What is Your Kind of Love

Are you in love? What kind of love do you have in your life? Is it a groovy…
bride and groom kissing expressing romantic kind of love

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

In my earlier posts “Understanding true love between two people” and “Are you a love teacher,” I’ve written in length about 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.

theory of love

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

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  1. Well post harleena, i will say simply that love is everything, in my mind there is only one definition of love, Love mean to provide everything of you to any other person, that may be your mother,sister or your lover.if we review the post, the entire concept of your post is mind blowing.

  2. Hi Harleena,

    Yes, you said it right that there are too many sayings, believes, forms etc. You have mentioned Psychologist Robert Sternberg theory which was I think a researched thing. But I believe that love is something we can not define by words. Yes of-course we can try it, but real love is felt.

  3. The entire concept behind this article is an interesting one; what is love, really? What is it about the human form that attracts us to others? This article, with it’s easy to understand images, definitely helped me to understand the complexities of love and relationships

  4. Hello Herleena,

    First of all a very nice article loved reading it.

    In my thoughts I believe in Love where emotional connection is attached. When we say feeling we say emotion and Love is a feeling, and Love is a very beautiful feeling. I just said I loved reading this article by that I meant I could connect to the article somewhere with my emotion. Love has affection and care within. As here in the article love is really not just about life partners it is there in every personal life relations, I feel love between two peoples or partners should be an emotional bond and then sexual aspects because sexual aspect is dependent upon attraction and lust, lust should not take the place of Love. When it’s Love the high emotional bond will automatically make you feel a kind of attraction that can never fade.

  5. Ah, love that opens our hearts and is fearless. That can occur in many types of relationships. One is not better or more noble. They all have their place in the great tapestry of life. The triangle diagram was interesting–I had not seen that before.

  6. I totally agree with your definition here – identifying positively with people or certain things.

    In fact, I think you’re a love guru because you clearly know the difference between infatuation, love and lust. I harped on this several times to my friends but to no avail and because of that they have a completely different perspective of life now.

    The picture is really good and I hope I find consummate love.

    Awesome post!


  7. Hi Harleena,

    I finally made it by, sorry for the late response.

    Well as all of your posts, you’re so thorough with every single topic you write about.

    Love it a great subject and like many above have stated, there are really so many different kinds of love.

    Wow, I haven’t thought about it in a very long time but when I think of love I mostly think of my family and friends. We both know I have no “love interest”. I definitely have unconditional love for my family and Kayla, my dog. I would do anything for them and some of my friends are like that as well, not all though.

    Gosh I would say respect, admiration, consideration, things like that. Wow, you’re really going to have to make me think on that one.


  8. Hi Harleena,

    Hope you had a nice Valentine’s Day!

    The best kind of love I believe is unconditional love. Such a love can be difficult at times for one to experience, especially when the ego takes over. However, all of us can experience unconditional love and it the best of them all. Indeed, when one experiences it, he/she will know what it is.

  9. Hi Harleena,Love is a very stong emotion and I would say that it’s a life long lasting one if it’s truly love.

    Love never dies really, and if it does maybe it it’s not really love to start with.I’m saying this based on my feelings of true love. It could be romantic or otherwise.

    My pets that I love and loved so much are right in there with the rest of my loves.Love is a positive emotion as you’re saying. One that lift you up and promotes peace.

    Thanks you for this apropos article today!

  10. Very interesting topic on kinds of love. As you say there are many kinds of love from sexual desires to pure love. Its a very complicated topic and not easy to talk about it. There are different types of love between different people. One love is between man and woman, between children and parents, between friends, between brother and sister; these are all various types of love. But as far as man and women are concerned; it can be from sexual to affection to romantic you name it.

