Let's talk about love in all it's different forms!
I was at my friend, Seun’s place yesterday. You know he has a new baby sister, Gbemi?
How is the family doing?
They’re doing really well, but Seun was surprised that Gbemi could really express love. He thought love meant, you know, boy meets girl, boy likes girl…
He’s thinking about romantic love! I hope you told him that love actually means having deep and warm feelings about oneself and others. And that you can feel it in a lot of different ways.
Of course I did! I also told him about how love involves happiness and responsibility.
Family love
Romantic love
The way we love our parents and brothers and sisters is expressed differently from what we feel for our friends and other people.
Love could be: - Self love, or love for oneself. - Friendship love, or love for friends. - Filial love, or love for parents and relations. - Romantic love, love expressed by spouses and dating partners. - Complete love, or love which involves commitment, intimacy and passion. - Infatuation love, or love at first sight, which is very passionate but dies quickly.
There are other feelings that look like love but do not fall into any of the categories I mentioned.
Feelings like possessiveness, jealousy, and a need to control.
So how do you tell the positive types of love from the negative?
Positive love involves: • Commitment, Care, Companionship...
Trust, Honesty, Tolerance...
Respect, Forgiveness, Acceptance...
• Understanding, Responsibility, Reliability, Confidence
What a long list! Can you really find all those qualities in one relationship? And how do I make sure that I’m using all of them?
All you need do is to express some positive behaviours:
Behaviours that enhance loving relationships: • Mutual respect • Good communication • Thoughtfulness • Sharing • Making future plans together • Working towards mutual goals • Tolerance • Remembering important dates e.g. birthdays
You’re talking about being compassionate, too!
Compassion and love are strongly connected, but they aren’t the same thing. But you’re right; all the behaviours that show love also show compassion.
To be compassionate is to sympathize with someone in trouble. People who volunteer for social services and those that care for people who need extra help are said to be compassionate.
Compassion is bigger than love! A compassionate person cares about all of the people around them, whether they know them personally or not.
So you can show love for all your family and friends, and compassion for everyone else. Wow, what would happen if everyone did that all the time?
The world would be a lot easier to live in, I think. So do you know some things you can do to show compassion?
- Volunteer for some kind of social work, like helping at a motherless babies home or a caring for a person living with HIV - Give money or food to the beggars you see on the street - Go out of your way to be nice to a schoolmate you see having a bad day - Help your little sisters and brothers with their schoolwork or their household chores.
So, remember to show love and not hate. See you next time.
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