How to Define Love

Опубликовал Admin
26-10-2020, 00:40
You likely hear references to love every day, but defining what it means can be difficult. Love means different things to different people, and you can experience different types of love depending on the situation. If you want to define love for yourself, start by identifying the types of love, such as romantic love and love between friends. Then, decide what love means you to you. Once you understand love, you’ll be able to tell when you’re in love with someone.

Identifying Types of Love

  1. Feel the rush of romantic love when you meet a potential partner. This type of love makes you feel like you have butterflies in your stomach. Consider if you feel a deep desire for the other person and a connection that you don’t have with someone else. Notice if you feel a physical attraction to them, along with a need to be near them. This could be romantic love.
    • This is typically what you mean when you say, “I’m in love with you.”
  2. Experience friendship love as trust, companionship, and goodwill. You likely have special feelings for your friends that can also be called love. Notice if you feel comfortable and happy when you’re around your friends. Consider if you feel like you can trust them with all of your secrets and if you want the best for them. These are signs that you love your friends.
    • This type of love is usually what you mean when you say, “I love you, but I’m not in love with you.” You can genuinely care about another person and want them to have the best in life without feeling romantic love toward them.
    • You may feel both romantic love and friendship love towards someone. You may experience this if you feel like your partner is also your best friend.
  3. Recognize familial love as a bond between family members. Families often have a strong bond that's built on a mutual love for each other. Look for a special connection between you and your closest loved ones, as well as a desire to spend time with them. You may also feel an obligation to protect or take care of them. This is familial love.
    • Familial love isn’t just for people who are blood relatives. Your family are the people who are always there for you and who have a great influence on your life.
  4. Feel the comfort and happiness that come from loving a pet. Your pet may feel like a family member to you, but the love you feel for your pet is slightly different. You likely feel content and relaxed when you're around them, and it's hard to feel alone when you have such a loving companion! The bond between an owner and their pet is often strong and the source of a lot of joy for both of them. If you feel this way about your furry friend, you'll know you love your pet.
    • Your love for your pet can actually make you feel less stressed.
  5. Notice the fondness you feel when you express love for your interests. You likely say things like “I love ice cream” or “I love this song” every day. Understand that you can feel affection or enjoyment from your interests that can be a form of love. However, this type of love isn’t the same as the love you feel for the special people in your life.
    • This type of love is very fleeting because your interests can change often.

Deciding What Love Means to You

  1. Write down what you hope to get from a romantic partner. Think about your ideal relationship and the traits you hope your partner will have. Then, create a description of your ideal partner. This can help you understand what you expect from love so you know what it means to you.
    • For example, you might decide that you want a partner that compliments you every day, remembers important events in your life, enjoys cuddling on the couch, and is creative.
    • It’s unlikely that you’ll find your ideal partner because no one is perfect. However, this exercise can help you figure out what you’re looking for.
  2. Decide on the type of relationship you want with friends and family. Think about what you appreciate about your family and friends, as well as how you enjoy spending time with them. Then, consider the things you feel are lacking to figure out if you want your relationship to change.Talk to your family and friends about how you want your relationship with them to be so that you're both on the same page.
    • For instance, you may want to have a close relationship with your sibling where you can share anything with each other. Let your sibling know that you feel that way.
    • Similarly, you might think that close friends should share their stuff and avoid dating each other's exes out of respect. Talk to your friends to see if you can take your relationship to this level.
  3. Prioritize the people you love to maintain your relationships. Check in with the people you love on a daily or weekly basis, depending on your relationship. Additionally, spend time with them regularly, and talk about your life with them. This will help you have solid relationships with your family, friends, and partner.
    • For instance, make a habit of sending texts or memes to the people you love every day.
    • Similarly, make dates to spend time with those you love, such as going to coffee with a friend, shopping with your mom, or seeing a movie with your partner.
  4. Look for ways to express your love. Sharing how you feel can help you better understand your ideas about love. Explore your feelings and communicate them to the people you care about. Here are some ways you can express feelings of love:
    • Tell your friends and family members how you feel.
    • Write a love poem about someone.
    • Write a love song.
    • Make small gifts for the people you love.
    • Send your friends memes to express your love for them.
    • Write a love letter.
  5. Make the choice to have romantic love for someone. You might think of love as just a feeling, but it’s also a choice you make. When you decide to love someone, you choose to commit to them every day. When you’re ready to be in love, make the choice to go forward with a relationship.
    • On the other hand, you can also make the choice not to love someone. You might do this if the relationship isn’t right for you or if they don’t treat you well. It may take time for your feelings to go away, but it will happen in time.
  6. Identify your personal love language. Your love language is how you want to be loved, as well as how you express love. Consider what makes you feel loved and how you tend to express the love you feel for someone. Then, pick which of the 5 love languages best fits your needs:
    • Words of affirmation - You want your partner to tell you they love you.
    • Physical touch - You desire physical intimacy, like cuddling, holding hands, and kissing.
    • Acts of service - You experience love as favors for each other.
    • Gifts - You feel loved when your partner gives you things.
    • Quality time - You want your partner to spend time with you.

