Thoughts on Different Kinds of Love

I was talking to a friend the other day and she said that she wished there was more love in the world. Of course I asked her why, and she told me that she believes the world would be a nicer place if people loved more. I disagreed. I think love is actually all around us. However, it isn’t all the warm and fuzzy kind that everyone is always looking for.There is the love that parents have for their children. There is the love that siblings have for each other, and that keeps friends together for years and years. The love that couples have that when we’re sitting at home alone on Valentine’s Day we wish so badly we had. And the list goes on and on. There are all kinds of love out there, and not all of it does us good.

There is the love some people have that blinds them from seeing that the relationship they are in is toxic. They are too scared or afraid to move on, to set themselves free. They stay, thinking that this love is the real thing, that this the best they will ever do, that everyone is like that. The best they can hope for is that the relationship ends. Sometimes it ends really badly. If you ask any of these people, they are going to tell you that they’re in love. They’ll tell you that love hurts, that it means loyalty and caring, and all of these other things that they give but don’t receive for themselves. I don’t think that we need any more of that kind of love in the world, do you?

There are people who love money. I can see the allure, the mistaken belief that having lots of money is sort of like having a genie. Enough money can earn you respect and admiration. You can buy things that you believe will make you happy. Maybe it will even help you meet someone who will love you. But the question will be in the back of your mind the whole time—how much money is enough? Once you get some of the things you want, will you stop to appreciate them, or will you want more? Will your love of money create good any in the world? If not, then I don’t wish for more of that in the world. There are enough greedy people out there.

Then there are people who love substances. This love is so all-consuming that everything in their life is second to their addiction. Family, friends, their jobs. They lie and steal because nothing else matters to them. They bury their real feelings with the thing that they mistakenly believe will make everything better. It never does, at least not in a way that lasts. They damage everyone around them with their selfishness. That’s not something we need any more of, either.

I think there are all kinds of love. Some of them improve people, keep them going, lift them up when they need it, get them through the tough times. Others bind people, hold them down, trap them in situations that create more damage as time goes on. It’s like two sides of a coin—there has to be a counterpoint so that people know what is real and when to hold on to something. Of course, I wish that there are more kindness and happiness in the world but I’d be wary about asking for more love.