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4 Types of Love to Celebrate on Valentine’s Day

Romantic love isn’t the only feeling your heart has room for.

Smiling woman in a red shirt on a blue background celebrates different types of Valentines

“There are all kinds of different love in this world, but never the same love twice,” said F. Scott Fitzgerald. In any of our lifetimes, we each may be blessed with multiple experiences of love. This Valentine’s Day, take the time to celebrate different types of Valentines.

If we limit ourselves to defining “love” in the romantic sense, we will have failed to embrace the full potential of the multi-dimensional feeling of deep, abiding care. Among the many types of love, these four stand out as worthy of celebration on Valentine’s Day, right there alongside the kind that comes with hugs and kisses, flowers and chocolate.

Two women friends laugh together to celebrate types of valentines

1) Affectionate Love

Affection is a powerful kind of love, it’s the kind of love we feel for our friends. In an affectionate relationship, we see and accept each other for who we are, appreciate our strengths, and support each other through challenges. Here are a few ways to celebrate this kind of Valentine:

  • Invite a friend out for dinner and share your favorite memories together
  • Text a friend how much you care about them and how they have made a positive impact on your life
  • Plan a fun activity for you and your friends—a trip to the beach, a movie night, a sports day at the park

Woman on a white background hugging herself as a type of valentine

2) Self-Love

Please don’t confuse self-love with selfishness or narcissism. Too often, we think that to love means to love another person. But how can we show someone else a kindness we aren’t able to summon for ourselves? Showing love, compassion and gentleness to ourselves is the foundation of a positive life. Here are some ways you can celebrate self-love on Valentine’s Day:

  • Make a list of all the things you love about yourself
  • Cook yourself a tasty meal and watch your favorite movie
  • Go for a long walk around your neighborhood and think of all the things in your life you are grateful for

Mother and daughter laughing outside to celebrate types of valentines

3) Unconditional Love

Unconditional love is perhaps the goal of all the other types of love, as well as a type of love in and of itself. In unconditional love, we are accepting, non-judgmental, curious and welcoming to the fully authentic versions of our beloved. Whether we are parents, grown children, spouses, partners, friends, coworkers or simply people who share the planet with each other, we can all benefit from starting every interaction with the premise that each person is worthy of pure, unconditional love. Here are some ways you can practice this kind of love on Valentine’s Day and beyond:

  • When a friend comes to you with problems, listen without judging them
  • Forgive your loved ones for past mistakes when you can
  • Accept the people in your life for who they are and tell them how much you love knowing their authentic self

Couple holding hands at sunset to celebrate their love on valentine's day

4) Romantic Love

We can’t leave out the star of the Valentine’s Day card show, can we? Romantic love is a profound combination of physical attraction and emotional connection. At its best, it is unconditional and involves two people who each love and value themselves as well. There’s a reason human history is replete with songs and poems about the beauty of romantic love—it’s truly a wonder to behold. Here are some unique ways to celebrate romantic love on Valentine’s Day:

  • Write love letters to each other and exchange them
  • Cook each other your favorite meals and clean up together with some fun music
  • Write loving notes to each other and hide them around the house

Love is a gift. It’s also a challenge. On Valentine’s Day, try to take a moment to reflect on the ways different types of love reverberate through your life—and look ahead to new ways it can blossom in you, each and every day.


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