There is no indication in the texts themselves that these are marriages in any sense that the word would mean to readers now, nor in any sense that the word would have meant to persons then: the formation of a common household, the sharing of everything in a permanent co-residential unit, the formation of a family unit wherein the two partners were committed, ideally, to each other, with the intent to raise children, and so on.Although it is difficult to state precisely what these ritualised relationships were, most historians who have studied them are fairly certain that they deal with a species of "ritualised kinship" that is covered by the term "brotherhood." (This type of "brotherhood" is similar to the ritualised agreements struck between members of the Mafia or other "men of honour" in our own society.) That explains why the texts on adelphopoiesis in the prayerbooks are embedded within sections dealing with other kinship-forming rituals, such as marriage and adoption.
The content of Shakespeare's works has raised the question of whether he may have been bisexual.
This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.
Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.
In historical scholarship, the term may be used to describe a very close relationship between people of the same sex during a period of history when homosexuality did not exist as a social category.
In this regard, the term was coined in the later 20th century in order to retrospectively describe a type of relationship which until the mid 19th century had been considered unremarkable but since the second half of the 19th century had become more rare as physical intimacy between non-sexual partners came to be regarded with anxiety.