Love can be expressed in many ways. A mother feels love when she looks at a baby sleeping in her arms, a husband feels love when his wife winks at him from across the room, and a friend feels love when they share a beautiful moment. Love is also expressed in the form of familial love (a bond formed by kinship), love of neighbor (a Christian teaching), and love of God (an expressive love for a deity).
Love is a powerful emotion and can change quickly. It can be fleeting or long-lasting, biologically programmed, or culturally indoctrinated. The definition of love varies from culture to culture and person to person. Although each definition may be true for a time, it is also important to remember that love is a choice and cannot be forced.
Ancient Greeks studied love and the different forms of it. There are seven Greek words for love, each of which carries a positive meaning and associated emotions. Romantic love is referred to as Eros, while playful love is referred to as Ludus. The word Philia is often translated as brotherly love, but it can also refer to sisterly love. Another Greek word for love is storge, which describes love between family members. Finally, Philautia describes self-love.
The American Psychological Association considers love to be a complex emotion that can be described as both an emotion and a mental state. Psychologists have come up with many definitions of love, including that it is a cultural phenomenon. Regardless of the definition, the key to a healthy relationship is knowing how to recognize it and to treat it.
When a person experiences love through their partner’s actions, they feel valued. They appreciate undivided attention, meaningful conversations, and acts of service. For instance, a partner can help someone cook a meal when they’re sick, or pick up dry cleaning. Physical touch is also an important language of love.
True love requires a partner to be open, honest, and vulnerable to their partner. True love also requires both partners to be accepting of one another, and it is important to show respect and compassion to one another. If these qualities are exhibited, then the relationship will last a long time. Moreover, a partner in true love will feel loved no matter what happens.
The Greeks believed that God has created this unconditional love, called Agape. That love extends beyond boundaries and includes all of mankind. Agape love has its roots in the Greek language and is often equated with brotherly love and is a form of unconditional love. A psychotherapist in Toronto uses this model to understand how love is felt in a relationship.
If you feel that your relationship is not working, relationship counselling can help you understand your partner better. Relationship therapists offer in-person or online therapy, and can help you determine your partner’s love language. Each of us expresses love differently. Understanding your partner’s love language can help you communicate with your partner in the way that works best.