  11. Hi Harleena! Love is in the air! Great Post! I do agree Love comes in many forms! My First Love, The father of my children was just not the kind of man I needed in my life at this point in my life . He didn’t want to grow, he had no goals. SO I Moved on and found a man who truly cares about me! He is my best friend, my soul mate, we may not think alike but together we are one! Happy Valentines Day!! Thanks for sharing Chery 🙂

  12. I share some similarities with Duke Davis, (see above). Hubby and I will be celebrating our 40th anniversary this year and we have been together since Oct. 1971. I agree that love is total dedication and also that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Due to family issues, I was away from home for long periods, for about a year, (2010-2011), and this drew us closer together. We had many rough periods over the years and this too, strengthened our bond. Yes, there are many different forms of love, but nothing can beat enduring love. 🙂

  13. My brother in law once told me a story about love. He overheard a conversation in the student union between two friends. One asked the other “do you know what love is?” the friend replied “no, I don’t know what love is but I know love can move mountains” the friend chided “are you kidding, have you ever seen a mountain move?” to which the other replied “no, but I’ve never been in love either” Thank you so much Harleena for this wonderful explanation! It’s not as amusing as mine but a lot more informative.

  14. I don’t think I can add anything to this as you have perfectly defined Love. The meaning of true love to me is to the love God has for us and like Amandah said in her comment if you send out love, it will come back to you. And love isn’t only being intimate or having lust, it’s this overwhelmingly happy feeling you get when you’re around someone special.

    As always, a beautiful post Harleena. Hope you have been doing well 🙂

  15. I find this post fascinating. My wife and I have been married fifty-one years and have been together as a couple for fifty-six years. she was seventeen and I was eighteen when we got married. I was the son of a bad marriage and she was the daughter of a marriage dissolved by suicide. So we both came from broken homes where love was a fleeting thing we rarely saw.

    To me love is a total dedication to another person. They always come first in your mind. You would give up anything for that person. We have three kids, 49, 48 and 42, and all three know that their mother comes first. I chose her out of all the women in the world, they just happened to pop up along the way. Not to say I don’t love them, but it is a different kind of love than that I have for my wife.

    I spent twenty years in the US Navy, and another twenty as an agent for the DOD. I traveled a lot, to say the least. I guess that has a lot to do with how strong my love is for her. There is a lot of truth in the old statement, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

    When we are apart I feel this ache deep inside that won’t go away. I constantly think about her and she is in my dreams. I don’t mean this to be anything that would harm or interrupt my work in any way. It’s just she is always in the front of my mind. She is the first thing I think of each morning and the last thing I think of each night.

    To me, true love is a deeply consuming thing.


  16. Hi Harleena,

    I respectfully disagree. I do think patriotic love is the same as romantic love because for me, love is love, plain and simple. I don’t feel the need to compartmentalize love into different categories or labels. Whether I feel love for nature or another person, I’m still accessing that place deep inside of me that is filled with joy, giddiness, light, affection, etc. It’s all love to me. 🙂

  17. I beleive you covered about everything when it comes to Love. Unconditional Love is the best. Whether it be your children, husband, friend or family. You love them, even though you may not like or approve of there actions or beliefs.

    As for material things they have nothing to do with love. They are what I call a dead end street. You can love your house, car or all the wonderful things made to make life funnier or easier, but if you don’t have someone to share them with they are just objects.

    When i was dating my husband he had trouble with trusting love, because of past experiences. he did not trust love. Finally one day I had decided I loved him enough to let go of him if this would make him happier. I looked at him and said, “I love you and if you don’t love me that is OK, because you see it doesn’t not matter, because the love I have for you can’t be taken away. It does not mattter whether I am with you or not, it isn’t something you can control, I control my feeling for you.”

    Honest, true and real love for any person has NO conditions attached to it and never should. There are no boundries.

    Thanks Harleena, for getting my mind working this wonderful bright sunshine day.

  18. Powerful post, Harleena!

    Love is such a deep subject. It has so many meanings, and just as many misconceptions about it.

