Other Types of Love
While things like romantic-, family-, friends-, even self-love may make sense for most people, there are other types of love that are not so obvious. Also, if we are to believe that love is an action rather than a feeling – something you do for someone else, an extension of oneself for someone else’s or one’s own spiritual growth – then can the following examples of other types of love truly be considered as love?
Since many people associate these other types with the feeling/word love, we will address them here. This can be considered as something of a gray area, so feel free to agree or disagree.
Here are the other types of love:
Religion plays an important role in many people’s lives. It is something they believe in, something that can give them shelter, comfort and support, and oftentimes people love their god(s). Some even dedicate their entire life to serve their religion – for other people’s and their own well-being.
Note: We will not be discussing religion in general here.
“I love my dog!” Many people love their pets – especially those that show you affection in return, mostly cats and dogs. People who have lost their pet(s), know it can hurt just as much as losing a person close to them. Pets are also easy to love, since they don’t ask much in return – except for food and shelter in most cases. People also love animals in general, especially the people who specialize in helping/working with animals, such as a veterinarian, a farmer, or an animal rights activist.
Mankind has always been in awe when it comes to nature. Some even claim they can’t survive without it, while most people use it to relax, calm themselves, and recuperate. Nature also plays an important part in self-love, since many people, who are on a journey of self-discovery and thus learning about self-love, benefit from nature by learning from it. Some might even say nature is our greatest teacher.
The Oxford dictionary describes art in part as “[…] producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” There are pieces of art – historically paintings and sculpture, but in modern times primarily books, films and music – that literally move people to tears from sheer beauty. A work of art can be the most inspiring thing in the world for people. Something that moves them so deeply and resonates with them, as if it was made just for them. That’s why people love art.
clubs and organizations
Whether people love and would potentially die for their favorite sports club, a political party, or a human rights organization – the love for the aforementioned examples is obvious. They put (a lot of) time, money and energy into what they love (effort) – sometimes even unconditionally. For some people there is nothing more important to them than their beloved club or organization.
People love their car or bike, their jacket or shoes, or maybe just their favorite teacup. Sometimes people love these “things” just for what they are, other times because they associate them with a special person or experience: that ring they love is from their partner, the teacup is from a special vacation trip, and that old jacket used to be their dad's favorite.
Can you think of other types of love that are missing here?
The question that remains is: are we talking about real love here? The love that supports our idea of love being an action rather than a feeling? Of putting effort into doing something for others or ourselves and nurture their or our own spiritual growth?
For the most part you could say yes. Religion, clubs and organizations is where you (can) do something for others and/or yourself. Nature, art, animals, and even inanimate objects can be beneficial for your own spiritual growth (although you could make the same argument for those types being beneficial to other people as well, especially when it comes to creating art).
When it comes to inanimate objects – the car, bike, jacket or teacup – you have to differentiate between loving them and being attached to them. Sometimes we just grow attached to things and have a hard time letting them go or even get sad when they are no longer with us (which is just natural, since they have become a (small) part of us).
But the same could be said about people, and attaching ourselves to certain ones, as well.