So, I read somewhere that Sanskrit has 96 words for love. Persian has 80. The Greeks differentiated between three types of love. We have just the one word. Love. LOVE. LOVE for love’s sake! How can we be so deprived? So lacking in discrimination and imagination and…love?
That one poor overworked word has to cover everything from fondness (I love baked beans on toast) right through to total overwhelming (I can’t breathe without you) adoration. If I were the word ‘love’, I’d be not only confused but exhausted.
I mean… just think about it. Oh, wait, how can one think about love? Okay, just feel about it. So I made a quick list while I was drinking a mug of mint and licorice tea, the kind I love - see?)…and, you know what, 96 is just the beginning…
So, we have ...
1. Liking a lot love
2. Fond love.
3. Hits the spot on occasions love.
4. Dear old friend love.
5. Love one has for one's child (that one likes).
6. Disliked child love (yes, of course you can love someone while disliking them).
7. Duty love.
8. Familial love (combined with liking)
9. Familial love (combined with fundamental disliking)
10. Fuzzy warm feeling love.
11. Slightly confused – I like you more than I probably should – love.
12. Take your breath away love.
13. Slightly dazed and overawed love.
14. Slightly sickly fluffy New Age love.
15. Total lust love.
16. Wildly inappropriate love.
17. Love you have for someone or something that makes you feel somewhat embarrassed.
18. Guilty, secretive and painful love.
19. Hopeless lorn love.
20. Pleasure and pain love.
21. Bit bored love.
22. Taking for granted love.
23. Habit/going through the motions love.
25. Love that has gone past its sell-by date – slightly mouldy love.
26. Exhilarating frisson down the spine and throb in the groin love.
27. First sweet love.
28. Idealistic/courtly/on a pedestal love.
30. Misunderstood love – loving what isn’t.
32. Bruised love.
33. Making do love (while waiting for something better).
34. Comfy like an old sofa love.
35. Guilty and yet highly pleasurable love (yes, nuances between this and #18).
36. Forbidden love (can have an essence of ‘fuck you!’ love).
37. Decadent love.
38. Wildly depraved love. Yes, there’s a difference between decadent and depraved.
39. Innocent sweet love.
40. Adoring from afar love.
41. Spiritual love.
42. Religious extremism love.
43. Religious sexualised love (Teresa de Avila type).
44. Passionate rip your knickers off love.
45. Some days I can’t stop thinking about you and other days I wonder why I’m wasting my time love.
46. Only when you’re drunk as a skunk love.
47. Passion that has died but leaves traces of fondness.
48. Sad lorn despairing love.
49. Angry vicious stab you in the heart love.
50. Bitter and twisted stab you in the back love.
51. Maudlin weeping and writing poetry love.
52. Possessive love.
53. Controlling love.
54. Unconditional love.
55. Wistful sighing and staring out of windows love.
56. Protective I'd take a grenade for you love.
57. Half-hearted love.
58. Torn in half and thrown to the wolves love.
59. Projected love.
60. Deluded love.
61. Provisional love.
62. Cruel love.
63. Sexual love without liking.
64. Tender love.
65. Like an itch you can’t scratch love.
66. Dark tormented love.
67. Love you only feel in the middle of the night or on long journeys.
68. Dream love.
69. Second-best love.
70. Tantalising love.
71. Adoration from afar love.
72. Love for the idealised potential lover you haven't yet met.
73. Misplaced love.
74. Bouncy overenthusiastic love.
75. Revoltingly oversentimentalised love.
76. Fake love.
77. Smug love.
78. Deeply conditional love.
79. In love with the idea of someone love.
80. Love that is totally and utterly reciprocated.
81. Uneven love.
82. Dutiful love.
83. You know damn well we’d go crazy without one another love.
84. Very complicated love.
85. Soul mate love.
86. Push me-pull me love.
87. Love for someone you don’t know and haven't met.
88. Stalemate love.
89. Loving everyone and everything love.
90. Purely for the sex love.
91. I don’t really love you but I don’t want anyone else to have you love.
92. Simple joyous playful bounding like puppies love.
93. I love you more than you love me point-scoring love.
94. Over-intellectualised love.
95. Snobbish love.
96. Kept apart by circumstances love.
Okay, so this was top-of-head (should that be heart?) stuff and there may be some which are sort of the same thing and equally many more that need consideration. Not to mention the Love that passes all understanding...the heart-beat of Creation.
But hey...your thoughts?
But hey...your thoughts?
Oh, and, if there are any Sanskrit speakers/readers out there, I'd be really interested to have a run-down of the 96 and their meanings.