10 Ways to Love Better

10 Ways to Love Better

This year’s most-read Modern Love columns delivered unexpected kernels of wisdom.

When Your Body Tells You What Your Brain Won’t

A woman who had collected stories of others’ marriages and infidelities for years learns a powerful lesson that research alone could never teach.

What I Love

Articles in the What I Love series from The New York Times.

Modern Love Podcast: Krysten Ritter Reads ‘R We D8ting?’

Modern Love Podcast: Krysten Ritter Reads ‘R We D8ting?’

This week, the “Jessica Jones” star reads Sandra Barron’s essay about how easily wires can get crossed in early-relationship texting.

Addicted to Love

Meet The Times’s new romance fiction columnist

Love Calls, and So Does the Priesthood

On a subway platform, she shared a New Year’s Eve kiss with a man planning to be a priest. Could it go any further?

Cavaliers’ Kevin Love to Miss Game 7 vs. Celtics With a Concussion

Cavaliers’ Kevin Love to Miss Game 7 vs. Celtics With a Concussion

Love, who banged heads with the Celtics’ Jayson Tatum in Game 6 on Friday night, has at least two other known concussions in his career.

My Relationship Makes Me Feel Excruciatingly Lonely. But I Love Her!

A 22-year-old says his relationship makes him miserable. So why does he stay?

Modern Love Podcast: Jennifer Beals Reads ‘From He to She in First Grade’

This week, the “Taken” star tells the story of two parents who help their child find her identity.


For other uses, see Love (disambiguation).

Love encompasses a variety of different emotional and mental states, typically strongly and positively experienced, ranging from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest interpersonal affection and to the simplest pleasure.[1][2] An example of this range of meanings is that the love of a mother differs from the love of a spouse differs from the love of food. Most commonly, love refers to a feeling of strong attraction and emotional attachment.[3] Love can also be a virtue representing human kindness, compassion, and affection, as “the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another”.[4] It may also describe compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans, one’s self or animals.[5]

Ancient Greek philosophers identified four forms of love: essentially, familial love (in Greek, storge), friendly love (philia), romantic love (eros), and divine love (agape). Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of love: unrequited love, infatuated love, self-love, and courtly love. Non-Western traditions have also distinguished variants or symbioses of these states.[6][7] Love has additional religious or spiritual meaning. This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.

Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.[8]

Love has been postulated to be a function to keep human beings together against menaces and to facilitate the continuation of the species.[9]


  • 1 Definitions
  • 2 Impersonal love
  • 3 Interpersonal love
    • 3.1 Biological basis
    • 3.2 Psychological basis
    • 3.3 Evolutionary basis
    • 3.4 Comparison of scientific models
  • 4 Cultural views
    • 4.1 Ancient Greek
    • 4.2 Ancient Roman (Latin)
    • 4.3 Chinese and other Sinic cultures
    • 4.4 Japanese
    • 4.5 Indian
    • 4.6 Persian
  • 5 Religious views
    • 5.1 Abrahamic religions
      • 5.1.1 Christianity
      • 5.1.2 Judaism
      • 5.1.3 Islam
      • 5.1.4 Bahá’í Faith
    • 5.2 Indian religions
      • 5.2.1 Buddhism
      • 5.2.2 Hinduism
  • 6 Political views
    • 6.1 Free love
  • 7 Philosophical views
  • 8 See also
  • 9 References
  • 10 Sources
  • 11 Further reading
  • 12 External links


Romeo and Juliet parting on the balcony in Act III.

The word “love” can have a variety of related but distinct meanings in different contexts. Many other languages use multiple words to express some of the different concepts that in English are denoted as “love”; one example is the plurality of Greek words for “love” which includes agape and eros.[10] Cultural differences in conceptualizing love thus doubly impede the establishment of a universal definition.[11]

Although the nature or essence of love is a subject of frequent debate, different aspects of the word can be clarified by determining what isn’t love (antonyms of “love”). Love as a general expression of positive sentiment (a stronger form of like) is commonly contrasted with hate (or neutral apathy). As a less sexual and more emotionally intimate form of romantic attachment, love is commonly contrasted with lust. As an interpersonal relationship with romantic overtones, love is sometimes contrasted with friendship, although the word love is often applied to close friendships. (Further possible ambiguities come with usages “girlfriend”, “boyfriend”, “just good friends”).

Fraternal love (Prehispanic sculpture from 250–900 AD, of Huastec origin). Museum of Anthropology in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico

Abstractly discussed love usually refers to an experience one person feels for another. Love often involves caring for, or identifying with, a person or thing (cf. vulnerability and care theory of love), including oneself (cf. narcissism). In addition to cross-cultural differences in understanding love, ideas about love have also changed greatly over time. Some historians date modern conceptions of romantic love to courtly Europe during or after the Middle Ages, although the prior existence of romantic attachments is attested by ancient love poetry.[12]

The complex and abstract nature of love often reduces discourse of love to a thought-terminating cliché. Several common proverbs regard love, from Virgil’s “Love conquers all” to The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love”. St. Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle, defines love as “to will the good of another.”[13] Bertrand Russell describes love as a condition of “absolute value,” as opposed to relative value.[14] Philosopher Gottfried Leibniz said that love is “to be delighted by the happiness of another.”[15] Meher Baba stated that in love there is a “feeling of unity” and an “active appreciation of the intrinsic worth of the object of love.”[16] Biologist Jeremy Griffith defines love as “unconditional selflessness”.[17]

Impersonal love

People can be said to love an object, principle, or goal to which they are deeply committed and greatly value. For example, compassionate outreach and volunteer workers’ “love” of their cause may sometimes be born not of interpersonal love but impersonal love, altruism, and strong spiritual or political convictions.[18] People can also “love” material objects, animals, or activities if they invest themselves in bonding or otherwise identifying with those things. If sexual passion is also involved, then this feeling is called paraphilia.[19] A common principle that people say they love is life itself.

Interpersonal love

Interpersonal love refers to love between human beings. It is a much more potent sentiment than a simple liking for a person. Unrequited love refers to those feelings of love that are not reciprocated. Interpersonal love is most closely associated with interpersonal relationships.[18] Such love might exist between family members, friends, and couples. There are also a number of psychological disorders related to love, such as erotomania.

Pair of Lovers. 1480–1485

Throughout history, philosophy and religion have done the most speculation on the phenomenon of love. In the 20th century, the science of psychology has written a great deal on the subject. In recent years, the sciences of psychology, anthropology, neuroscience, and biology have added to the understanding the concept of love.

Biological basis

Main article: Biological basis of love

Biological models of sex tend to view love as a mammalian drive, much like hunger or thirst.[20] Helen Fisher, an anthropologist and human behavior researcher, divides the experience of love into three partly overlapping stages: lust, attraction, and attachment. Lust is the feeling of sexual desire; romantic attraction determines what partners mates find attractive and pursue, conserving time and energy by choosing; and attachment involves sharing a home, parental duties, mutual defense, and in humans involves feelings of safety and security.[21] Three distinct neural circuitries, including neurotransmitters, and three behavioral patterns, are associated with these three romantic styles.[21]

Lust is the initial passionate sexual desire that promotes mating, and involves the increased release of chemicals such as testosterone and estrogen. These effects rarely last more than a few weeks or months. Attraction is the more individualized and romantic desire for a specific candidate for mating, which develops out of lust as commitment to an individual mate forms. Recent studies in neuroscience have indicated that as people fall in love, the brain consistently releases a certain set of chemicals, including the neurotransmitter hormones, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, the same compounds released by amphetamine, stimulating the brain’s pleasure center and leading to side effects such as increased heart rate, loss of appetite and sleep, and an intense feeling of excitement. Research has indicated that this stage generally lasts from one and a half to three years.[22]

