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Is It Really Love or Something Else?

Someone recently said to me that all love is the same.  Do you agree?  I can think of several people in my life who I feel I love in very different ways.  One feels more like family, one more romantic, one not like either of the other two. When I look back through my life, did I really love the same at 16 or 17 as I do now?  It sure didn’t feel the same!

As this conversation continued, I began to agree that there is only one love.  Love is love.  However, we don’t always do the best job of identifying and separating all the other feelings that can bundle up with that love, because it’s easier to lump it together and call it love.  In the prior example, loving someone romantically tends to involve a degree of passion, endearment, loyalty, etc.  When we love someone like family, there may be loyalty as well, but maybe it is deeper, and then maybe there’s nurturing, protecting, and familiarity or comfort also present.

Can you remember a past relationship you called “love” that seemed like something else as it continued?  In my past, I definitely did that and then there was confusion and hurt.  All this makes me wonder how we got so cloudy about our own feelings.

I attended a workshop once in which they asked us how we felt in that moment, and we were given a huge poster listing various feelings, each with a sketch of a face next to it showing how that may look.  There must have been dozens of faces on that poster.  Dozens!  Typically, we use about four or five in our conversation, saying we are happy, sad, mad, lonely, etc.  It’s kind of difficult to learn how to understand and express our feelings in relationships when we don’t even talk about half the feelings we have!

I love a lot of people in different ways, and it’s interesting to sit and really think about all the other feelings that are bundled up with that love.  The idea of one soul mate as the only person we would love romantically in our lifetime is really hard for me to imagine.  Look at all the other love I’d miss along the way!  Maybe they aren’t really referring to just love when they say that.  What do you think?


Sheryl Sitts

Founder & Chief Inspirational Officer, Journey of Possibilities

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