    My kind of love is visual, tangible, and obvious whenever it’s truly being expressed. It’s present. It’s the opposite of hate, fear, and doubt. It has no enemies. It’s rich and divine.

    I don’t think it can be defined; it can only be embraced, felt, expressed, given, shown, and allowed to grow.

    There so many things that love is to me. I am learning daily the depth of it’s power, and praying daily to be better about expressing it.

    Such a wonderful read, my friend. You’ve given me a lot to consider about the subject. So thank you for the sharpening. I really appreciate it. Blessings.

  19. Hi Harleena,

    Woah… Now that’s not easy at all. I’m sorry, but I don’t think I can give a definition on this dear. My girlfriend asks me about it to hear what I’d say, but I’m totally speechless 🙂 I’m not much good with definitions but simply value the feeling of love and being loved.

    Actually when it comes to feelings, I think definitions are just incomplete. Anyway identifying characteristics help us to understand more instead of neglecting or saying it’s just a feeling sometimes 🙂 Human minds are so curious, no? 😉

    Oops… The article you mentioned in the post reveals 10 more types of love. Eventhough we can identify such types of love among people, it may differ with circumstances we go through in our lives. As I read yours and that article, I feel that it’s much better for parents to know it all Harleena. Lives are complex around us and we need to aware what’s going on this World. Definitely they will help but also it may lead to misunderstandings too. Very sensitive subject 🙂

    Really thanks for including biological definitions and of Greeks dear 🙂 You know, I feel if we get educated about love through such definitions when we were kids instead of feeling the love of mother, father and loved ones, our lives would be much more complicated and stuck in between what we learnt and feel 🙂 Don’t you think dear?

    Now this topic leads to many directions 😉


  20. Hi Harleena ji,

    Great post, and detail discussion on love.

    Yes you said right that there are too many sayings, believes, forms etc..You have mentioned Psychologist Robert Sternberg theory which was i think a researched thing. But i believe that love is something we can not define by words..Yes ofcourse we can try it, but real love is felt. It is a feeling, i don’t know when i see my girlfriends eyes i see something like i actually cant define and that is love but exactly i cant define. When i achieve something and i see my moms eyes i just feel it that how much she loves me. i think it is a feeling that cant be define.

    Thank You
    Shorya Bist

  21. Hi Harleena,

    I’m not sure if my comment posted the first time. Something went haywire. 🙂

    My definition of love is a deep feeling and strong and passionate liking for another person, oneself, and life; compassion, empathy, affection and respect.

    Since I’m not into labels, I believe love is love. If you send out love into the world, it will come back to you. If you send out warm and fuzzy feelings to the world, they’ll come back to you. It’s that easy and simple. We don’t have to over think it. 🙂

    1. Hi Amandah,

      Thanks for sharing your definition of love. I completely agree with it. I also agree with you that we should not label or name different kinds of love, as love is love. It’s the same feeling used in different contexts, hence named differently.

      But you’ll agree that patriotic love is not the same as loving your boyfriend, or loving your mother is different from the love of sushi. The same emotion or feeling comes out in varying degrees – that’s kinds of love.

      So right you’re – you get what you give. Be loving and you’ll be loved. Yes, it’s easy and simple, but a tough task for some who ponder too much on something that is out of reach of reasoning.

      Thanks you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and feelings. 🙂

  22. HI Harleena Di,

    Great post!

    For me love is all about caring and sharing but having said that we loose our rational thinking when we are in love and this is THE fact and in most cases we surrender.

    I have not included the term “giving” in the definition as this sounds more of a charity and in present context it has to work both ways.

    I always believe true love has to be unconditional and that means with no strings attached. Therefore the source of true love is the God and the parents to the certain extent and for me this is the best love.

    Thanks Di for sharing this great piece.


    1. Hi Sapna,

      I’m glad you like the post. That’s the thing about love – it overrides our reasoning. Love overrules logic, rational thinking included. Also, the emotional channel has been perceived as higher than the intellectual channel; E.Q. vs I.Q. that is, where interpersonal relationships are concerned.

