Love or Passion ? What is the difference ?

For most people, love equals passion. However, there is a world of difference between the feeling of love and the fusion of passion. Although many romantic relationships may be based on passionate attraction, passion is not enough to guarantee a couple’s success.

Passion is a violent, powerful, overwhelming emotion that easily overpowers reason. Passion corresponds to a real loss of rational control over our sensations, our emotions and our behaviors. Hence the expressions: “fall in love” or “love at first sight”. In the presence of the coveted being, we float; its absence or the fear of losing it makes us panic. We look forward to finding the source of so much intensity and hope that this state will last forever.

Neurobiologists have shown that our armpits secrete pheromones which enter each other’s nostrils to stimulate the hypothalamus which then awakens all of our senses. The nose would constitute our first sexual organ, without our knowledge. In fact, we are not in love with the desired being, we are “drugged” by the sensations and emotions that we experience in his presence. In the event of a breakup, we experience the same symptoms as a heroin addict.

Of all the hormones involved, the following three are the most important:

  1. Phenylethylamine or PEA. PEA is an amphetamine produced by the brain that acts as a stimulant and produces a euphoric high. It is found in chocolate, the favorite gift of lovers. It is the PEA that causes the “love at first sight”.
  2. Oxytocin. Nicknamed the “cuddling molecule” or “love hormone”, it reduces aggressiveness and increases sociability (altruism, empathy, trust and generosity). Women produce a lot of it, especially during pregnancy, while men only produce it after sex. Biology would therefore prove that it is sex that brings men to love and love that brings women to sex. Oxytocin promotes attachment.
  3. Dopamine. It is the pleasure hormone that is produced in large quantities in the presence of the coveted person.

It is these hormones that are responsible for the “symptoms” of passion:

  1. Uncontrollable obsessions;
  2. Minimization of the faults of the desired being;
  3. Panic at the loss of the desired being;
  4. Emotions in roller coaster;
  5. Fear of displeasing the other.

Passion being an intense but transient emotion (from 12 to 14 months), passionate people are always looking for a new illusory soul mate who will give them the impression of really living. But, subconsciously, they are under the control of their hormones. Let’s not forget that the word passion comes from the Latin verb pati meaning to suffer.


It is passion, not love, that is blind; but fortunately, the life of two makes the sight. It is moreover the first crisis in the evolution of a couple : the discovery of who the person really is that has aroused in us so many sensations, emotions and dreams. In fact, love is what develops, or not, as the passion…passes, as we come to know the desired being. Love is the goal of the couple , not its basis.

Also based on physical attraction, love is a feeling in which reason intervenes more. This feeling is much sweeter than passion; it encompasses tenderness, admiration, friendship and the achievement of long-term joint projects. While passion creates dependence , love creates attachment, a feeling of affection and sympathy. Two people who love each other look at each other, but also look in the same direction.

The members of long-term happy couples have taken the time, before committing, to check if they are compatible. Do they share the same philosophy of life? Do they have the same educational principles? The same attitudes towards money? Are their sexualities synchronized? They don’t assume that they’re necessarily going to be okay because they attract and like each other.

Stability, rather than intensity, and knowledge, rather than unconsciousness, are the two characteristics of a true loving commitment. But, will object the passionate, what is love without passion? The problem is that the early honeymoon rarely lasts more than one to two years. Fusion (illusory in the long term) is the goal of lovers, self-realization and the other is the ultimate goal of lovers.

Sociologists predict us, in view of the increasingly long life expectancy, that we could live four different types of couples:

  1. A first couple to learn to live together;
  2. A second to ensure the survival of human hope;
  3. A third to help each of us flourish;
  4. And a fourth to accompany us towards the end.

The question is: will we be able to experience these different stages with the same partner or with two, three or four partners? The choice is yours since, according to Scott Peck, love is a decision based on knowing the other.

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