It may come as a surprise to many of us that there are 7 types of love. We all consider love something universal that cannot be defined by rules of our mind or the Universe. Though, we realize that love may be different. We can love our kids, pets, or our house, and we can love our sweetheart. However, there are several types of love lurking behind this notion.
Robert Sternberg, an American psychologist who has been conducting researches on this mysterious feeling, is one of the most qualified specialists in the sphere of human feelings. He was the first to define passion, intimacy, and duties as separate notions. Later on, the scientist pointed out 7 types of love which may arise between partners.
It is the very first feeling attracting you both. You are hardly acquainted or know almost nothing about each other, but your hearts are wildly beating once you meet each other. It is an infatuation that makes us continue a relationship and search for further contact.
Sometimes, it doesn’t let us spot our partner’s true motives or traits of character, making him ideal. You want to meet as frequently as possible, and parting is extremely painful. However, these feelings are going to subside soon, and you’ll be ready to move to the second stage of a relationship or break up for good.
Once passion has passed away, there is a risk that “empty” love may appear. You are no longer attracted to each other, there is no physical intimacy and a whirlpool of emotions. Despite this, you’ve got used to being together to such an extent that you don’t have even the slightest desire to part. There are only obligations and mutual offenses.
One of you has forgotten to tank up a car or cook supper. Quite often, such couples quarrel too much or are looking for happiness outside their own circle. Nevertheless, it may happen that senseless love re-incarnates, and passion would enter partners’ life again.
It is an unbelievable mix of passion and duties in one vessel. Both partners are trying to prove their love, they do crazy things and aren’t afraid to risk. There is a strong attraction between them, but still, they don’t trust each other. Due to the fact that a key to family happiness is being not only beloved but friends as well, such couples may live together for a long time and don’t know what genuine happiness is.
Platonic love comes together with understanding. You already know your partner well enough and are ready to share every moment of life with him. Platonic love implies you’ve found a soulmate. You understand your partner’s feelings and thoughts without words, you try to become his backbone and support.
This type of love is a basis for a long and firm friendship. Also, platonic love dwells in the souls of people who’ve been together for a long time, and physical intimacy isn’t attractive to them. It is absolutely amazing to see an old couple walking in a park and holding hands. Presumably, everyone dreams to live such a life.
Isn’t it wonderful when partners cannot part even for one day? They want to be together and enjoy walks until the sunrise. Every kiss is divine, every touch burns your skin and flies you to the moon. Once you have experienced alike feelings, you’ll never be able to forget these feelings and emotions. Your relationship is a dangerous mixture of passion and intimacy one may get absolutely lost in. Unfortunately, romantic love rarely leads to a wedding.
This type of love is much more than friendship. You not only understand your partner but feel the strongest connection with them. All their troubles and happy moments are yours as well. You cannot imagine life without each other and do everything possible to protect a beloved one from anxieties. Such feelings evoke in those living together for many years. There is no attraction or passion between them; still, they are the closest people on earth.
An ideal combination of passion, duties, and intimacy. This love is rare to find, which makes it the most precious type of love. It is not earned easily and requires a lot of mutual effort. This type of love should be cherished and worked on every day: tempt, care, support, and help each other. However, if you are lucky enough to reach consummate love, be sure that your union will be unbreakable and survive any storms on your life way.
Most frequently, we confuse infatuation with love. Thus, let’s see why these two notions differ.
Infatuation is a pleasant but fleeting feeling that, according to psychologists, lasts not more than 3-4 years. Love, on the contrary, doesn’t obey time frames and only strengthens with time. As well as love, infatuation evokes the desire to possess a beloved person and brings joy from communication with him/her.
However, the most essential difference is that love gives while infatuation wants to receive. That is why not every person is capable of love whereas infatuation is casual. Egocentricity and love are incompatible, that is why an egocentric person may fall in love but they would hardly love.
Other distinguishable features of infatuation are:
- emotional intensity
- too high expectations
- feelings are fleeting and changeable
- sexual drive is of primary importance
As opposed to infatuation, typical features of love are:
- readiness to sacrifice
- an active interest in partner’s growth and development
- the sexual drive doesn’t play a decisive role in a relationship
Now that you know the difference between infatuation and love, try to analyze your feelings towards a partner. Do you truly care about their inner development and leave them space and time for it? Or are you acting too clingy because you have no business of your own to mind when the partner becomes unavailable? Well, if this is the case, then we have bad news for you. You’ve become too dependent on your partner!
Is it so bad? Actually, it is, because the desire for a too strong connection may ruin a relationship. This connection is called symbiosis. Symbiosis inevitably leads to the loss of partners’ individuality and uniqueness. Imagine a man and woman walking side by side, their legs connected with a rope. Yes, they are walking together, their bond is very tight, but do they feel comfortable walking like that? The rope is likely to tear off sooner or later. As well as the relationship.
Can I do something about it?
Surely, you can and you have to! In the first place, you have to realize that in order to be interesting for your partner, you have to be interesting for yourself. Another person cannot make you happy and they are not obliged to do that since you are the only one responsible for your well-being, both physical and mental.
Realize your own worth, imbue your life with new interests, people and impressions, become versatile and open to the world! Once you learn to be happy staying alone, you’ll definitely attract the right person into your life!