      Yes, we do need reciprocation in love, especially from our partners or spouse. It is difficult to even think of living with someone who doesn’t love you back. It has to be two ways in a marriage – whether conditional or unconditional love, right?

      God’s love is unconditional, and it us who fail Him. Same with parents; we realize later in life how much giving they are.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and views and contributing to the post. 🙂

  23. It’s very up-to day topic with coming Valentine day. Love? Well, love is something mature when you can tell, i love her without a reason. Charity love. From the side of science, Love is a chemical reaction… Maybe that’s right. Hard to define love.. It is in you permanently…

    1. Hi Evan,

      Yes, love is in the air, so is this topic. Love is above logic, so that’s why reasoning doesn’t always work while in love. I agree, it’s difficult to define love, but it can always be expressed.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  24. I believe that love is one of the strongest emotions we can have. I agree that Love comes in many forms.

    It is hard to differentiate sometimes because I can say I love lasagna, but what I really mean is lasagna makes me happy or I enjoy eating it.

    I also believe in unconditional love which is where there are no requirements to receive my love.

    My mother Loved me even when I was not so happy with her. That is real love, when you can love someone even though they do care for you.

    I can think of one other Soul who is capable of loving this way. He has to be the one and only Creator.

    Great article.

    1. Hi Michael,

      Yes, love is a strong emotion. But if you say it is one of the strongest emotions, then which would be the strongest emotion I wonder?

      I’d say we differentiate love as love of things, places, events, nation, religion, friends, work, family, partner, self, and God. Not all may perceive it in the increasing order that it appears here, because for some love things or nation might be more than that for God. So, the preference and priority of love varies from person to person.

      I wonder how many people really believe in and practice unconditional love. Generally parents do shower unconditional love on their children. I’ve observed that those who do not do experience emotional problems in the family.

      The source of all, the Creator loves all, as it is love itself. Those who do not believe in God can consider themselves as essentially pure love, and then work towards to reveal and realize their true self.

      Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing your beautiful thoughts. 🙂

  25. In a broader sense, spiritually, I believe that Love is the creative force of the universe (ie “God is Love”).

    In that context, I believe that love is the ultimate reality and everything else we experience outside of that reality is good story telling (in our own minds or in the minds of others).

    However, I think what we normally define as love–phila, eros, agape, etc–are different manners in which we as human beings experience the divine.

    We experience the cosmic power of the universe–capital “L” love–through the relationships we enter into here on earth. Our friends and loved ones allow us to experience a tangible expression of the Love of God in physical form.

    These relationships also give us an opportunity to express God-Love through our own emotions, sexuality, and psyche in order to touch the lives of others.

    Great post and wonderful question to launch a good discussion, Harleena. So glad I saw it posted on FB! 🙂

    1. Hi Steve,

      Nice to have you back! I totally agree with everything you’ve written in the comment. Love is the cosmic power of the universe that helps us grow and achieve our potential. Love ideally is pure and positive and is the cause behind evolution, so people say.

      I like your perspective – love is the ultimate reality. If this theory is revolutionized, the world would be a better bonded and peaceful place, don’t you think so?

      You’re right; it is us who interpret love differently and in various forms. It is basically the varying degrees of love and the context of use that we try to clarify using various terms and terminology. Essentially, love is just love.

      One of my favorite quote is – “We’re spiritual beings having a human experience.” My husband is a better authority on spiritual topics but I can relate to what you’re saying with this quote.

      If God is love, then expression of love in any form becomes a way of worship. Right? Even if it has sexual overtones. However, you may rate spiritual love as being more concentrated and powerful.

      I’m so glad that you like the post and I hope this triggers a good discussion, well in time before Valentine! 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing your wonderful thoughts. Hope to see you around soon. 🙂

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