Since the lust and attraction stages are both considered temporary, a third stage is needed to account for long-term relationships. Attachment is the bonding that promotes relationships lasting for many years and even decades. Attachment is generally based on commitments such as marriage and children, or on mutual friendship based on things like shared interests. It has been linked to higher levels of the chemicals oxytocin and vasopressin to a greater degree than short-term relationships have.[22] Enzo Emanuele and coworkers reported the protein molecule known as the nerve growth factor (NGF) has high levels when people first fall in love, but these return to previous levels after one year.[23]

Psychological basis

Further information: Human bonding

Grandmother and grandchild in Sri Lanka

Psychology depicts love as a cognitive and social phenomenon. Psychologist Robert Sternberg formulated a triangular theory of love and argued that love has three different components: intimacy, commitment, and passion. Intimacy is a form in which two people share confidences and various details of their personal lives, and is usually shown in friendships and romantic love affairs. Commitment, on the other hand, is the expectation that the relationship is permanent. The last form of love is sexual attraction and passion. Passionate love is shown in infatuation as well as romantic love. All forms of love are viewed as varying combinations of these three components. Non-love does not include any of these components. Liking only includes intimacy. Infatuated love only includes passion. Empty love only includes commitment. Romantic love includes both intimacy and passion. Companionate love includes intimacy and commitment. Fatuous love includes passion and commitment. Lastly, consummate love includes all three.[24] American psychologist Zick Rubin sought to define love by psychometrics in the 1970s. His work states that three factors constitute love: attachment, caring, and intimacy.[25][26]

Following developments in electrical theories such as Coulomb’s law, which showed that positive and negative charges attract, analogs in human life were developed, such as “opposites attract”. Over the last century, research on the nature of human mating has generally found this not to be true when it comes to character and personality—people tend to like people similar to themselves. However, in a few unusual and specific domains, such as immune systems, it seems that humans prefer others who are unlike themselves (e.g., with an orthogonal immune system), since this will lead to a baby that has the best of both worlds.[27] In recent years, various human bonding theories have been developed, described in terms of attachments, ties, bonds, and affinities. Some Western authorities disaggregate into two main components, the altruistic and the narcissistic. This view is represented in the works of Scott Peck, whose work in the field of applied psychology explored the definitions of love and evil. Peck maintains that love is a combination of the “concern for the spiritual growth of another,” and simple narcissism.[28] In combination, love is an activity, not simply a feeling.


  • Bonding
  • Courtship
  • Dating
  • Engagement
  • Mating
  • Meet market
  • Romance
  • Singles event
  • Wedding


  • Breakup
  • Separation
  • Annulment
  • Divorce
  • Widowhood

Emotions and feelings

  • Affinity
  • Attachment
  • Intimacy
  • Jealousy
  • Limerence
  • Love
    • Platonic
    • unconditional
  • Passion
  • Sexuality


  • Bride price
    • dower
    • dowry
    • service
  • Hypergamy
  • Infidelity
  • Sexual activity
  • Transgression
  • Repression


  • Child
  • Dating
  • Domestic
  • Elderly
  • Narcissistic parent
  • Power and control
  • v
  • t
  • e

Psychologist Erich Fromm maintained in his book The Art of Loving that love is not merely a feeling but is also actions, and that in fact, the “feeling” of love is superficial in comparison to one’s commitment to love via a series of loving actions over time.[18] In this sense, Fromm held that love is ultimately not a feeling at all, but rather is a commitment to, and adherence to, loving actions towards another, oneself, or many others, over a sustained duration.[18] Fromm also described love as a conscious choice that in its early stages might originate as an involuntary feeling, but which then later no longer depends on those feelings, but rather depends only on conscious commitment.[18]

Evolutionary basis

Wall of Love in Paris: “I love you” in 250 languages

Evolutionary psychology has attempted to provide various reasons for love as a survival tool. Humans are dependent on parental help for a large portion of their lifespans compared to other mammals. Love has therefore been seen as a mechanism to promote parental support of children for this extended time period. Furthermore, researchers as early as Charles Darwin himself identified unique features of human love compared to other mammals and credit love as a major factor for creating social support systems that enabled the development and expansion of the human species.[29] Another factor may be that sexually transmitted diseases can cause, among other effects, permanently reduced fertility, injury to the fetus, and increase complications during childbirth. This would favor monogamous relationships over polygamy.[30]

Comparison of scientific models

Biological models of love tend to see it as a mammalian drive, similar to hunger or thirst.[20] Psychology sees love as more of a social and cultural phenomenon. Certainly love is influenced by hormones (such as oxytocin), neurotrophins (such as NGF), and pheromones, and how people think and behave in love is influenced by their conceptions of love. The conventional view in biology is that there are two major drives in love: sexual attraction and attachment. Attachment between adults is presumed to work on the same principles that lead an infant to become attached to its mother. The traditional psychological view sees love as being a combination of companionate love and passionate love. Passionate love is intense longing, and is often accompanied by physiological arousal (shortness of breath, rapid heart rate); companionate love is affection and a feeling of intimacy not accompanied by physiological arousal.

Cultural views

Ancient Greek

See also: Greek words for love

Roman copy of a Greek sculpture by Lysippus depicting Eros, the Greek personification of romantic love

Greek distinguishes several different senses in which the word “love” is used. Ancient Greeks identified four forms of love: kinship or familiarity (in Greek, storge), friendship and/or platonic desire (philia), sexual and/or romantic desire (eros), and self-emptying or divine love (agape).[31][32] Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of romantic love.[33] However, with Greek (as with many other languages), it has been historically difficult to separate the meanings of these words totally. At the same time, the Ancient Greek text of the Bible has examples of the verb agapo having the same meaning as phileo.

Agape (ἀγάπη agápē) means love in modern-day Greek. The term s’agapo means I love you in Greek. The word agapo is the verb I love. It generally refers to a “pure,” ideal type of love, rather than the physical attraction suggested by eros. However, there are some examples of agape used to mean the same as eros. It has also been translated as “love of the soul.”[34]

Eros (ἔρως érōs) (from the Greek deity Eros) is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. The Greek word erota means in love. Plato refined his own definition. Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself. Eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth. Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth by eros. Some translations list it as “love of the body”.[34]

Philia (φιλία philía), a dispassionate virtuous love, was a concept addressed and developed by Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics Book VIII.[35] It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality, and familiarity. Philia is motivated by practical reasons; one or both of the parties benefit from the relationship. It can also mean “love of the mind.”

Storge (στοργή storgē) is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring.

Xenia (ξενία xenía), hospitality, was an extremely important practice in ancient Greece. It was an almost ritualized friendship formed between a host and his guest, who could previously have been strangers. The host fed and provided quarters for the guest, who was expected to repay only with gratitude. The importance of this can be seen throughout Greek mythology—in particular, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey.

Ancient Roman (Latin)

The Latin language has several different verbs corresponding to the English word “love.” amō is the basic verb meaning I love, with the infinitive amare (“to love”) as it still is in Italian today. The Romans used it both in an affectionate sense as well as in a romantic or sexual sense. From this verb come amans—a lover, amator, “professional lover,” often with the accessory notion of lechery—and amica, “girlfriend” in the English sense, often being applied euphemistically to a prostitute. The corresponding noun is amor (the significance of this term for the Romans is well illustrated in the fact, that the name of the City, Rome—in Latin: Roma—can be viewed as an anagram for amor, which was used as the secret name of the City in wide circles in ancient times),[36] which is also used in the plural form to indicate love affairs or sexual adventures. This same root also produces amicus—”friend”—and amicitia, “friendship” (often based to mutual advantage, and corresponding sometimes more closely to “indebtedness” or “influence”). Cicero wrote a treatise called On Friendship (de Amicitia), which discusses the notion at some length. Ovid wrote a guide to dating called Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love), which addresses, in depth, everything from extramarital affairs to overprotective parents.

