Good Essay About Love And Its Different Types
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The question of love is one that has been discussed at length throughout history. There are many reasons why love is so interesting from a sociological perspective. The word represents various meanings, ranging from sexual relationships to family relationships to love for places. The word has existed over history traversing all spheres from social to religious and to cultural aspects. The power of love is responsible for some of the most important events to have occurred in recent history. Indeed, love has been said to make the world go round. Human beings will go to extraordinary lengths for this emotion. Hence, this makes it an attractive topic for sociologists. It is imperative to understand its construction and how it has come about to exist, even inspiring art forms such as films and books. This is important in order to give us guidance as to where the immense power it wields stems from.
The question of the real definition of love is one that has attracted a lot of interest and divided opinions for a long time. Love is of great interest to sociologists since it is a key part of society, and it significantly influences our lives, our culture, and our society. It has proved difficult to define and truly grasp the concept of what love really is since and how to know when you are in love. To find one true definition is incredibly difficult since for most people, the exasperating response is that “you just know” when you are in love (Owens 265-272). This frustration reflects in the sociological understanding of this concept since there is no uniform definition of love in sociology. However, various competing but ultimately complementary explanations exist. These postulations, from different schools of thought attempt to identify and describe the emotional, as well as the behavioral conditions necessary for this love to exist. Many different authors have classified love into various forms. A good way to analyze and understand the process of falling in love is through films. One of the greatest films about falling in love is the 1989 movie, Say Anything. However, sometimes love, or what was thought of as love ends. One film that encapsulates the reasons why couples may cease to be in a relationship is the 2006 film, The Break-Up. This paper delves into the complex affair of love and its types while illustrating the creation and breaking down of relationships through the films Say Anything and The Break-Up.
Despite the fact that divisions exist between scholars on how to define love, the study of love is generally broadly divisible into two schools of thought. The first one is that which posits that love must contain certain characteristics in order to be considered genuine, and the second, which postures that love is informed by the public but is experienced in private, that is, it is what the person who is experiencing it believes it to be (Moseley 34).
However, there exists a difference between the sensation of falling in love state and the feeling after this original heady feeling has gone away. It is generally not possible for couples to continue with the same intensity that they had when starting out. As relationships progress, love tends to grow more compassionate as opposed to being intensely passionate when in its early stages.
Love has been classified into various types. One of the most famous classifications of love is that posited by Lee (1976), which identified the existence of six basic types of love. These basic types have two divisions, which are primary and secondary styles. These primary and secondary styles show the differing beliefs and personal preferences that describe love.
The first style of love under this classification is Eros, and this refers to romantic love (Lee 45). This kind of love is passionate in nature as well as very intense. In this type of love, lovers have a desire to know everything about each other and to share everything with their loved ones. To them, the loved one is an ideal human being who is considered perfect in all aspects. Criticism from the lover, this evokes feelings of deep hurt and intense pain. The erotic lover reacts to separation with agony and feelings of despair (Lee 45).
The second category of love is ludus or ludic love (Lee 55). The interest of ludic type lovers derives from the conquest possible during the chase of a potential partner. To a ludus lover, love is a game of strategy.
Ludics approach to love is very self-oriented, and they keep dependency and commitment at a minimum. Ludics usually have more than one partner at a time, and they rarely ever disclose their true thoughts or their feelings towards their partners. This is especially so if they feel that they can derive some advantage or power over their partner.
Ludics usually want to engage in sexual relations, very frequently, and they indulge in it for pleasure. Their act indifferent whenever criticized by their partner and they react to a breakup through an immediate replacement.
The third type of love is storge or storgic love, which is love borne out of friendship or arising from companionship (Lee 60). This type of love is usually geared towards comfort and closeness, in emotional terms within the relationship. This love develops gradually, and it stems from a mutual rapport and understanding or concern for each other.
In addition, this relationship of this type is not overly physical, and passion is not paramount to its existence, nor is a high level of excitement. Criticism from a partner results in a compromise, and there is an emphasis towards problem-solving in a constructive form. In this form of love, a separation results in a feeling of emptiness and loss.
The next category of love is mania or manic love and in this type of love, there is no reasoning involved (Lee 67). The love is love for the sake of it. Manic lovers attach a strong valuation to love so much that they become obsessed with it. A manic lover does not allow the relationship to have a natural growth and instead, he or she attempts to force the partner to commit to the love.
Manic lovers tend to be possessive, jealous, and very irrational. They require constant validation and reassurance from their partners. This type of lover reacts to criticism from their partner by adopting a defensive approach characterized by hypersensitivity, which may degenerate into violence at times. Manics react to separation by panicking instantly.
