What Are the Two Major Forms of Love?

Friendships can be romantic or people may simply enjoy each other as friends.
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While theories abound on exactly how many types of love exist, two main categories are most applicable to those hard-to-figure-out feelings you have for that special someone. Under the general heading of love, you're generally dealing with passionate or companionate love, according to University of Hawaii psychology professor Elaine Hatfield in “Passionate and Companionate Love.” Classifying your own emotions can help you gain a better understanding of your relationship's present and future.

1 Romantic or Friendly

Passionate, or romantic, love involves an intense desire to be close to the other person. If you're experiencing this type of friendship, you likely feel deeply satisfied when in the company of the object of your affection, but filled with longing when the two of you are apart for long. On the other hand, companionate love can encompass the understanding, concern and general affection you have for a good friend or family member. To determine which category describes your own feelings, look deeper than attraction. You can experience physical attraction to a friend without deeper romantic feelings, says Boise State communications professor Heidi Reeder in her Psychology Today article, “Can You 'Love' Your Friend?” If you and the one who has caught your eye both experience passionate love, you could have the foundation of a satisfying romantic relationship.

Jae Kemp has been writing and editing professionally since 2010. In addition to reviewing novels, memoirs and psychology/self-help books for major review services, Kemp has served as a copywriter, commercial and creative editor, and staff article writer.