Latin sometimes uses amāre where English would simply say to like. This notion, however, is much more generally expressed in Latin by the terms placere or delectāre, which are used more colloquially, the latter used frequently in the love poetry of Catullus. Diligere often has the notion “to be affectionate for,” “to esteem,” and rarely if ever is used for romantic love. This word would be appropriate to describe the friendship of two men. The corresponding noun diligentia, however, has the meaning of “diligence” or “carefulness,” and has little semantic overlap with the verb. Observare is a synonym for diligere; despite the cognate with English, this verb and its corresponding noun, observantia, often denote “esteem” or “affection.” Caritas is used in Latin translations of the Christian Bible to mean “charitable love”; this meaning, however, is not found in Classical pagan Roman literature. As it arises from a conflation with a Greek word, there is no corresponding verb.

Chinese and other Sinic cultures

“Ai,” the traditional Chinese character for love (愛) contains a heart (心) in the middle.

Two philosophical underpinnings of love exist in the Chinese tradition, one from Confucianism which emphasized actions and duty while the other came from Mohism which championed a universal love. A core concept to Confucianism is Ren (“benevolent love”, 仁), which focuses on duty, action and attitude in a relationship rather than love itself. In Confucianism, one displays benevolent love by performing actions such as filial piety from children, kindness from parent, loyalty to the king and so forth.

The concept of Ai (愛) was developed by the Chinese philosopher Mozi in the 4th century BC in reaction to Confucianism’s benevolent love. Mozi tried to replace what he considered to be the long-entrenched Chinese over-attachment to family and clan structures with the concept of “universal love” (jiān’ài, 兼愛). In this, he argued directly against Confucians who believed that it was natural and correct for people to care about different people in different degrees. Mozi, by contrast, believed people in principle should care for all people equally. Mohism stressed that rather than adopting different attitudes towards different people, love should be unconditional and offered to everyone without regard to reciprocation, not just to friends, family and other Confucian relations. Later in Chinese Buddhism, the term Ai (愛) was adopted to refer to a passionate caring love and was considered a fundamental desire. In Buddhism, Ai was seen as capable of being either selfish or selfless, the latter being a key element towards enlightenment.

In contemporary Chinese, Ai (愛) is often used as the equivalent of the Western concept of love. Ai is used as both a verb (e.g. wo ai ni 我愛你, or “I love you”) and a noun (such as aiqing 愛情, or “romantic love”). However, due to the influence of Confucian Ren, the phrase ‘Wo ai ni’ (I love you) carries with it a very specific sense of responsibility, commitment and loyalty. Instead of frequently saying “I love you” as in some Western societies, the Chinese are more likely to express feelings of affection in a more casual way. Consequently, “I like you” (Wo xihuan ni, 我喜欢你) is a more common way of expressing affection in Chinese; it is more playful and less serious.[37] This is also true in Japanese (suki da, 好きだ). The Chinese are also more likely to say “I love you” in English or other foreign languages than they would in their mother tongue.


Ohatsu and Tokubei, characters of Sonezaki Shinjū

The Japanese language uses three words to convey the English equivalent of “love”. Because “love” covers a wide range of emotions and behavioral phenomena, there are nuances distinguishing the three terms.[38][39] The term ai (愛), which is often associated with maternal love[38] or selfless love,[39] originally referred to beauty and was often used in religious context. Following the Meiji Restoration 1868, the term became associated with “love” in order to translate Western literature. Prior to Western influence, the term koi (恋) generally represented romantic love, and was often the subject of the popular Man’yōshū Japanese poetry collection.[38] Koi describes a longing for a member of the opposite sex and is typical interpreted as selfish and wanting.[39] The term’s origins come from the concept of lonely solitude as a result of separation from a loved one. Though modern usage of koi focuses on sexual love and infatuation, the Manyō used the term to cover a wider range of situations, including tenderness, benevolence, and material desire.[38] The third term, ren’ai (恋愛), is a more modern construction that combines the kanji characters for both ai and koi, though its usage more closely resembles that of koi in the form of romantic love.[38][39]


Hindu god Krishna and his consort Radha making love

Indian king enjoying Kamasutra position

Kama in Indian literature means “desire, wish or longing”.[40] In contemporary literature, kama refers usually to sexual desire.[41] However, the term also refers to any sensory enjoyment, emotional attraction and aesthetic pleasure such as from arts, dance, music, painting, sculpture and nature.[42][43]

The concept kama is found in some of the earliest known verses in Vedas. For example, Book 10 of Rig Veda describes the creation of the universe from nothing by the great heat. There in hymn 129, it states:

कामस्तदग्रे समवर्तताधि मनसो रेतः परथमं यदासीत |
सतो बन्धुमसति निरविन्दन हर्दि परतीष्याकवयो मनीषा ||[44]

Thereafter rose Desire in the beginning, Desire the primal seed and germ of Spirit,
Sages who searched with their heart’s thought discovered the existent’s kinship in the non-existent.

— Rig Veda, ~ 15th Century BC[45]


The children of Adam are limbs of one body
Having been created of one essence.
When the calamity of time afflicts one limb
The other limbs cannot remain at rest.
If you have no sympathy for the troubles of others
You are not worthy to be called by the name of “man”.

Sa’di, Gulistan   

Rumi, Hafiz and Sa’di are icons of the passion and love that the Persian culture and language present.[citation needed] The Persian word for love is Ishq, which is derived from Arabic language,[46] however it is considered by most to be too stalwart a term for interpersonal love and is more commonly substituted for “doost dashtan” (“liking”).[citation needed] In the Persian culture, everything is encompassed by love and all is for love, starting from loving friends and family, husbands and wives, and eventually reaching the divine love that is the ultimate goal in life.[citation needed]

Religious views

Main article: Religious views on love

Abrahamic religions

Robert Indiana’s 1977 Love sculpture spelling ahava.


The Christian understanding is that love comes from God. The love of man and woman—eros in Greek—and the unselfish love of others (agape), are often contrasted as “descending” and “ascending” love, respectively, but are ultimately the same thing.[47]

There are several Greek words for “love” that are regularly referred to in Christian circles.

  • Agape: In the New Testament, agapē is charitable, selfless, altruistic, and unconditional. It is parental love, seen as creating goodness in the world; it is the way God is seen to love humanity, and it is seen as the kind of love that Christians aspire to have for one another.[34]
  • Phileo: Also used in the New Testament, phileo is a human response to something that is found to be delightful. Also known as “brotherly love.”
  • Two other words for love in the Greek language, eros (sexual love) and storge (child-to-parent love), were never used in the New Testament.[34]

Christians believe that to Love God with all your heart, mind, and strength and Love your neighbor as yourself are the two most important things in life (the greatest commandment of the Jewish Torah, according to Jesus; cf. Gospel of Mark chapter 12, verses 28–34). Saint Augustine summarized this when he wrote “Love God, and do as thou wilt.”

