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Home » What Love is: 10 Ways to Effectively Practice Love

What Love is: 10 Ways to Effectively Practice Love

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What love is

What love is? Love is a commonly used yet very complex word that can’t be explained by mere words as there are no suitable words to describe or express what love is in reality. It’s a feeling and an act, and as such many confuse it for lust, attraction, and companionship as the case may be. For every human relationship, either friendship, sexual attraction, or intellectual compatibility, affection is the center and driving force that bonds relationships together. The complexity of this word has driven philosophers, poets, and thinkers for centuries to search for the meaning of love. What then is love?. In this article, we shall explore the genuine meaning of love, its origin, how real love feels, the types of love, significant signs of love, the effects of being in love, and practical ways to effectively cultivate love in a relationship.

Let’s embark on the journey of exploring this beautiful word, love!

Genuine Meaning of What Love is?

Genuine affection transcends beyond mere attraction or infatuation. It is an emotion that entails care, compassion, and a deep connection with another person. It is selfless seeking, patience, kind, and nurturing, it doesn’t envy, or boast, neither is it proud, it doesn’t dishonor others, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, it extends beyond physical desire and it never fails. True affection involves acceptance, understanding, and support, even during challenging times. It is a bond that withstands the tests of time and adversity.

Simple Origin of what Love is:

The origin of love is a topic that has intrigued scholars and artists throughout history. Some believe it is a biological response, while others argue it’s a spiritual or metaphysical explanation. Irrespective of its origin, true affection is undoubtedly a fundamental aspect of the human experience, shaping our relationships, actions, and perceptions. Without love and of course the knowledge of affection, there won’t be any genuine relationship that can stand the test of time, as affection is the bedrock and backbone of every human relationship that ever existed.

How Real Love Feels:

Real love is a profound and multi-faceted emotion. It triggers a sense of warmth, security, and happiness. It goes beyond the fleeting excitement of infatuation, providing a deep or deeper sense of connection and understanding. Real affection is characterized by mutual respect, trust, compromise, sacrifice, and a shared commitment to growth and well-being.

Having understood the concept of what genuine affection is all about, its origin, and the feelings of real affection, let’s explore deeper by delving into the types of love to help you have a proper understanding of what love truly is about.

Types of Love:

To understand love, the ancient Greeks, particularly the philosopher Plato, classified affection into several distinct types, each with its unique characteristics and manifestations for a unique purpose in human relationships. Here are the primary types of love according to Greek philosophy:

Eros (Romantic Love):

Characteristics: Eros is often associated with romantic, passionate, and physical love. It is the type of love that is driven by desire, attraction, and intense emotional connection.

Expression: Eros is commonly expressed through physical affection, intimacy, and a longing for closeness with a romantic partner.

Example: The initial stages of a romantic relationship are often driven by Eros, where the focus is on physical attraction and the excitement of being in love.

Agape (Unconditional Love):

Characteristics: Agape signifies or represents selfless and unconditional affection, transcending personal satisfaction and desires. It involves a deep sense of compassion, empathy, and an altruistic concern for the well-being of others.

Expression: Agape affection is expressed through acts of kindness, generosity, and a sincere concern for the happiness and welfare of others.

Example: A parent’s love for their child, characterized by unwavering support, sacrifice, and a deep emotional connection, embodies agape.

Philia (Friendship Love):

Characteristics: Philia refers to affection between friends and is grounded in mutual respect, shared values, desires, aspirations, and companionship. It is a deep, platonic connection that goes beyond romantic or familial bonds.

Expression: Philia is expressed by camaraderie, loyalty, and shared experiences. Friends with philia affection support and encourage each other’s personal growth and well-being.

Example: Lifelong friends who stand by each other through thick and thin, sharing joys and sorrows, exemplify the enduring nature of philia.

Storge (Familial Love):

Characteristics: Storge is the natural affection and bond that exists within the confined of families. It is an affection that develops over time, often based on shared experiences, familiarity, and a sense of duty.

Expression: Storge’s affection is expressed through care, protection, and a commitment to family well-being. It may not be as passionate as Eros but is a steady and enduring form of love.

Example: The affection between siblings, characterized by a sense of shared history and familial responsibility, is an example of storage.

Pragma (Enduring Love):

Characteristics: Pragma is a mature, enduring affection that develops over time in long-term relationships. It involves patience, compromise, and a practical understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Expression: Pragma affection can be expressed through shared goals, mutual respect, and a commitment to ensuring that the relationship works despite challenges.

Example: Pragma affection can be seen in couples who have been together for many years and have weathered various life stages, demonstrating a deep understanding and acceptance of each other, embody pragma.

