It is said that love is of different types: Love for a partner, love for a parent, love for a child, love for the Universe, love for ourselves. Every kind of love is unique, and all of them are of a different breed that cannot be compared to another kind of love because, at the end of the day, all of them are not the same. Isn't love just love?
The concept of love, as we know it today, is a mere bastardization created and propagated by the media and the entertainment industries. Because of such wrongful promotion and bastardization, the idea of love in the eyes of the most vulnerable minds has become synonimous of the feeling of butterflies in the stomach, sex, and dependence to a partner. Love has been degraded to a purely physical emotion that people crave to satisfy a need.
Of course, this is where the differentiation of types of love comes into play, as for instance, the love for a child is different in that neither sex nor the butterflies in the stomach are features that appear -although dependence traits still persist-. Likewise, the love for a parent, or for a relative, cannot be the same type of love as the love for a child or for a partner because of unique contexts for each.
Our ancient sages tought us that love is only of a single kind: love is love. As stated by the words of our ancient sages, "love thy neighbour as you love thyself". This well known versicle, also commonly known as 'The Golden Rule', in fact suggests that the love we have for another person not only can, but should, be of the same nature as the love we have for our own self. How is this possible?
The only way in which we can understand all types of loves as one is knowing what love is about. It is necessary to understand that love is not a physical need of our Body; as a matter of fact, love is more intimately connected to our other two levels of existence (Mind and Soul). As such, love is a capacity to which only a deep level of consciousness can grant us access: We can only love someone by bonding to them mentally and spiritually.
To love someone, then, is to connect to them in Mind and Soul. By doing that connection, it is possible for us to get closer to them and actually being able to feel them in a spiritual sense. We can feel their pains, their happiness, their frustrations, their pleasures and their desires. Likewise, we are able to understand their feelings and to connect with them in a way that we care about their lives, ideas, feelings and thoughts in the same way that we would care about our own life, ideas, feelings and thoughts. We care about them as we care about us: The very nature of The Golden Rule.
In that regard, loving a life partner is not different than loving a child, or loving a parent, or loving a neighbour, or even loving the Universe. Love is a bond, a connection that allow two separate entities to compliment and support each other, eventually resembling more a single but well reinforced entity aligned towards fulfillment.