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How do you know when it's love?

 

Expecting to find both in one relationship, he has been unable to find either.  Kevin and Claire are the victims of their college community's lack of understanding about friendships between men and women.  

How can each couple find their way out of confusion about love?  The purpose of this book is to answer their questions and confusions about love.  

But before their confusion can be cleared up we must understand more clearly what we are talking about.  What we are talking about are the six different loves.

There are at least six different kinds of love, each with its own distinctive relationship.  The six loves are friendship, romance, spiritual, community, marriage and family love.  

Much of the confusion in relationships comes from looking for the wrong love in the wrong place.  Consider the following examples.

We may think we are seeking romance with someone when in fact we may be looking for friendship.   Many people expect a successful romance to make them happy, but if this is true, why do so many people still feel unhappy even in love?

Many religious people feel that they cannot have any friends outside of their religion.  Is this really an accurate understanding of the spiritual forms of love and the love of friendship?  

Some 'pop' forms of therapy tell us that we cannot hope to have a successful marriage until we deal with the problems from our past.  

Yet, it seems that the only people we can find as possible partners all have their own unresolved problems just like us.  Is this a cause for hope or hopelessness in finding a partner?

To answer these and other questions we must first understand what love is and then carefully look at e each of the six different loves.

In this chapter I will offer one possible answer to the question ''How do you know when you are in love?''  This is not a question that only interests philosophers, but a very practical question that each of us faces at one time or another.  

I will offer a definition of love and some principles that I believe all six loves have in common.  The following chapters will discuss the characteristics that make each love distinct from the other loves.

By sorting out the different loves in this way we can begin to answer some of the questions facing Cheryl and Peter, Larry and Beth and Kevin and Claire.  

We will return to each of these couples, as well as look at other people very much like them, in the chapters to follow.  But for now, I will start with a definition of love.

LOVE DEFINED

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