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"Love" in Loving Relationships


Kindness, generosity, respect, honesty, loyalty, caring, acceptance, empathy, comfort are just some of the common characteristics of love; and when you live your life following those attributes, you are more likely to experience emotions such as confidence, peace, happiness, joy and gratitude.

When it comes to relationships, there are different kinds of loving relationships; and the word "love" can have different connotations. Wikipedia lists Greek words for love. (See also: The Four Loves). This page attempts to provide both some depth as well as clarity on the different types of love, their attributes, and which attributes generally seem to be common to all types of love.

See also Love, Intimate Relationships and Important Relationship Skills.

"Being in love" or "falling in love"

The differences between "being in love" verses "loving" someone (or having a "loving relationship" with someone) can be confusing.

In an interview with John Bradshaw, (JohnBradshaw.com) he said:

"The problem with love is that there are so many words for it. You have agape, Eros, caritas."

John goes on to say:

"Eros is 'in love.' It's dominated by the physical, when testosterone is off the charts for both people. That's what happens when you fall in love. The dopamine and norepinephrine kick in and suddenly you.re higher than you.ve ever been." "Research shows the 'in love' state lasts between 12 and 19 months."

"Being in love" or "falling in love" are the feelings (both physical and emotional) that typically happen early in the relationship,, and they may include characteristics such as infatuation, physical attraction and maybe even the feeling like the person is "the greatest person in the world."

The Eros (erotic bond) is a biochemical reaction and attraction. It is a biological love. There is a difference between Infatuation vs. Love 

"Love" or a "Loving Relationship"

We may love our spouse, our families, our close friends and so forth, without being "in love" with them. In fact, we could choose to love everyone, but not like some of their behaviors or actions. Loving someone is a choice.

And, if you look back again at Greek words for love (wiki), there are different Greek love words which, among other attributes, provide different "levels of commitment" within a loving relationship.

  • Agape (wiki) or unconditional "God" love, and is "the highest form of love, charity (wiki)". Patient, kind, not rude, not selfish, does not get offended, not vengeful, loves justice (wants good to win), forgives, trusts, hopes, longsuffering, and unconditional, are example attributes.
  • Philia (wiki) or friend bond, means "affectionate regard, friendship," usually "between equals." Loyalty to friends ("brotherly love"), family, community young lovers or lifelong friends can be other examples of a Philia love relationship. Attributes may include virtue, equality, and familiarity.
  • Storge (wiki) or empathy bond, means "love, affection" and "especially of parents and children." It has attributes of "natural empathy", such as the ability to be "loving" to a tyrant.


You can see that there are many attributes in different types of love, yet in all of these 3 types of "loving relationships", we can see some common attributes that might apply to all of them.

In loving relationships, some common attributes may include:

kindness, generosity, respect, honesty, loyalty, caring, acceptance, empathy and comfort.

I invite you to consider asking yourself:
What kind of loving relationships do you have and want in your life,
and what current and desired love attributes are important to you?

The answers can be found if you listen to your heart.

Thank YOU for reading this!

By David M

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This page updated 01/07/23 11:50 AM