Love is a complicated and special emotion which many of us find difficult to really understand. While the majority people tend to believe that it is something that revolves around the heart, the truth is that love actually happens in your brain. The creativity displayed by poets, painters, and artists, all epitomize the human heart as the symbol of love, although it’s actually the brain that is responsible for generating chemical signals that trigger love.
Having some knowledge about the different ways and types of love is useful in several ways such as helping us understand why we love differently and possibly how we might express our love more. It is amazing that the Ancient Greeks described love in around thirty words dwelling on all its complexities and shades.
I have picked some of the most powerful types of love to guide us into a more comprehensive understanding of why love comes in different forms, what I term as the inequality of love.
Catch anyone in their moment of sincerity, and they are likely to tell you about their unforgettable first love. For the majority, the first love is that person you had to leave behind or part with for many different reasons, yet that person shapes how you are going to view love for the remainder of your life. Many moving love songs have been written about first love. That is how powerful first love is!
First love rarely survives for long periods as usually, it happens during our teens or quite early in adulthood. However, that is essentially what makes it so special, the innocence with which one gets into that first relationship. One has no past experiences or baggage to taint our idyllic notion of love; and because we haven't yet been crushed, we have no negative experiences to bring into the first relationship.
The next poignant type of love refers to a soul mate. This person accepts you without thinking, and receives he same vice versa response. There is an unspoken and deep respect between both of you. Physically, you have a 'magical' chemistry. Soul mates tend to have a mental connection that is similar to the extra-sensory perception displayed between twins. For example, they might decide to call each other at precisely the same time, or simply know the other's thoughts.
While the journey of life may at times keep you apart, if you are true soul mates, your minds will somehow always be in sync and connected. However, no relationship is ever perfect. The same applies to soul mate love as they experience normal ups and downs of relationships. Still, the bond of first love becomes much harder to break as soul mates generally find it easier to accept and even learn to love the imperfections in each other.
Pragma or practical love types will normally search for a lover who fits a particular predefined image. Pragma types of lovers tend to be highly rational, carefully weighing their option before agreeing to date someone seriously. They use available empirical knowledge for purposes of love and dating. Their love is inspired by pragmatic reasons and factors.
The majority use online dating and they frequently visit dating sites. If you find yourself looking for someone on the basis of their age, physical characteristics, financial status, or spiritual and cultural background, then you are in all likelihood a pragma or practical type of lover.
This kind of love relationship is need-based; a physical attraction type of love. Eros love is to be deeply passionate about someone, and even intoxicated with them. This type of love means that you get attracted to others who are attractive physically. However, this type of love cannot sustain a relationship over the passage of time.
'Eros' lovers are typically keen to develop passionate, intense relationships and enjoy experiencing emotional highs that are fairly intense. This results in crushing, emotional lows when the relationship comes to an end. Though it is easy to mistakenly place eros love into the same class or group as lust, the two are actually different. Lust is really not love - it's more like a desire for a woman or man physically, while eros love is comparable to wanting just one specific person, man or woman. Eros love is more targeted and no substitute(s) will do.
This is love that is inspired by devotion; a companionship love. The kind of love described in the Romans 12:9-13 of the Bible; true community love. It is more like grinding out life together as a couple, sharing activities, walking around the local mall or watching a game together. This is a best-friends type of relationship, where watching an old classic movie with some popcorn, or snuggling on the sofa offers perfect satisfaction.
This type of love entails giving, being selfless, and moreover expecting nothing in return for your kind acts. It helps one become more mature, and become a better version of you. Agape love energizes both eros and phileo styles of loves. The Bible describes agape love as 'kind and patient, "a love that never fails for it doesn’t boast." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
In a marriage, this is perhaps the most critical requisite. Agape love is unconditional and selfless. Some have described agape love as Christ-like or God-like. Your bond has become so strong and powerful that despite mistakes of the other, you still love each other, flaws and all. It is a truly chosen and committed love.
Storge type of love is inspired by relationships that are based on shared goals and values, friendship and compatibility. It is somewhat of a blend of agape and the pragma types of love. In this type of love, the physical attractiveness of the other person does not rank too high on the priority list.
Couples that have stayed together for long periods often transform into this type of love. Storge or companionate love accepts faults and flaws in others, is unconditional. This love ultimately drives one to forgive, being sacrificial. It makes you feel safe, secure, and comfortable. The best examples of this kind of love would be our parents or ageing grandparents.
This unique maternal tie is also known as motherhood. It is the outcome of an inborn instinct, a natural urge specific to mothers. It is biologically determined that women will want to have children, and it is also naturally determined that they want to feed and raise them. Something will feel amiss when a mother gets separated from their child or children. Maternal instinct or love is a powerful force, which sometimes even augments physical strength in the drive to protect their young.
A woman’s love for her child and her creativity in raising him or her will be, driven or inspired by her own life experiences. If her experiences as a girl, and then woman, have largely been positive, she will welcome motherhood as a gift added to her life. On the other hand, if her association with babies has been a negative one this will impact her maternal love differently.
In summary, let me note that compartmentalizing love into the different groups may help us to examine ourselves, and determine if we are in the right relationship. Indeed, it can illustrate whether we are displaying enough creativity in our love relationships. The fact is that in most relationships there is always an imbalance. One side will contribute more, compromise more, facilitate more, support more, demonstrate more, and express more. Equally, we are all individuals and unique being, so this is not a bad thing as long as there is give and take, as people do not read at the same pace or indeed arrive at the same page on cue. Sometimes, may find that our love style can become a major roadblock to a fruitful and positive relationship. We must be prepared to literally get out of our own way, to achieve the right type of relationship that we need.
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