Ludus (Playful Love):

Characteristics: Ludus is characterized by a playful and flirtatious affection, often displayed in the early stages of a relationship. It involves a lighthearted, teasing dynamic between partners.

Expression: Ludus’s affection finds its expression through humor, teasing, and a sense of playfulness. It contributes to the excitement and enjoyment of being in love.

Example: Couples who engage in playful banter, jokes, and light-hearted teasing demonstrate the presence of ludus in their relationship.

Philautia (Self-Love):

Characteristics: Philautia is the affection of oneself (self-love). It emphasizes a healthy and positive self-regard. It involves self-compassion, self-care, and a balanced appreciation of one’s strengths and flaws.

Expression: Philautia’s affection is expressed through self-care practices, setting healthy boundaries, and developing a positive self-image.

Example: Individuals who prioritize self-care, maintain healthy boundaries, and practice self-compassion exemplify philautia.

Understanding these various types of affection allows us to know more about what love is really about and to be able to appreciate the complexity and richness of human relationships, as they often involve a combination of these different forms of affection.

9 Significant Signs of what Love is:

In the quest to understand affection, here are significant signs to help you know and understand affection when you see one. Read on to discover.

1. Empathy and Understanding:

Genuine affection involves the ability to empathize and understand the feelings and perspectives of your partner.

2. Respect:

A foundation of respect is crucial for a loving relationship, acknowledging the autonomy and individuality of each person.

3. Communication:

Healthy communication is key, allowing for open dialogue and the sharing of thoughts and emotions.

4. Trust:

Trust is the bedrock of any loving relationship, fostering a sense of security and reliability.

5. Support:

True affection involves supporting your partner’s goals, dreams, and personal growth.

6. Vulnerability:

The willingness to be vulnerable and authentic with your partner deepens the connection.

7. Shared Values:

A strong bond is often built on shared values, goals, and beliefs.

8. Forgiveness:

Affection requires the capacity to forgive and move forward, understanding that everyone makes mistakes.

9. Intimacy:

Emotional and physical intimacy contribute to the depth of a loving relationship.

Effects of Experiencing what true Love is:

Affection, a very exciting experience, can make a person better than their initial state if shared with the right person meant for you. However, it can also mar a person in unfortunate circumstances of course with the wrong partner. Below are both the positive and negative effects of being in love.

Positive Effects:

1. Increased Happiness: Who likes to be sad? No one would pick sadness for happiness. Genuine affection often brings joy and a sense of fulfillment if shared with the right choice of partner.

2. Enhanced Well-being: Emotional stress and general well-being can influence a good relationship. Hence, loving relationships can positively impact mental and physical health.

3. Improved Resilience: A loving partner provides a source of support during challenging times.

Negative Effects:

1. Vulnerability to Pain: Affection can make us susceptible to heartbreak and emotional pain.

2. Dependency: Excessive dependence on a partner can lead to issues when faced with challenges.

3. Stress: Relationship conflicts can contribute to stress and emotional turmoil.

10 Ways to Effectively Practice Love:

On the journey of knowing and understanding all about affection is, here are a few ways you can effectively practice affection genuinely:

1. Active Listening: Paying attention and truly listening to your partner fosters a sense of connection.

2. Express Gratitude: Regularly express gratitude for your partner and the positive aspects of your relationship.

3. Quality Time: One of the effective ways to practice affection is to spend meaningful, quality time together to strengthen your bond.

4. Random Acts of Kindness: This can be achieved by surprising your partner with gestures that show your affection and appreciation. For instance, something they love, cherish, or their favorite.

5. Open Communication: Foster honest and open communication to build trust and understanding.

6. Encourage Personal Growth: Another way to effectively practice affection is by encouraging personal growth which can be achieved by supporting your partner’s individual goals and aspirations.

7. Apologize and Forgive: Consciously practice forgiveness and apologize when necessary to maintain a healthy relationship.

8. Celebrate Achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate each other’s successes and milestones.

9. Maintain Intimacy: Nurture emotional and physical intimacy is also another effective way to practice true affection, which in turn helps to keep the connection and bond stronger.

10. Prioritize Self-Love: Develop self-love and care to bring your best self to the relationship.


Love, in its genuine form, is a force that enriches our lives, providing meaning, purpose, a sense of belonging, and connection. It always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. Understanding what love is, its origins, recognizing its signs, and practicing it effectively in our relationships can lead to a fulfilling and sustaining bond that will stand the test of time. As we navigate the complex terrain of affection, let us embrace its transformative power and strive to establish connections that withstand the tests of time. You would never know how lucky you are to spend your life, joy, and ambitions with the one you love (the other of your soul) until you have had to spend your life without them! We hope this piece helps you understand what love is, recognize one when it’s expressed, and practice genuine love for any unique purpose effectively. Do have a wonderful love life!

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