Love is probably the most predominant emotion in the world, something that all of us as human beings experience at least once in our lives. But here’s the twist: there’s more than one kind of it. Romantic love (surprisingly) isn’t the only kind of love we experience throughout our lives.
Love comes in many forms through all kinds of people, and it’s kind of unfair to focus only on one type of it, don’t you think? So what are these “other” types of love you may ask? Read on to find out!
1. Platonic Love
Platonic love is the kind of love we experience with our family, relatives, siblings, etc. It’s the kind of love which is inbuilt in you towards your parents, grandparents, or even from parents to their children. This is the love that makes you worry about your family members, what makes your mother call you ten times asking when you’re coming back home. This is the love that makes you give your grandmother a foot massage when she’s tired after a long day. Platonic love is the most primal and basic kind of love, that which always resides in your heart, come hell or high water.
2. Unrequited Love
Aah, heartbreak. Who hasn’t dealt with it? It’s one of most common themes for songs, movies and books! Unrequited love is love which is only one-sided: when the person you love doesn’t harbour the same feelings for you, or feel the same about someone else. It’s mighty unfortunate to experience, yes. But why is it important? Because it’s got a lot to teach you. Unrequited love has the ability to teach you more about yourself. It gives you a peek into what you really want in a partner. It lets you realize what you’re expecting from the other person, and what you’re willing to put in. It makes you a more whole, compassionate person, because now you can empathize with other people going through the same thing and really help them get through it. Unrequited love is a lesson in itself.
Falling in love is wonderful experience. But it is, sadly, possible to fall out of love with someone as well. When slowly, over time, everything begins to go stale with no real fault of either parties. This usually happens when you or your partner changes as a person, when suddenly the dynamic between you and them changes because you are no longer compatible. People change constantly in their lifetime: I do, you do, and so does everyone around you. It’s a fact of life that we have to accept. Therefore, if it is you that has fallen out love with your partner, realize that it’s okay. It’s normal, and you’re not necessarily at fault. It’s important to let your partner of your feelings. If it is the other way around, you are not required to stay in the relationship for any longer either, no matter how long you have been with them. You deserve to move on to a new love, and so do they.
4. Self Love
Probably the most important love out of all the loves, self-love is the armour you face life with. When you love yourself entirely, wholly, for who you are and who you were born to be, you begin to experience life fully. You stop inhibiting yourself from new and exciting opportunities because now you have the confidence and self-esteem that you need to conquer as many odds as possible. Self-love is also the toughest of all the loves, because although we may experience romantic love or platonic love or any other kind of love throughout our lives, if we’re not careful, we may deny ourselves the love that we deserve the most. With corporate industries actively telling you (consciously and subconsciously) to hate the body you have, the clothes you wear, the hair you have, the person you are, it is the biggest obstacle to be able to declare that you love and accept yourself completely for the person you are. It is a journey with a long, long road, but you will never reach the destination if you don’t take the first step.
5. Fleeting Love
Fleeting love is the kind of love that crushes are made of. You know, those innocent little infatuations you had in school, college or even as a full-grown adult doing all the things an adult should do. Funnily enough, crushes don’t have an age limit, contrary to popular belief. You could be 87 years old and still get all fluttery when you see your crush walking towards you (bonus points if they happen to be your partner). Your crush could also be literally anyone. That film star you saw in that one film the other day? Yep. The one dude you saw on the bus while going back home? Uh-huh. Even your teacher? POSSIBLE. Honestly, a crush is just a crush. People make too big a deal out of it just because it happens to make you feel all giggly. What does it have to teach you though? That crushes come and go. No matter your age, height, weight, occupation, blah, blah..crushes are a lifelong constant, and should be treated that way. A lot of times people get too involved with what is just a passing fancy and then regret it after. The trick is to realize that it is fleeting: it will fade eventually, so don’t get yourself too attached. Feel it, enjoy it, have fun with it, until you realize that it’s time to let go.
6. Sexual Love
Before I send you into a whirlwind of oh-my-goshs and oh-nos, a disclaimer: yes, it is possible to have a kind of love based entirely on sex. Sex is perfectly normal, perfectly human, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Humans have been doing it for centuries (that’s how we’re here, hello) so there is no need to hide it. It is also okay to not want an emotional attachment and only want physical pleasure as well. You’re not always in the headspace for a proper relationship, but we all have desires, and it’s even important to your health to have an active sex life. The only thing to be careful about is to not get too attached. Realize and accept that your relationship is purely based on copulation, and that it is unhealthy for both sides to develop anything more than that. If you feel that that is the case with either you or them and there is no scope for the feeling to be mutual, leave immediately and save yourself a lot of heartbreak.
7. Friendly Love
The love you share for your friends, the Dil Chahta Hai and Zindagi Na Milega Dobara kind of love, is friendly love. Everyone knows how important friends are: they help you up when you’re down, they’re your 3am sneak-outs and your remember-whens. They have a hard-drive in their heads filled with embarrassing memories of you and damn, don’t they like to remind you of it! Friendship is honestly incredibly underrated in today’s world, and somehow we have tricked ourselves (thanks to movies, TV series and books) into thinking that somehow, a friendship between a boy and a girl should necessarily translate into love. Well, guess what? Friendship is love (some serious Kuch Kuch Hota Hai vibes here)! It’s the love that gets you out of sticky situations, that lets you embrace yourself without judgment, that makes life a little easier in this harsh world. Friendship has a lot of lessons to teach you, barely any of which this article can fathom. There are fights, quarrels, disagreements and what not in every friendship. But at the end of the day its friendship that’s going to get you back on track. It’s very important, however, to differentiate between who is your friend and who is just an act. Sometimes people pretend to be your friend for myriad of reasons: social acceptability, some kind of give-or-take, or just plain jealousy. It’s crucial to realize when to move away from such toxic and draining friendships and move on to better and more fulfilling friendships that we all (yes, even the fake friends) deserve.
8. Divine Love
Divine love, or devotion, is a very personal and intimate kind of love. As humans we always have questions pertaining to our existence: the Whys, the Hows, the Whens and Wheres. The love shared between a deity and devotee is simply another way of attempting to answer these questions. A person’s deity helps them have faith in life, in the all-knowing cycle of the Universe, and the obstacles that they are presented with in life. Even if you are an atheist, it does not mean you can get away with disrespecting someone who is religious. That’s imposing your beliefs on them. How would you feel if they tried to make you a believer? You’d be offended, won’t you? So, to each his own. Devotion has guided its followers through tough times in life, and their faith offers them a sanctuary, a symbol of belief that life will get better, that their God is simply testing them, and that they will get through this and emerge stronger.
9. Selfless Love
Lastly, the kind of love that the world seriously needs right now: selfless love, or the love towards one’s fellow humans. Everyday we hear stories of how there are crimes being committed in broad daylight and nobody doing anything to stop them: be it a robbery or a molestation. This apathy, this kind of not-my-problem mentality is slowly but surely breaking the world apart. It’s time to develop some selfless, unconditional love towards the people around us, also known as humanity. Humans are probably the only species in the world that is out to finish itself. We make up borders, we discriminate among each other, we judge and we hate. We hate on everything and everyone that does not look like us. We treat not just foreigners, but even the people that live in the neighbouring state to ours as outsiders, as aliens whose ways we don’t know of. The world needs some care, open-mindedness, understanding, and most of all, love. As Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”