The next type of love is agape, and this love is rather rare in romantic relationships (Lee 78). This love is kind and unselfish. An agapic lover derives more from giving than receiving in a relationship. This type of love is viewed as being an ideal, but it is rarely present. An agapic lover is forgiving and loyal while also being patient and understanding.
This type of partner is willing to make personal sacrifices for the benefit of the partner. The agapic partner reacts to criticism from the partner by expressing a commitment to change or to compromise. Their reaction to separation is one of a feeling of loss as well as emptiness.
The final type of love under this classification is pragma (Lee 86). Pragmatic lovers are very practical, and they emphasize on what the potential partner will bring to the relationship. This leads to them being seen as self-oriented. These lovers usually focus on making the best deal for the future. They appear to be very logical and are realistic. Pragmatic lovers react to criticism from their partner by becoming sensitive and being highly analytical.
However, another concept of love, the humanistic concept is an alternative or a substitute for the standard treatment of love. One of the proponents of this approach, Abraham Maslow, sees love within a humanistic program Love is oriented towards the creation of a Good person within a Good society (Moseley 47). This conception of love has its roots in the concept that love is the basis of good. Thus, love is construed to be a condition of self-actualization.
Love for oneself and love for others are the basis for a love relationship. Thus, this approach sees love as constantly changing relationship aimed towards creating some mutual growth. An individual’s acts are thus not meant to be selfish, but also to have some benefit to society.
Thus, the personal and group interests are the same and hence love provides an adaptability at all three levels that include the individual, the group, and the social-cultural level. Hence, love may represent the potential for human beings to cooperate and communicate (Moseley 48). Hence, in order for human beings to be able to actualize this potential, new levels of interpersonal relationships must keep being developed. This evolution, and hence love, is a continuous process.
This is evidence of the ability of love to transcend the boundaries of societal construction. Ideally, the two should have nothing to do with each other and Diane should not even contemplate dating Lloyd. Instead, we see love going beyond the perceptions of society in order to thrive.
One of the characteristics of love, according to Maslow is that it aims to create mutual benefit. This mutual benefit is evident at the point where Lloyd first wins Diane over. This happens in a parking lot when he warns her not to step near some broken glass (Crowe).
This shows how he is looking out for her because her good health is mutually beneficial to them. It is also evident in the way he stands by her and supports her when her father goes to jail on tax evasion charges.
Say Anything also clearly demonstrates the feelings experienced when people are falling in love. We see the initial attraction, which is important in the beginning of a love affair. This initial attraction comes out clearly, when Diane is questioned as to her reason for attending the all-night party with Lloyd. She answers that he was the only boy that made her laugh (Crowe).
This shows that she was attracted to him from the start. The way the two also have a lot of fun together, and the passion between them is evidence of new love. This passion when people are newly in love is evident throughout the film.
The film Say Anything is also a demonstration of Eros type of love. This love, also known as romantic love is passionate and intense in nature.
This is evident in the relationship between Diane and Lloyd. The two are so immersed into each other’s lives and know so much about each other, that Lloyd even escorts his love who has a fear of flying to England (Crowe). When Eros love ends, the lovers experience agony as well as despair, feelings that are all too evident in Lloyd when Diane opines that they should stop dating. Lloyd’s anguish and despair is evident throughout his mourning period in the wilderness.
In the film The Break-Up, we get to see the various reasons why couples may separate despite appearing to be in love. The couple, Gary, and Brooke, separate due to Gary’s perceived immaturity.
The emotional distress that lovers go through upon separation is quite clear in this film. Theirs is a classic example of manic love with the efforts to make each other jealous evidencing this (Reed).
In conclusion, love is a very difficult concept to define. Whereas various scholars have studied it over the years, a truly universal definition is yet to be agreed upon. The classification of the types of love represents the most widely acceptable study into this complex phenomenon. What is not in doubt is that love is a key aspect of society, culture, and life in general. Love is the glue that binds us together. It is that shared feeling we all experience regardless of who we are and what our background is. Love occurs everywhere hence why it has such power over us. Each one of us has experienced it in on or more of its forms. However, in order for it to thrive, it must keep on developing, and it must be kept mutual.
Moseley, Alexander. "Philosophy of love." Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2010).
Lee, John Alan. The Colors of Love. Englewood Cliffs, N.J:: Prentice-Hall, 1976.
Owens, Erica. "The Sociology of Love, Courtship, and Dating." 21st Century Sociology (2007): 265-272.
Say Anything Dir. Cameron Crowe. 1989.
The Break-Up. Dir. Peyton Reed. 2006.
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