Sacred and Profane Love (1602–03) by Giovanni Baglione. Intended as an attack on his hated enemy the artist Caravaggio, it shows a boy (hinting at Caravaggio’s homosexuality) on one side, a devil with Caravaggio’s face on the other, and between an angel representing pure, meaning non-erotic, love.[48]

The Apostle Paul glorified love as the most important virtue of all. Describing love in the famous poetic interpretation in 1 Corinthians, he wrote, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.” (1 Cor. 13:4–7, NIV)

The Apostle John wrote, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16–17, NIV) John also wrote, “Dear friends, let us love one another for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7–8, NIV)

Saint Augustine says that one must be able to decipher the difference between love and lust. Lust, according to Saint Augustine, is an overindulgence, but to love and be loved is what he has sought for his entire life. He even says, “I was in love with love.” Finally, he does fall in love and is loved back, by God. Saint Augustine says the only one who can love you truly and fully is God, because love with a human only allows for flaws such as “jealousy, suspicion, fear, anger, and contention.” According to Saint Augustine, to love God is “to attain the peace which is yours.” (Saint Augustine’s Confessions)

Augustine regards the duplex commandment of love in Matthew 22 as the heart of Christian faith and the interpretation of the Bible. After the review of Christian doctrine, Augustine treats the problem of love in terms of use and enjoyment until the end of Book I of De Doctrina Christiana (1.22.21-1.40.44;).[49]

Christian theologians see God as the source of love, which is mirrored in humans and their own loving relationships. Influential Christian theologian C.S. Lewis wrote a book called The Four Loves. Benedict XVI wrote his first encyclical on “God is love”. He said that a human being, created in the image of God, who is love, is able to practice love; to give himself to God and others (agape) and by receiving and experiencing God’s love in contemplation (eros). This life of love, according to him, is the life of the saints such as Teresa of Calcutta and the Blessed Virgin Mary and is the direction Christians take when they believe that God loves them.[47]

And so Pope Francis taught that “True love is both loving and letting oneself be loved..what is important in love is not our loving, but allowing ourselves to be loved by God.”[50] And so, in the analysis of a Catholic theologian, for Pope Francis, “the key to love…is not our activity. It is the activity of the greatest, and the source, of all the powers in the universe: God’s.”[51]

In Christianity the practical definition of love is best summarised by St. Thomas Aquinas, who defined love as “to will the good of another,” or to desire for another to succeed.[13] This is the explanation of the Christian need to love others, including their enemies. As Thomas Aquinas explains, Christian love is motivated by the need to see others succeed in life, to be good people.

Regarding love for enemies, Jesus is quoted in the Gospel of Matthew chapter five:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5: 43-48

Tertullian wrote regarding love for enemies: “Our individual, extraordinary, and perfect goodness consists in loving our enemies. To love one’s friends is common practice, to love one’s enemies only among Christians.”[52]

See also: Jewish views on love

In Hebrew, אהבה (ahava) is the most commonly used term for both interpersonal love and love between God and God’s creations. Chesed, often translated as loving-kindness, is used to describe many forms of love between human beings.

The commandment to love other people is given in the Torah, which states, “Love your neighbor like yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). The Torah’s commandment to love God “with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5) is taken by the Mishnah (a central text of the Jewish oral law) to refer to good deeds, willingness to sacrifice one’s life rather than commit certain serious transgressions, willingness to sacrifice all of one’s possessions, and being grateful to the Lord despite adversity (tractate Berachoth 9:5). Rabbinic literature differs as to how this love can be developed, e.g., by contemplating divine deeds or witnessing the marvels of nature. As for love between marital partners, this is deemed an essential ingredient to life: “See life with the wife you love” (Ecclesiastes 9:9). The biblical book Song of Solomon is considered a romantically phrased metaphor of love between God and his people, but in its plain reading, reads like a love song. The 20th-century Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler is frequently quoted as defining love from the Jewish point of view as “giving without expecting to take” (from his Michtav me-Eliyahu, Vol. 1).


Love encompasses the Islamic view of life as universal brotherhood that applies to all who hold faith. Amongst the 99 names of God (Allah), there is the name Al-Wadud, or “the Loving One,” which is found in Surah [Quran 11:90] as well as Surah [Quran 85:14]. God is also referenced at the beginning of every chapter in the Qur’an as Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim, or the “Most Compassionate” and the “Most Merciful”, indicating that nobody is more loving, compassionate and benevolent than God. The Qur’an refers to God as being “full of loving kindness.”

The Qur’an exhorts Muslim believers to treat all people, those who have not persecuted them, with birr or “deep kindness” as stated in Surah [Quran 6:8-9]. Birr is also used by the Qur’an in describing the love and kindness that children must show to their parents.

Ishq, or divine love, is the emphasis of Sufism in the Islamic tradition. Practitioners of Sufism believe that love is a projection of the essence of God to the universe. God desires to recognize beauty, and as if one looks at a mirror to see oneself, God “looks” at himself within the dynamics of nature. Since everything is a reflection of God, the school of Sufism practices to see the beauty inside the apparently ugly. Sufism is often referred to as the religion of love.[citation needed] God in Sufism is referred to in three main terms, which are the Lover, Loved, and Beloved, with the last of these terms being often seen in Sufi poetry. A common viewpoint of Sufism is that through love, humankind can get back to its inherent purity and grace. The saints of Sufism are infamous for being “drunk” due to their love of God; hence, the constant reference to wine in Sufi poetry and music.

Bahá’í Faith

In his Paris Talks, `Abdu’l-Bahá described four types of love: the love that flows from God to human beings; the love that flows from human beings to God; the love of God towards the Self or Identity of God; and the love of human beings for human beings.[53]

Indian religions


In Buddhism, Kāma is sensuous, sexual love. It is an obstacle on the path to enlightenment, since it is selfish. Karuṇā is compassion and mercy, which reduces the suffering of others. It is complementary to wisdom and is necessary for enlightenment. Adveṣa and mettā are benevolent love. This love is unconditional and requires considerable self-acceptance. This is quite different from ordinary love, which is usually about attachment and sex and which rarely occurs without self-interest. Instead, in Buddhism it refers to detachment and unselfish interest in others’ welfare.

The Bodhisattva ideal in Mahayana Buddhism involves the complete renunciation of oneself in order to take on the burden of a suffering world. The strongest motivation one has in order to take the path of the Bodhisattva is the idea of salvation within unselfish, altruistic love for all sentient beings.

Main articles: Kama and Kama Sutra

Kama (left) with Rati on a temple wall of Chennakesava Temple, Belur

In Hinduism, kāma is pleasurable, sexual love, personified by the god Kamadeva. For many Hindu schools, it is the third end (Kama) in life. Kamadeva is often pictured holding a bow of sugar cane and an arrow of flowers; he may ride upon a great parrot. He is usually accompanied by his consort Rati and his companion Vasanta, lord of the spring season. Stone images of Kamadeva and Rati can be seen on the door of the Chennakeshava temple at Belur, in Karnataka, India. Maara is another name for kāma.

In contrast to kāma, prema – or prem – refers to elevated love. Karuna is compassion and mercy, which impels one to help reduce the suffering of others. Bhakti is a Sanskrit term, meaning “loving devotion to the supreme God.” A person who practices bhakti is called a bhakta. Hindu writers, theologians, and philosophers have distinguished nine forms of bhakti, which can be found in the Bhagavata Purana and works by Tulsidas. The philosophical work Narada Bhakti Sutras, written by an unknown author (presumed to be Narada), distinguishes eleven forms of love.

In certain Vaishnava sects within Hinduism, attaining unadulterated, unconditional and incessant love for Godhead is considered the foremost goal of life. Gaudiya Vaishnavas who worship Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the cause of all causes consider Love for Godhead (Prema) to act in two ways: sambhoga and vipralambha (union and separation)—two opposites .[54]

In the condition of separation, there is an acute yearning for being with the beloved and in the condition of union there is supreme happiness and nectarean. Gaudiya Vaishnavas consider that Krishna-prema (Love for Godhead) is not fire but that it still burns away one’s material desires. They consider that Kṛṣṇa-prema is not a weapon, but it still pierces the heart. It is not water, but it washes away everything—one’s pride, religious rules, and one’s shyness. Krishna-prema is considered to make one drown in the ocean of transcendental ecstasy and pleasure. The love of Radha, a cowherd girl, for Krishna is often cited as the supreme example of love for Godhead by Gaudiya Vaishnavas. Radha is considered to be the internal potency of Krishna, and is the supreme lover of Godhead. Her example of love is considered to be beyond the understanding of material realm as it surpasses any form of selfish love or lust that is visible in the material world. The reciprocal love between Radha (the supreme lover) and Krishna (God as the Supremely Loved) is the subject of many poetic compositions in India such as the Gita Govinda and Hari Bhakti Shuddhodhaya.

