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Three Types of Partner Love

heartsRecently, I realized I’m experiencing a whole new kind of love that is gentle and subtle. I thought about it more and wondered about how it compares to other types of love that a person can experience (and that I’ve experienced). Some of it seemed more like desire than love. Love for a potential partner has that magnetic quality no matter how strong or subtle. It seems worth reviewing here and sharing with you.

Animal Attraction (Passionate Love)

This is clearly the love that comes from some biological fire that stirs the body into excitement. It feels rooted in passionate desires and an odd hunger to fulfill oneself so immediately perhaps without caution or pause. Some relationships thrive on this kind of attraction and two people can perhaps make things work based on a firm foundation of passion. However, others may find that this experience steers them away from something more real or more fulfilling.

Thunderbolt Strike (Romantic Love)

This love is based on a strong and sudden heartfelt attraction. It’s similar to animal attraction but stirs inspiration, creativity, longing and bonding. There’s sometimes more fun in experiencing the throb of romance¬†than actual fulfillment. The drama of wooing or playing coy can intensify the experience and push both people into stronger heart-felt feelings. It’s the basis for so many movies and plays that remind us of that one time we’ll never forget. Some people are lucky enough to feel this with someone and keep that someone around for a lifetime.

Seashore Comfort (Serene Love)

This third form of love also appears in stories when friends begin to notice their feelings for one another and slowly confront their developing feelings. This is the love I felt most recently. It was realizing that while I enjoyed his company, I missed him when he was gone. While we had good conversation together, I could disagree with him without ever feeling threatened or hurt. While every day seemed no more remarkable than the last, I noticed a subtle difference between when he was around and when he was away. The bond that formed crept up on me over time without warning or fireworks that tend to come with the other forms of love. Some people may need this slow and subtle approach to forming a relationship in order to feel truly comfortable with love.

A Range of Love

I’ve felt all three forms of love now, and I enjoy all three for what they are. At this time in life and for where I am in my journey, I’m grateful for having the more subtle and serene love that simply appears out of seemingly thin air. Maybe there aren’t really any kinds of love though. Maybe these are mere points on a continuum of love with one end being obvious and intense while the other is more covert and subtle. Maybe we all experience love somewhere along that continuum and our perfect partner is the one whose love makes us only want more.

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