People can also "love" material objects, animals, or activities if they invest themselves in bonding or otherwise identifying with those things.
If sexual passion is also involved, then this feeling is called paraphilia.
Some historians date modern conceptions of romantic love to courtly Europe during or after the Middle Ages, although the prior existence of romantic attachments is attested by ancient love poetry.
Love often involves caring for, or identifying with, a person or thing (cf.
vulnerability and care theory of love), including oneself (cf. In addition to cross-cultural differences in understanding love, ideas about love have also changed greatly over time.
Several common proverbs regard love, from Virgil's "Love conquers all" to The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love". Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle, defines love as "to will the good of another." A person can be said to love an object, principle, or goal to which they are deeply committed and greatly value.
For example, compassionate outreach and volunteer workers' "love" of their cause may sometimes be born not of interpersonal love but impersonal love, altruism, and strong spiritual or political convictions.
It can refer to an emotion of a strong attraction and personal attachment.