What True Love is and What it is Not

Love is one of the most interesting topics of debate in the world today. Interesting as it is, only a small fraction of people know what the word ‘Love’ truly means. Love has different meanings to different persons; as a result it has been wrongly applied, abused or used to some individuals’ advantage. Having known that the word has been misapplied or even misconstrued, then what is love?

Taking it from the biblical point of view, it is a feeling of affection toward another person (male or female) without any intention to get sexually involved. It is simply seeing others the way you see yourself and be willing to sacrifice for their well being. Love could also mean the feeling of a deep affection between a husband and a wife.

Types of Love
According to John Lee (A Canadian Sociologist), the following types of love exist:

1. Romantic: This type is jealous, tolerant, unrealistic, sexually attracted by physical appearances: it lasts only for a short period of time and the lover jumps to another woman.
2. Unselfish: There is devotion, self-sacrifice, care and dutifulness on the part of the lover. He gives without expecting anything in return as sex is not the primary reason for the relationship.
3. Game-playing: The lover does not show any commitment; he only enjoys the game of dating, exploitation, etc.
4. Logical: The lover in this case carefully selects the ‘right person’ based on logic – he selects a partner that shares the same religion, educational background, interests, personality, goals, social status, etc with himself.
5. Compassionate love: He enjoys a relationship that is based on friendship, compassion and intimacy. He learns to trust, get committed and grow in the relationship with time. He is not moved by sexual obsession neither is he desperate.

However, other people have also classified it as:

1. Agape Love: This type is selfless, caring and concerned.
2. Philos: It is a ‘give and take’ relationship based on equal friendship from two people. It is more of a symbiotic affair where no one is gaining at the expense of the other.
3. Libido: This involves physical intimacy and sexual attraction. It is based purely on deriving sexual gratification.
4. Ludus: It is simply playful, light and pleasant relationship.
5. Eros: It is romantic and passionate attraction between two persons and involves sexual desire and pleasure.
6. Pragma: Involves intellectuality, pragmatism and utilitarian approach.
7. Storge: It is an emotional, clam, caring and quiet affection.
8. Mania: This type is intense, preoccupied and all-consuming.