In the Bhakti tradition within Hinduism, it is believed that execution of devotional service to God leads to the development of Love for God (taiche bhakti-phale krsne prema upajaya), and as love for God increases in the heart, the more one becomes free from material contamination (krishna-prema asvada haile, bhava nasa paya). Being perfectly in love with God or Krishna makes one perfectly free from material contamination. and this is the ultimate way of salvation or liberation. In this tradition, salvation or liberation is considered inferior to love, and just an incidental by-product. Being absorbed in Love for God is considered to be the perfection of life.[55]

Political views

Free love

Main article: Free love

The term free love has been used[56] to describe a social movement that rejects marriage, which is seen as a form of social bondage. The Free Love movement’s initial goal was to separate the state from sexual matters such as marriage, birth control, and adultery. It claimed that such issues were the concern of the people involved, and no one else.[57]

Many people in the early 19th century believed that marriage was an important aspect of life to “fulfill earthly human happiness.” Middle-class Americans wanted the home to be a place of stability in an uncertain world. This mentality created a vision of strongly defined gender roles, which provoked the advancement of the free love movement as a contrast.[58]

The term “sex radical” is also used interchangeably with the term “free lover”, and was the preferred term by advocates because of the negative connotations of “free love”.[citation needed] By whatever name, advocates had two strong beliefs: opposition to the idea of forceful sexual activity in a relationship and advocacy for a woman to use her body in any way that she pleases.[59] These are also beliefs of Feminism.[60]

Philosophical views

Main article: Philosophy of love

Graffiti in East Timor

The philosophy of love is a field of social philosophy and ethics that attempts to explain the nature of love.[61] The philosophical investigation of love includes the tasks of distinguishing between the various kinds of personal love, asking if and how love is or can be justified, asking what the value of love is, and what impact love has on the autonomy of both the lover and the beloved.[60]

Many different theories attempt to explain the nature and function of love. Explaining love to a hypothetical person who had not himself or herself experienced love or being loved would be very difficult because to such a person love would appear to be quite strange if not outright irrational behavior. Among the prevailing types of theories that attempt to account for the existence of love are: psychological theories, the vast majority of which consider love to be very healthy behavior; evolutionary theories which hold that love is part of the process of natural selection; spiritual theories which may, for instance consider love to be a gift from a god; and theories that consider love to be an unexplainable mystery, very much like a mystical experience.

There were many attempts to find the equation of love. One such attempt was by Christian Rudder, a mathematician and co-founder of online dating website OKCupid, one of the largest online dating sites. The mathematical approach was through the collection of large data from the dating site. Another interesting equation of love is found by in the philosophical blog ‘In the Quest of Truth’.[62] Love is defined as a measure of selfless give and take, and the author attempted to draw a graph that shows the equation of love. Aggregately, dating resources indicate a nascent line of variables effectively synchronising couples in naturally determined yearning.

See also

  • Love at first sight
  • Polyamory
  • Romance (love)


  • ^ “Definition of Love in English”. Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  • ^ “Definition of “Love” – English Dictionary”. Cambridge English Dictionary. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  • ^ Oxford Illustrated American Dictionary (1998) + Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary (2000)
  • ^ “Love – Definition of love by Merriam-Webster”. merriam-webster.com. 
  • ^ Fromm, Erich; The Art of Loving, Harper Perennial (1956), Original English Version, ISBN 978-0-06-095828-2
  • ^ Liddell and Scott: φιλία
  • ^ Mascaró, Juan (2003). The Bhagavad Gita. Penguin Classics. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-044918-3.  (J. Mascaró, translator)
  • ^ “Article On Love”. Archived from the original on 30 May 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  • ^ Helen Fisher. Why We Love: the nature and chemistry of romantic love. 2004.
  • ^ Anders Nygren, Agape and Eros.
  • ^ Kay, Paul; Kempton, Willett (March 1984). “What is the Sapir–Whorf Hypothesis?”. American Anthropologist. New Series. 86 (1): 65–79. doi:10.1525/aa.1984.86.1.02a00050. 
  • ^ “Ancient Love Poetry”. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. 
  • ^ a b “St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 26, 4, corp. art”. Newadvent.org. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  • ^ Love. PediaPress. 
  • ^ Leibniz, Gottfried. “Confessio philosophi”. Wikisource edition. Retrieved 25 March 2009. 
  • ^ Baba, Meher (1995). Discourses. Myrtle Beach: Sheriar Press. p. 113. ISBN 978-1880619094.
  • ^ What is love?. In The Book of Real Answers to Everything! Griffith, J. 2011. ISBN 9781741290073.
  • ^ a b c d e Fromm, Erich; The Art of Loving, Harper Perennial (5 September 2000), Original English Version, ISBN 978-0-06-095828-2
  • ^ DiscoveryHealth. “Paraphilia”. Archived from the original on 12 December 2007. Retrieved 16 December 2007. 
  • ^ a b Lewis, Thomas; Amini, F.; Lannon, R. (2000). A General Theory of Love. Random House. ISBN 0-375-70922-3. 
  • ^ a b “Archived copy” (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2011.  Defining the Brain Systems of Lust, Romantic Attraction, and Attachment by Fisher et. al
  • ^ a b Winston, Robert (2004). Human. Smithsonian Institution. ISBN 0-03-093780-9. 
  • ^ Emanuele, E.; Polliti, P.; Bianchi, M.; Minoretti, P.; Bertona, M.; Geroldi, D. (2005). “Raised plasma nerve growth factor levels associated with early-stage romantic love”. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 31 (3): 288–94. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2005.09.002. PMID 16289361. 
  • ^ Sternberg, R. J. (1986). “A triangular theory of love”. Psychological Review. 93 (2): 119–135. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.93.2. 
  • ^ Rubin, Zick (1970). of romantic love-Z Rubin.pdf “Measurement of Romantic Love” Check |url= value (help) (PDF). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 16 (2): 265–27[clarification needed]. doi:10.1037/h0029841. PMID 5479131. [permanent dead link]
  • ^ Rubin, Zick (1973). Liking and Loving: an invitation to social psychology. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. 
  • ^ Berscheid, Ellen; Walster, Elaine H. (1969). Interpersonal Attraction. Addison-Wesley Publishing Co. ISBN 0-201-00560-3. CCCN 69-17443. 
  • ^ Peck, Scott (1978). The Road Less Traveled. Simon & Schuster. p. 169. ISBN 0-671-25067-1. 
  • ^ Loye, David S. (2000). Darwin’s Lost Theory of Love: A Healing Vision for the 21st Century. iUniverse. p. 332. ISBN 0595001319. 
  • ^ The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, edited by David M. Buss, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005. Chapter 14, Commitment, Love, and Mate Retention by Lorne Campbell and Bruce J. Ellis.
  • ^ C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves, 1960.
  • ^ Kristeller, Paul Oskar (1980). Renaissance Thought and the Arts: Collected Essays. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02010-8. 
  • ^ Stendhal, in his book On Love (“De l’amour”; Paris, 1822), distinguished carnal love, passionate love, a kind of uncommitted love that he called “taste-love”, and love of vanity. Denis de Rougemont in his book Love in the Western World traced the story of passionate love (l’amour-passion) from its courtly to its romantic forms. Benjamin Péret, in the introduction to his Anthology of Sublime Love (Paris, 1956), further identified “sublime love”, a state of realized idealisation perhaps equatable with the romantic form of passionate love.
  • ^ a b c d Anders Theodor Samuel Nygren, Eros and Agape (first published in Swedish, 1930-1936).
  • ^ “Philosophy of Love | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy”. www.iep.utm.edu. Retrieved 24 August 2017. 
  • ^ Thomas Köves-Zulauf, Reden und Schweigen, Munich, 1972.
  • ^ JFK Miller, “Why the Chinese Don’t Say I Love You Archived 24 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine.”
  • ^ a b c d e Ryang, Sonia (2006). Love in Modern Japan: Its Estrangement from Self, Sex and Society. Routledge. pp. 13–14. 
  • ^ a b c d Abe, Namiko. “Japanese Words for “Love”: The Difference between “Ai” and “Koi””. About.com. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  • ^ Monier Williams, काम, kāma Monier-Williams Sanskrit English Dictionary, pp 271, see 3rd column
  • ^ James Lochtefeld (2002), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Volume 1, Rosen Publishing, New York, ISBN 0-8239-2287-1, pp 340
  • ^ See:
    • Kate Morris (2011), The Illustrated Dictionary of History, ISBN 978-8189093372, pp 124;
    • Robert E. Van Voorst, RELG: World, Wadsworth, ISBN 978-1-111-72620-1, pp 78
  • ^ R. Prasad (2008), History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization, Volume 12, Part 1, ISBN 978-8180695445, pp 249-270
  • ^ Rig Veda Book 10 Hymn 129 Verse 4
  • ^ Ralph Griffith (Translator, 1895), The Hymns of the Rig veda, Book X, Hymn CXXIX, Verse 4, pp 575
  • ^ Mohammad Najib ur Rehman, Hazrat Sakhi Sultan. Day of Alast-The start of creation. Sultan ul Faqr Publications Regd. ISBN 9789699795084. 
  • ^ a b Pope Benedict XVI. “papal encyclical, Deus Caritas Est”. 
  • ^ http://www.wga.hu/html_m/b/baglione/sacred2.html Description of Sacred and Profane Love
  • ^ Woo, B. Hoon (2013). “Augustine’s Hermeneutics and Homiletics in De doctrina christiana”. Journal of Christian Philosophy. 17: 97–117. 
  • ^ “Sri Lanka – Philippines: Meeting with the young people in the sports field of Santo Tomas University (Manila, 18 January 2015) – Francis”. w2.vatican.va. 
  • ^ Nidoy, Raul. “The key to love according to Pope Francis”. 
  • ^ Swartley, Willard M. (1992). The Love of Enemy and Nonretaliation in the New Testament, Studies in peace and scripture; (As Scapulam I) cited by Hans Haas, Idee und Ideal de Feindesliebe in der ausserchristlichen Welt (Leipzig: University of Leipzig, 1927). Westminster John Knox Press. p. 24. ISBN 9780664253547. 
  • ^ “Bahá’í Reference Library – Paris Talks, Pages 179-181”. reference.bahai.org. 
  • ^ Gour Govinda Swami. “Wonderful Characteristic of Krishna Prema, Gour Govinda Swami”. 
  • ^ A C Bhaktivedanta Swami. “Being Perfectly in Love”. 
  • ^ The Handbook Archived 13 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine. of the Oneida Community claims to have coined the term around 1850, and laments that its use was appropriated by socialists to attack marriage, an institution that they felt protected women and children from abandonment
  • ^ McElroy, Wendy. “The Free Love Movement and Radical Individualism.” Libertarian Enterprise .19 (1996): 1.
  • ^ Spurlock, John C. Free Love Marriage and Middle-Class Radicalism in America. New York, NY: New York UP, 1988.
  • ^ Passet, Joanne E. Sex Radicals and the Quest for Women’s Equality. Chicago, IL: U of Illinois P, 2003.
  • ^ a b Laurie, Timothy; Stark, Hannah (2017), “Love’s Lessons: Intimacy, Pedagogy and Political Community”, Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 22 (4): 69–79, doi:10.1080/0969725x.2017.1406048 
  • ^ Soren Kierkegaard. Works of Love.
  • ^ “In the Quest of Truth”. The Equation of Love. 
  • Sources

