Different Kinds of Love


When most people think of love, they picture the romantic kind – that feeling of being in awe and giddy with your best friend or your significant other. But love is so much more than that, and there are many different kinds of it. You can feel love for a pet, a family member, your home, or a cause. You can even love yourself, and that’s often a complicated emotion.

For centuries, scientists and philosophers have pondered what causes the heart to go pitter-patter when you’re around someone you like. Now, we know that it has to do with a jumble of chemicals in the brain, especially adrenaline and dopamine. This is why your cheeks turn flush and your palms sweat when you’re attracted to someone for the first time. Once you reach the stage of attachment, these hormones are replaced with oxytocin, or the ‘cuddle’ hormone, and that’s when you’re likely to make commitments and plans for a future together. This type of love is far more challenging – and often more rewarding. It’s the kind of love that involves early morning doctor’s visits and cleaning up bodily fluids, and it can be hard to explain to others. But it’s also the type of love that brings real happiness.

Besides human love, there are also animal loves, such as the adoration of pets and the affection shown by children toward their favorite toys. This love can be more difficult to define than the feelings of romantic and empathetic love, but it’s still real. In fact, a 2019 study found that animals in close pair bonds show changes to their immune systems similar to those of humans who fall in love.

Of course, you can love something for a short period of time and then suddenly not feel the same way about it at all, which is why some people say that true love is a rollercoaster. You’ll have days or weeks when you can’t stop thinking about someone, and then other times when you look at them and your heart feels like it’s going to burst. But you must remember that this is normal, and that it will pass.

If your writing assignment requires you to write about romance, then it’s probably a good idea to stick with the classics (or a variation on them). But don’t be afraid to branch out and try to capture another kind of love in your story. Your readers will appreciate it, and you might end up getting more attention than you would with a simple “I love you” narrative.