Are you in love? What kind of love do you have in your life? Is it a groovy kind of love or some different type of love?
Sorry for intruding your privacy and asking you a personal question, but my intention is just to create awareness about one of the most important elements of our life.
Love has been the subject of epics, novels, stories, movies, and discussions from ancient to recent times. Our lives revolve around love, and love fills our life.
I may be no love teacher, but I know that there are many types and forms of love.
What is Love
I think if you read them, you’ll agree that love has a vast meaning and multiple interpretations. But basically, love is a strong positive emotion.
Most people think it is love, when they are infatuated. We all have experienced that in our teens or growing up.
Many misunderstand physical attraction and sexual feelings to be the signs of love. As they move forward in their relations, they realize it was just lust and not love.
Love is not easy to understand and define. Different cultures interpret it differently and there are different kinds of love.
Love is not limited between any two or more people. We almost express our love for anything and everything like when we say we love a place, or may be the meal, movie, or even animals.
Love is not lust, which is basically a strong sexual desire. Fundamentally, love and lust are opposite. What we commonly call love is a combination of these two aspects.
Pure love is abstract in nature, while the common love has physical connotations. In fact, the way we look at love and interpret it, changes with time.
However, in essence, love means caring for and identifying positively with people or things.
Biologically, love has neurochemical basis and is the result of interaction and production of certain hormones and chemicals.
Various psychologists have put forth different theories explaining love and its kinds.
The Greek terminology defining the kinds of love – Agape or pure love, Eros or passionate love, and Philia or virtuous love can also be interpreted as the love of the soul, love of the body, and love of the mind.
All religions emphasize on love. Religious love primarily has components of kindness and compassion.
For our better understanding, people have classified love into as many types, as they can relate to the different spheres and aspects of their life.
Different Kinds of Love
In his book, The Four Loves, based on the ancient Greek philosophy, C.S. Lewis talks about four kinds of love – affection, friendship, romance, and unconditional love.
Affection is the fondness between the family members, while friendship love is the love between people who share common interest or activity.
Eros or romance is about loving someone or being in love. It is mostly about the emotional connection with the person, so much so that they surrender themselves and can’t even think of parting.
This is the kind of love that lovers long for, but some seem to lose the sense of balance and weigh down more on the sexual aspect of the relationship.
Finally, unconditional love is like charity that is all about caring and sharing regardless of the circumstance, reward, or reciprocation.
This is the greatest form of love, the sacrificial love, or the love of the soul, equal to the love of God. It is purely spiritual and completely positive in nature.
Psychologist Robert Sternberg defines the kinds of love on the basis of the strengths, proportion, or the combinations of the three components – intimacy, passion, and commitment.
In his triangular theory of love, he names the various combinations as non-love, liking or friendship, infatuated love, empty love, romantic love, companionate love, fatuous love, and consummate love.
Read this article here that explains some more kinds of love.
Some of you may say love is just love, and it just happens. We feel good, and that is all we care about. Who knows and cares about the kinds of love! Exactly, I too feel the same.
However, it is good to define things to understand them better. Some of you I’m sure will have indigenous philosophies and concept of love.
Let’s share it here.
So, this ends the mini love series in this season of love. I hope and wish you all have a great Valentine’s Day! Celebrate it with your love, friend, family or spouse and spread the love… as love is in the air!! 🙂
Over to You –
What is your definition of love? What kinds of love do you believe exist? What is the kind of love that you think is the best of them all? Spill it all out here in the name of love.
Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photos
Posted on: February 12th, 2013
Last Updated on: February 2nd, 2015