    • Chadwick, Henry (1998). Saint Augustine Confessions. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-283372-3. 
    • Fisher, Helen. Why We Love: the Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love. ISBN 0-8050-6913-5. 
    • Giles, James (1994). “A theory of love and sexual desire”. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour. 24 (4): 339–357. doi:10.1111/j.1468-5914.1994.tb00259.x. 
    • Kierkegaard, Søren (2009). Works of Love. New York City: Harper Perennial Modern Classics. ISBN 978-0-06-171327-9. 
    • Oord, Thomas Jay (2010). Defining Love: A Philosophical, Scientific, and Theological Engagement. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos. ISBN 978-1-58743257-6. 
    • Singer, Irving (1966). The Nature of Love. (in three volumes) (v.1 reprinted and later volumes from The University of Chicago Press, 1984 ed.). Random House. ISBN 0-226-76094-4. 
    • Sternberg, R.J. (1986). “A triangular theory of love”. Psychological Review. 93 (2): 119–135. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.93.2.119. 
    • Sternberg, R.J. (1987). “Liking versus loving: A comparative evaluation of theories”. Psychological Bulletin. 102 (3): 331–345. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.102.3.331. 
    • Tennov, Dorothy (1979). Love and Limerence: the Experience of Being in Love. New York: Stein and Day. ISBN 0-8128-6134-5. 
    • Wood Samuel E., Ellen Wood and Denise Boyd (2005). The World of Psychology (5th ed.). Pearson Education. pp. 402–403. ISBN 0-205-35868-3. 

    Further reading

    • Bayer, A, ed. (2008). Art and love in Renaissance Italy. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

    External links

    Find more aboutLoveat Wikipedia’s sister projects

    • Definitions from Wiktionary
    • Media from Wikimedia Commons
    • Quotations from Wikiquote
    • Texts from Wikisource
    • Learning resources from Wikiversity
    • Data from Wikidata
    • History of Love, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    • Friendship at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
    • Philanthropy at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
    • Romance at Curlie (based on DMOZ)

    I Love

    “I Love” is a song written and recorded by American country music artist Tom T. Hall. It was released in October 1973 as the only single from the album, For the People in the Last Hard Town. The song would be Hall’s most successful single and was his fourth number one on the US country singles chart. The single spent two weeks at the top and a total of 15 weeks on the chart.[1] “I Love” was Hall’s only entry on the Top 40 peaking at number 12.[2]


    • 1 Covers and alternate versions
    • 2 Soundtrack appearances
    • 3 Chart performance
      • 3.1 Weekly charts
      • 3.2 Year-end charts
    • 4 References
    • 5 External links

    Covers and alternate versions[edit]

    • Addressing potential censorship issues, an alternate version of Hall’s recording replaced the lyrics “bourbon in a glass and grass” with “old TV shows and snow”.
    • In 1975, the Shaggs recorded a cover of “I Love” which was intended for their never-finished second album. It was eventually released on the 1982 compilation album, Shaggs’ Own Thing.
    • “I Like”, a parody version by Heathen Dan, was released on the 1983 compilation album The Rhino Brothers Present the World’s Worst Records.
    • “I Love” was used, with altered lyrics, in a popular 2003 TV commercial for Coors Light, which prominently featured the Klimaszewski Twins.[3]
    • The band Low recorded a cover of “I Love” as a wedding present for two of their friends (Along with a falling-apart cover of Journey’s “Open Arms”); Both covers were eventually released on Low’s compilation box set, A Lifetime Of Temporary Relief.

    Soundtrack appearances[edit]

    The song was used in the film For No Good Reason.

