Heartstrings: A Reflection on Love

A personal study on how a connotation of love affects how an individual shows it.


media by Eila Liu

A graphic illustrates the complexity of the different types of love.

by Eila Liu, Reporter

Layer atop layer, orange will bathe the surface of the water, homes, and more in its hue every day as the sun trickles back down. This hue is blinding, yet it illuminates the world.

In a manner, that is how I would describe love. However, love could be cold as well, addicting to the point of exhaustion and sharp to the point of injury. Despite its many juxtapositions, humans yearn for a love unique to them. And despite its many contradictions, humans give affection in different ways to correspond with their definition of love.

Despite claiming love decreases anxiety and stress, Kendra Cherry from Verywell Mind claims love is often accompanied by sensations of anxiety, depression, and sadness. Demonstrating love’s contradicting effects carries in consideration of familial connections or romantic ties. Every person’s definition of love carries the possibility that it is different from those around them. 

“[Love] is a complicated topic, there’s a lot of different types of love. You could love a girlfriend and you could love a dog,” Patrick Spender ‘23 said.

Romantic love, described by Live Science, is something that makes you think “this one is special,” concentrating on the positive traits of another rather than the negatives, feelings of empathy, and more. However, in the same article, it is also described as carrying intrusive thoughts, experiencing emotional instability, and even feeling out of control. 

On the other hand, good familial love personifies itself through security, unconditionality, and predictability, according to an article by Barbara Field on Verywell Mind. Instead of offering various sets of emotions like romantic love, familial love is a specific set of emotions that allows an individual to feel safe and secure. 

In addition, there are two more main types of love finding themselves in the words philia (love for friends) and agape (love for humanity). Between all these four kinds of love, there are many sublevels to which every relationship offers a diverse experience and a myriad of ways to show affection. 

[Love] is a complicated topic, there’s a lot of different types of love. You could love a girlfriend and you could love a dog.

— Patrick Spender '23

On the basis that personal experience of love affects how people showcase affection, it’s safe to say that everyone has different definitions of love and mannerisms to indicate care. Spender comments on how he attempts to demonstrate affection and care for those he loves. 

“I’m just trying to be as nice as possible whenever I can,” Spender said. 

Lillian Fodness ‘23 went into further detail. 

“With my friends, I talk to them [and] let them talk about their interests to me… With my family, it’s more of an unspoken appreciation for each other,” Fodness said. 

Despite stark differences in the types of love, every type (on the basis it’s healthy) carries common signals such as honesty, trust, respect, and open communication according to the official website for the state of New York.

While some types of love may disappear in time, the sun will always rise just as it always sets, constantly moving through the motions for another day.