Romantic love isn’t the only feeling your heart has room for.
Posted in , Feb 7, 2020
“There are all kinds of different love in this world, but never the same love twice,” said F. Scott Fitzgerald. In any of our lifetimes, we each may be blessed with multiple experiences of love.
But if we limit ourselves to defining “love” in the romantic sense, we will have failed to embrace the full potential of the multi-dimensional feeling of deep, abiding care. Among the many types of love, these four stand out as worthy of celebration on Valentine’s Day, right there alongside the kind that comes with hugs and kisses, flowers and chocolate.
1) Affectionate Love
Affection is a powerful kind of love, it’s the kind of love we feel for our friends. In an affectionate relationship, we see and accept each other for who we are, appreciate our strengths, and support each other through challenges.
Please don’t confuse self-love with selfishness or narcissism. Too often, we think that to love means to love another person. But how can we show someone else a kindness we aren’t able to summon for ourselves? Showing love, compassion and gentleness to ourselves is the foundation of a positive, love-filled life.
3) Unconditional Love
Unconditional love is perhaps the goal of all the other types of love, as well as a type of love in and of itself. In unconditional love, we are accepting, non-judgmental, curious and welcoming to the fully authentic versions of our beloved. Whether we are parents, grown children, spouses, partners, friends, coworkers or simply people who share the planet with each other, we can all benefit from starting every interaction with the premise that each person is worthy of pure, unconditional love.
4) Romantic Love
We can’t leave out the star of the Valentine’s Day greeting card show, can we? Romantic love is a profound combination of physical attraction and emotional connection. At its best, it is unconditional and involves two people who each love and value themselves as well. There’s a reason human history is replete with songs and poems about the beauty of romantic love—it’s truly a wonder to behold.
Love is a gift. It’s also a challenge. On Valentine’s Day, try to take a moment to reflect on the different ways love reverberates through your life—and look ahead to new ways it can blossom in you, each and every day.