    Chart performance[edit]

    Year-end charts[edit]


  • ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 149. 
  • ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 272. 
  • ^ THE WAY WE LIVE NOW: 1-26-03: PROCESS; How to Write a Catchy Beer Ad, Chris Ballard, The New York Times
  • ^ “Go-Set Australian charts – 18 May 1974”. 
  • ^ http://www.flavourofnz.co.nz/index.php?qpageID=search%20listener&qartistid=929#n_view_location
  • ^ “Tom T. Hall Chart History (Hot Country Songs)”. Billboard.
  • ^ Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Singles 1955–1990, ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  • ^ “Tom T. Hall Chart History (Adult Contemporary)”. Billboard.
  • ^ Bac-lac.gc.ca
  • ^ Musicoutfitters.com
  • External links[edit]

    • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics

    Review: A Long-Awaited New Opera Is a Raucous Beauty

    Review: A Long-Awaited New Opera Is a Raucous Beauty

    A brutal fable of royal hubris, George Benjamin and Martin Crimp’s “Lessons in Love and Violence” is a worthy follow-up to their “Written on Skin.”

    Review: In ‘Love After Love,’ an Unflinching Look at Extended Grief

    Russ Harbaugh’s debut feature delivers something rarely seen in American movies: a warts-and-all examination of extended grief.

    Holiday Windows, a (Sort of) Love Story

    Why are we all so bedazzled by the store vitrines of the season?

    Love Is

    Love Is may refer to:

    • Love Is…, a comic strip
    • Love Is (record label), a Thai record label
    • Love is… (television film), a Filipino television film headlined by Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza


    • Love Is (The Animals album), 1968
    • Love Is… (Jennylyn Mercado album), 2010
    • Love Is (Kevin Sharp album), 1998
    • Love Is (Kim Wilde album), 1992
    • Love Is (Ruben Studdard album), 2009
    • Love Is… (Sachi Tainaka album), 2008
    • Love Is… (Toni Gonzaga album), 2008
    • Love Is (Michi EP), 2010
    • Love Is…, a 2000 album by Sammi Cheng


    • “Love Is…” (song), a 1994 song by King Missile
    • “Love Is…”, a song by The Beautiful South from Welcome to the Beautiful South (1989)
    • “Love Is” (Vanessa Williams and Brian McKnight song), 1993
    • “Love Is” (Vikki Watson song), 1985
    • “Love Is” (Alannah Myles song), a 1989 song by Alannah Myles from Alannah Myles
    • “Love Is”, a song by the Backstreet Boys from Never Gone
    • “Love Is”, a song by Design from Tomorrow Is So Far Away (1971)
    • “Love Is”, a song by Katrina Elam
    • “Love Is”, a song by R. Kelly, featuring K. Michelle, from Love Letter (2010)
    • “Love Is”, a song by R. Kelly from Write Me Back (2012)
    • “Love Is”, a song by Ringo Starr from Liverpool 8
    • “Love Is” (McGarrigle song), a song by Kate & Anna McGarrigle from Heartbeats Accelerating (1990)
    • “Love is,” a song by Stevie Nicks from Trouble in Shangri-La (2001)

    Modern Love Podcast: Willem Dafoe Reads ‘Missing a Father I Hardly Knew’

    Modern Love Podcast: Willem Dafoe Reads ‘Missing a Father I Hardly Knew’

    This week, the “Florida Project” actor reads an essay about a parent’s largely private life.

    Two Novels on the Complexities of Revisiting Past Loves

    Leah Stewart’s third book reunites struggling Hollywood stars, and Stephen McCauley makes the case that you really can be friends with an ex.

    After Scandal and Divorce, Jenny Sanford Learns She Can Love Again

    South Carolina’s former first lady wasn’t looking to remarry after her high-profile divorce, until her sister played matchmaker.

    Canines of Love

    For the song, see Hounds of Love (song). For the film, see Hounds of Love (film).

    Singles from Hounds of Love

  • “Running Up That Hill”
    Released: 5 August 1985
  • “Cloudbusting”
    Released: 14 October 1985
  • “Hounds of Love”
    Released: 24 February 1986
  • “The Big Sky”
    Released: 28 April 1986
  • Hounds of Love is the fifth studio album by English singer-songwriter and musician Kate Bush, released by EMI Records on 16 September 1985. It was a commercial success and marked a return to the public eye for Bush after the relatively poor sales of her previous album, 1982’s The Dreaming. The album’s lead single, “Running Up That Hill”, became one of Bush’s biggest hits. The album’s first side produced three further successful singles, “Cloudbusting”, “Hounds of Love”, and “The Big Sky”. The second side, subtitled “The Ninth Wave”, forms a conceptual suite about a person drifting alone in the sea at night.

    Hounds of Love received critical acclaim on its release and in retrospective reviews. It is considered by many fans and music critics to be Bush’s best album, and has been regularly voted one of the greatest albums of all time.[1] It was Bush’s second album to top the UK Albums Chart and her best-selling studio album,[2] having been certified double platinum for 600,000 sales in the UK,[3] and by 1998 it had sold 1.1 million copies worldwide.[4] In the US, it reached the top 40 on the Billboard 200. The album was nominated at the 1986 BRIT Awards for Best Album, where Bush was also nominated for the awards for Best Producer, Best Female Artist, and for Best Single (“Running Up That Hill”).


    • 1 Production
    • 2 Release and promotion
    • 3 Critical reception
      • 3.1 Accolades
    • 4 Track listing
    • 5 Personnel
    • 6 Charts
      • 6.1 Weekly charts
      • 6.2 Year-end charts
    • 7 Certifications
    • 8 Release history
    • 9 See also
    • 10 References
    • 11 External links


    Following the disappointing sales of Bush’s fourth album, The Dreaming, EMI was concerned about sales largely due to the long time period it took to produce the album.[which?] “I finished my last album, did the promotion, then found myself in a kind of limbo,” she later explained.[when?] “It took me four or five months to be able even to write again. It’s very difficult when you’ve been working for years, doing one album after another. You need fresh things to stimulate you. That’s why I decided to take a bit of the summer out and spend time with my boyfriend and with my family and friends, just relaxing. Not being Kate Bush the singer; just being myself.”[5] In the summer of 1983, Bush built her own 48-track studio in the barn behind her family home which she could use any time she liked.[6]

    Bush began recording demos for Hounds of Love in January 1984. Rather than re-record music, she took the demos and enhanced them during the recording sessions. After five months, she began overdubbing and mixing the album in a process that took a year. The recording sessions included use of the Fairlight CMI synthesiser, piano, traditional Irish instruments, and layered vocals. The chorale in “Hello Earth” is a segment from the traditional Georgian song “Tsintskaro,” performed by the Richard Hickox Singers.[7] The lines “It’s in the trees! It’s coming!” from the beginning of the title track are sampled from a seance scene from the 1957 British horror film Night of the Demon, spoken by actor Maurice Denham (although mouthed by Reginald Beckwith).[8]

    The album was produced as two suites – side one being “Hounds of Love” and side two a seven-track concept piece, “The Ninth Wave”. Bush described it as being “about a person who is alone in the water for the night. It’s about their past, present and future coming to keep them awake, to stop them drowning, to stop them going to sleep until the morning comes.”

    Release and promotion[edit]

    On 5 August 1985 Bush performed the new single “Running Up That Hill” on Terry Wogan’s BBC1 chat show Wogan. The single entered the UK singles chart at number 9 and ultimately peaked at number 3, becoming Bush’s second highest charting single (after her chart-topping debut single “Wuthering Heights”).

    The album launch party was held at the London Planetarium on 5 September 1985, which was the first occasion that Bush and Palmer officially appeared in public as a couple. The invited guests were treated to a playback of the entire album while watching a laser show inside the Planetarium.[9] Hounds of Love was released 16 September 1985 by EMI Records on vinyl, XDR cassette and compact disc formats. It entered the UK album chart at number one, knocking Madonna’s Like a Virgin from the top position.[2] The album marked Bush’s breakthrough into the American charts with the Top 40 hit “Running Up That Hill”. The album also yielded a set of videos, one of which was “Cloudbusting”, directed by Julian Doyle, and co-starring Donald Sutherland. The video—like the song—was inspired by the life of psychologist Wilhelm Reich.