Recognizing When You’re In Love

  1. Notice if you feel a longing for someone. If you’re in love with someone, you’ll likely long for them whenever they’re away from you. You may even miss them when they’re only away for a short time. Look for feelings of wanting to be with them every moment. This could be a sign you’re in love.
    • For example, you might catch yourself thinking, “I miss him,” even though he just left.
    • Similarly, you might find yourself cuddling a pillow and imagining it’s the person you love.
  2. Consider if you feel happier or more content when that person is around. When you’re in love, you’ll enjoy being around the other person. You’ll likely notice that everything seems better when they’re around. Notice if you feel like life is better when you’re with the person you love. This could mean you’re in love with them.
    • You might also feel like this when you’re around a friend or relative. However, the feelings will be deeper when you’re in love.
  3. Watch for feelings of passion when you think about the person. Passion could be a desire for intimacy or an eagerness to be near them. Consider if you feel the urge to kiss the person, hold their hand, or touch them in an intimate way. This might be a sign that you’re in love with them.
    • Passion can also be a sign of lust. To make sure you’re feeling love, consider if you’re also showing other signs of love, like feeling happier around them.
  4. Make sure you feel like you can totally trust them. Be able to rely on the person, and feel safe with them. They should listen to and support you when you share things with them. Additionally, trust that they aren't lying to you and that they can make decisions that are good for your relationship, like not cheating.
    • You and your partner should both be giving and receiving trust. That means you should be reliable for them and should listen to and support them. Similarly, they need to trust you to make the right decisions.
    • If you have any hesitations about trusting the person, you may not be ready for a relationship with them. You may still feel love for them, but you aren't ready to be totally in love with them. This is okay! Listen to your intuition.
  5. Decide if you feel emotionally committed to the person. Being ready to commit to someone is the ultimate sign of being in love. It means you’re feeling a deep emotional connection with them in addition to passion and longing. Notice if you’re ready for a real relationship with the person, which might mean you’re in love with them.
    • If you’re feeling committed to the person, you’ll likely see a future with them. Additionally, you’ll be less interested thinking about other people in a romantic way.
  6. Pursue your love only if the feeling is mutual. You may fall in love with someone who doesn't feel the same way. This can be very disappointing and hurtful, but it's best to let yourself move on. Everyone has a right to their feelings, so don't try to make them love you. Instead, get over them by sharing your feelings, grieving the loss of your fantasy, and moving on with your life.
    • Don't wait for someone to change their mind and start loving you. Remember, a better match for you may be out there waiting for you to find them.
    • If you continue pursuing a person who doesn't return your feelings, you're likely becoming obsessed with them. This is harmful to both you and them. Respect their choices and search for love with someone else.


  • Loving someone does not mean only caring for the other person. It means balancing your own happiness with theirs in a way that makes both of your lives better.
  • People are capable of falling in and out of love, so your feelings can change. Similarly, your partner may decide they’ve fallen out of love.


  • If the person you love abuses you, talk to someone you trust and take steps to leave the relationship. Abuse is never okay.
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