Love – blessing and curse. Like so many parts of life it can be wonderful and terrible. Love is all around, as some song said, but how much love is in your life? Can you have too much love? Here are the 10 types of modern love – some we need, some we want, some we should avoid – just like some types of lovers. Plus some reading, viewing and listening suggestions for each area. Enjoy.
Romantic Love We all want it, we all believe in it, but is it possible? It certainly isn’t sustainable. But romantic novels and films want us to believe it can happen and we all need some hope to keep us going. The beauty of Romantic love is that its not about age, its about chemistry and magic. Watch (and read): Bridget Jones, Romeo and Juliet, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, An Officer and a Gentleman
True Love This is the prize, love that is real, surmounts all obstacles and lasts forever. It is rare, it is worth pursuing, but most of us will not find it. Or if we do, we’ll probably not recognise it and throw it away. Watch (and read): The Princess Bride, Wuthering Heights, The English Patient, The Notebook. Listen to: Video Games by Lana Del Ray, Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers, I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston version.
Sexual Love – Lust and passion, what we do best when we’re young and fit and hot, when we burn for the other and we can’t function without them. This is completely physical and a bit chemical. This is unsustainable but repeatable. If you don’t have some passion, some real heat in your life, you have missed out. But the loss of sexual passion, the death of the relationship burns too – you never forget. Watch: Body Heat, 9 ½ weeks, Wild Orchid. Listen to: I’m on Fire, Bruce Springsteen
Unrequited Love – Infatuation by any other name. This happens all too often and not just when we are young and in love with movie stars, rock stars, teachers and the boy on the bus. This is about yearning, about suffering, about watching, looking and not touching. It’s something we must endure and hopefully at the right time we will find the other, better sorts of love. But it can bite at any age and the older you get, the more dangerous it can be – stalking…? Watch: The Great Gatsby, Fatal Attraction. Listen to: What a Fool Believes by the Doobies, Two Outta Three Ain’t Bad by Meatloaf, Damn, I Wish I was Your Lover by Sophie B Hawkings
Puppy Love – People’s love for their animals is as deeply felt, and sometime more, than for humans. Man’s best friend is his dog, after all. This is devoted love, togetherness, companionship, a quiet relationship that does you no end of good. A dog makes you exercise, keeps you moving and healthy. Pets around the house are good for children in learning how to care for another and we know of the health benefits to elderly people, especially those on their own. Unlike Bridget Jones, I’d be happy to be eaten by my German Shepherd when I’m dead. Some people’s devotion to their animal is legendary – Alexander the Great named a city for his horse Bucephalus. Where would a cowboy be without his horse? Watch: Turner and Hooch, Lassie, Flipper, Skippy, Eight Below (but not on your own, you will cry). Listen to: Love Me, Love My Dog by Lobo.
Mother Love – Is this the highest love? What wouldn’t a parent do for their child? It is the most powerful love of all. Without it many of us wouldn’t be the people we are. Some of the over-achievers of the planet are so because they lost their mothers too early in life and it deeply affected them. When you have your own children you appreciate your own parents so much more – dads too. Watch: Sophie’s Choice (read it first), Not Without my Daughter, Terms of Endearment, The Road, Finding Nemo, Big Fish, Star Wars
Tortured Love – This the big one, where the heart-ache owns the territory, where taboos lurk and death and betrayal await. Think love triangles, affairs, inappropriate partners, compounded by age, gender, religion, etc. Nothing good can come from tortured love. We all suffer for love but some suffer more than others. Literature and music are littered with tortured lovers. Read: Lolita, God of Small Things, Anthony & Cleopatra, Madame Bovary, Death in Venice and Brokeback Mountain (you must watch it too). Listen to: Angie by the Rolling Stones, The River by Bruce Springsteen, No Secrets by Carly Simon, Are You Old Enough? By Dragon, Reckless by Australian Crawl.
Platonic love – We need our friends and indeed we love them as much as anyone else in out life. They are there for us, love us no matter what, almost in spite of ourselves at times. Sibling relationships when they are working well fall here. Sometimes friendship turns into something more: true and lasting love. If you’re really lucky it works the other way too and your lover becomes your friend and then you really have it made. Friendship is often the poor cousin to true and romantic love, but it is just as important to a rich and meaningful life. Friendships can and do last your whole life. Watch: Troy (Achilles & Patroculus, Hector & Paris too), Thelma & Louise, Beaches. Listen to: Wind Beneath My Wings.
Inanimate Love – For objects including your car, your computer, your boat, etc. Sometimes it’s easier to connect to something inanimate. Is that a problem? Provided you have normal love as well, who cares? Inanimate love is about the non-living things in your life that you rely on, that you may imbue with human characteristics – also known as personification. Boats have names and many of us give our cars names too. How much time do you devote to your car or computer – is it the most important thing in your life? As with all things, it’s a fine line between okay and obsession. Watch: Knight Rider, Cars, The Love Bug, Short Circuit. Listen to: Cars, by Gary Numan, Driving in My Car by Madness.
Self Love – Is this the highest and truest form of love?? It’s not about narcissism or vanity but self respect. You must have some regard for yourself if you are to connect to others sincerely and meaningfully. You can’t expect others to have respect for you if you don’t have any for yourself. How can someone love you if you don’t love yourself? You’ll end up despising them for loving you because you think they can only be a fool if they love you. This is about knowing yourself, your worth and your faults and accepting yourself anyway. Just as you would someone else. Listen to: The Greatest Love of All, Whitney Houston or George Benson
Love is about obsession, passion, losing yourself in the feeling, in the intensity of the moment or the person/object. A life without love, be it tortured or unrequited, is a life not worth living. It is better to have loved, to believe in love, to aspire to love, than to live a half life ignoring or denying its existence. The world turns more on love than hate – more things happen in the name of love than in the name of war. It’s time we remembered that and became better people more concerned with love than hate or money.