    On 16 June 1997 a remastered version of the album was issued on CD as part of EMI’s “First Centenary” reissue series. The “EMI First Centenary” edition included six bonus tracks: 12″ mixes of “The Big Sky” and “Running Up That Hill”, and the B-sides “Under The Ivy”, “Burning Bridge”, “My Lagan Love”, and “Be Kind To My Mistakes”, the last of which was written for Nicolas Roeg’s 1986 film Castaway and plays during the opening scene.[10]

    In 2010, Audio Fidelity reissued Hounds of Love on vinyl with new remastering by Steve Hoffman.[11]

    A 10″ pink vinyl record with four songs taken from the album (“The Big Sky”, “Cloudbusting”, “Watching You Without Me” and “Jig of Life”) was released by Audio Fidelity (catalogue number AFZEP 001) on 16 April 2011 for Record Store Day 2011, limited to 1000 copies worldwide.[12]

    In the 2014 Before the Dawn concerts, Bush performed almost all of the album’s tracks live for the first time, with the exceptions of “The Big Sky” and “Mother Stands for Comfort”. “Running Up That Hill” had been already performed live in 1987 with David Gilmour of Pink Floyd at the Secret Policeman’s Third Ball.

    Critical reception[edit]

    In the UK most reviews of the album at the time of its release were overwhelmingly positive. In a five-star review Sounds called Hounds of Love “dramatic, moving and wildly, unashamedly, beautifully romantic”, before going on to state, “If I were allowed to swear, I’d say that Hounds of Love is f***ing brilliant, but me mum won’t let me”.[20] NME said, “Hounds of Love is definitely weird. It’s not an album for the suicidal or mums and dads. The violence of The Dreaming has turned into despair, confusion and fear – primarily of love, a subject that remains central to Bush’s songwriting.” The review then went on to scorn the idea that by signing to EMI Records as a teenager, Bush had allowed herself to be moulded in their corporate image, suggesting that on the contrary, it had enabled her to use the system for her own devices: “Our Kate’s a genius, the rarest solo artist this country’s ever produced. She makes sceptics dance to her tune. The company’s daughter has truly screwed the system and produced the best album of the year doing it.”[23] Melody Maker was more reserved, saying, “Here she has learned you can have control without sacrificing passion and it’s the heavyweight rhythm department aided and abetted by some overly fussy arrangements that get the better of her”. It was particularly disappointed by “The Ninth Wave” suite on the second side of the record, feeling that “she makes huge demands on her listener and the theme is too confused and the execution too laborious and stilted to carry real weight as a complete entity”.[24]

    In the USA reaction to the record was mixed. Awarding the record the title of “platter du jour” (i.e. album of the month), Spin observed that “with traces of classical, operatic, tribal and twisted pop styles, Kate creates music that observes no boundaries of musical structure or inner expression”. The review noted “while her eclecticism is welcomed and rewarded in her homeland her genius is still ignored here – a situation that is truly a shame for an artist so adventurous and naturally theatrical”, and hoped that “this album might gain her some well-deserved recognition from the American mainstream”.[25] However, Rolling Stone, in their first ever review of a Kate Bush record, was unimpressed: “The Mistress of Mysticism has woven another album that both dazzles and bores. Like the Beatles on their later albums, Bush is not concerned about having to perform the music live, and her orchestrations swell to the limits of technology. But unlike the Beatles, Bush often overdecorates her songs with exotica … There’s no arguing that Bush is extraordinarily talented, but as with Jonathan Richman, rock’s other eternal kid, her vision will seem silly to those who believe children should be seen and not heard.”[26] The New York Times characterized the album’s music as “slightly precious, calculated female art rock” and called Bush “a real master of instrumental textures,”[27] while The Independent called Hounds “a prog-pop masque of an album.”[28] Pitchfork Media gave the album a perfect score, noting that the album draws from synthpop and progressive rock whilst remaining wholly distinct from either style.[16] Spin called it an “art-pop classic.”[29]


    The album was placed at number 10 in the NME critics’ list of the best albums of 1985.[30]

    In 1998 Q magazine readers voted Hounds of Love the 48th greatest album of all time,[4] while in 2000 the same magazine placed it at number 20 in its list of the “100 Greatest British Albums Ever” and the third “Greatest Album of All-Time by a Female Artist” in 2002.[31] In 2006, Q placed the album at number 4 in its list of “40 Best Albums of the ’80s”.[32] In January 2006, NME named it the 41st best British album of all time. The 19th edition of British Hit Singles & Albums, published by Guinness in May 2006, included a list of the Top 100 albums of all time, as voted by readers of the book and NME readers, which placed Hounds of Love at number 70.[1] In 2008, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said the album should be given consideration when listing albums released between 1978 and 1988 that have stood the test of time while remaining influential and enjoyable to this day.[33] In 2012, Slant Magazine listed the album at No. 10 on its list of “Best Albums of the 1980s”.[34] NME placed Hounds of Love 48th on their “500 Greatest Albums of All-Time” list.

    Track listing[edit]

    All tracks written by Kate Bush.

    Note The original 1985 cassette release included the 12″ single version of “Running Up That Hill” at the end of side one. The 2011 Fish People re-release contains the “Special Single Mix” version of “The Big Sky”, as opposed to the original album version.


    • Kate Bush – vocals, Fairlight CMI, piano
    • Alan Murphy – guitar on 1, 3, 8
    • Del Palmer – bass on 1, 10, handclapping on 3, backing vocals on 5, Fairlight bass on 8, Linn programming
    • Paddy Bush – violins on 10, balalaika on 1, backing vocals on 5, didjeridu on 3, harmonic vocals on 7, fujara on 12
    • Stuart Elliott – drums on tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11
    • Charlie Morgan – drums on 2, 3, 5, 8, 10, handclapping on 3

    Additional musicians

    • John Williams – guitar on 12
    • Jonathan Williams – cello on 2
    • Youth – bass on 3
    • Eberhard Weber – bass on 4, 11, 12
    • Danny Thompson – double bass on 9
    • Morris Pert – percussion on 3
    • The Medici Sextet – strings on 5
    • Dave Lawson – string arrangements on 5
    • Dónal Lunny – bouzouki on 6, 11, Irish bouzouki on 10
    • John Sheahan – whistles on 6
    • Kevin McAlea – synthesiser sequences on 8, synthesiser on 12
    • Liam O’Flynn – uilleann pipes on 10, 11
    • The Richard Hickox Singers – choir on 11
    • Brian Bath – backing vocals on 5, guitar on 11
    • John Carder Bush – backing vocals on 5, narration on 10
    • Richard Hickox – vocals, choir master on 11
    • Michael Berkeley – vocal arrangements on 11


    • Del Palmer – engineer
    • Haydn Bendall – engineer
    • Brian Tench – engineer, mixing
    • Paul Hardiman – engineer
    • Nigel Walker – engineer
    • James Guthrie – engineer
    • Bill Somerville-Large – engineer at Windmill Lane Studios
    • Pearce Dunne – assistant engineer
    • Julian Mendelsohn – mixing on 2, 4
    • Chris Blair – digital remastering
    • Ian Cooper – cutting engineer
    • Photography for the sleeve was by Kate’s brother, John Carder Bush and the sleeve design was by Bill Smith Studio and Kate.


    Year-end charts[edit]


    Release history[edit]

    See also[edit]

    • Kate Bush discography
    • Kate Bush’s Awards and Nominations


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  • External links[edit]

    • Hounds of Love (Adobe Flash) at Radio3Net (streamed copy where licensed)