satisfied, thus there is an absence of feeling. This doesn’t mean you are not in love anymore and that there is no pleasure in the relationship.
To better understand this I use the analogy of “Cake” being something people love (feel free to replace this with whatever food item you enjoy most). When you are hungry and want cake, having cake is wonderful. But, as you become full you no longer want cake, actually, if you continue on you would start to hate cake — thus — cake is not something you love as it is conditional on you wanting cake. Being “not hungry” doesn’t actually feel like anything, but it’s the best state to be in. Love is the same, you don’t feel it, it’s a state of satisfaction. This is also why you can love anyone, it doesn’t have to be romantic, as well as how you can even love things and places.
The strongest love is based on the strongest bonds. A parent often may feel anger or even hate towards a child and vice versa, but, the fact that you are bound together by many factors: necessity, culture, law, even genetic motivations keep you together, sometimes by force.
Anything that tests this bond (causing you to be apart for any reason) will cause discomfort and a desire to be close again. This is where the phrase “love hurts” kinda gets it right. Usually the only time you “feel” love is when that bond is tested. Forced apart by distance or barriers as well as fights between family, friends, or a spouse test that bond. The tighter the bond, the more it hurts. It should be noted that it’s the test of the bond that hurts, not that actual bond.
I can go more into the hurt part but, that will be in the long version.
Thanks for reading