4 Types of Love
Knowing the 4 types of love helps you know where your relationship is and where it could be going. Love is blind, but it doesn’t have to be…
The 4 TYPES OF LOVE follow.
Which type is your relationship built on?
Love Type 1: Infatuation
This type of love is defined as “an intense but short-lived crush,” but it’s more love-based than lust, which is something of a relationship albeit possibly one way. In your search for the real thing, infatuation is a potential trap to fall into. People are often quick to dismiss infatuation, but I see it as love’s skirmishers as you scout for potential love and compatibility.
Unlike lust that appeals to the physical, infatuation can appeal to the metaphysical—that is, he can get inside your head, just not your underwear. Notice it says “head,” not “heart.” If you’re unsure, as with lust, all you can do is wait it out, perhaps explore it, and see what it turns into, if anything.
Infatuation can be a one-way street, though, so tread carefully. You don’t want to unilaterally develop deep feelings and fall into the bitter scenario of unrequited love—or become a notch on some- one’s bedpost.
Love Type 2: In Love This is a hard to quantify type of love. Being in love is almost its own thing—like a force in play that’s out of your control or comprehension. An incurable virus takes hold, and the chemistry between you exists beyond reason. It can be instant chemistry, or it can grow. It’s a spell that can last a long time or pass quickly into the night. It can be the prelude to something greater or simply fade away. Relationships may have waves of this force at different times. Falling in love may birth a relationship; falling out of love may kill a relationship. It depends on the type of love that underpins it.
Perhaps the clue to understanding this state is the verb that in love is married to: falling. This indicates having no control over it, a common hazard regularly spending time with someone, and you say, “It just happened.” When you “fall,” you could land on your feet, you could not fall far, or you could splatter all over.
Love Type 3: Conditional Love This type of love is typically in the realm of established relationships, if your love for a person diminishes when he hurts you, it’s conditional love (although not to discount it as love). Even if someone does take a place in your heart, you need to know exactly what you’re both feeling. Is what you are giving and receiving true love?
Conditional love is still love and will therefore satisfy your need for love, but the hazard is inherent in the name. Imagine a relationship as a reservoir. Over time, a couple fills that reservoir with their love for each other. As long as they continually replenish it, there is no reason why conditional love won’t satisfy.
But, in the travails of real life, hurt is inevitable, and each time one person hurts the other, the reservoir level drops. Worse still and more common is that, with continual hurt, the reservoir and the relationship get frozen over with no way of replenishing them. The couple slips under the ice unfulfilled, their need for love is not met. They may retain a sense of belonging from the companionship and settle for living in a comfort zone. But as life unfolds, especially when children leave the nest, the ice that remains simply shatters. Something within yearns for life’s greater experience.
I fear conditional love is what most relationships are based on. It’s the result of charging into a relationship without being whole, without loving oneself first. Most of us are incomplete in a dysfunctional way, and we often see a partner as a way of completing our- selves, yet only one person can truly complete you—and that’s you. I appreciate you can’t just easily walk away, and walls are hard to tear down, but there is no reason why conditional love can’t transform into something better if both people are on board.
Love Type 4: Unconditional (True) Love
This type of love is like a growing tree, not a reservoir. Any hurt comes like a storm that sways the branches but not the trunk of this tree. What is that trunk? True, unconditional love, deeply rooted into your heart and soul. Even if this tree were violently cut
down, the roots remain forever. True love can make you whole, but you have a greater opportunity to find true love if you are whole first.
The closer I am to explaining true love, the harder it gets, and the more I realize you have to feel it to know it. You can love a person so much that you’d let him go if it meant he would be happier without you, even though it could destroy you. A wall of selfish- ness is breached by involuntary sacrifice, and true love is perfect kindness born of the heart. You must seek someone who loves you for who you really are. It’s such a cliché but so true. Without experiencing love, a person would see it as an empty cliché. You don’t have to “work” at a kind of relationship that’s filled with unconditional love (although you shouldn’t take that fact for granted). Its end can be a beautiful death, an honored and effortless sacrifice.