The Many Shades of Love

Four little letters, yet they convey a multitude of different feelings. The word love has more meanings than the rainbow has colors. Most of us have happy relationships in our lives but how we feel about these others varies. Let’s take a look at some of the many ways that we use the word to express our feelings.

To find the deeper meaning in the word you should know the difference between denotation and connotation. Denotation is a noun that refers to the literal meaning of the word. While connotation, also a noun, refers to how the word makes you feel. The dictionary defines the word love as a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.

But the word has different meanings, or synonyms, depending on the relationship. A synonym is a noun that is defined as a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language. For example, some of the synonyms include: deep affection, fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy, attachment, endearment, devotion, adoration, doting, idolization, worship, passion, ardor, desire, lust, yearning, infatuation, besotted.

Each type of relationship will bring a different level of happiness to your life. For example, how you feel about your family is different than how you feel about a friend or lover. A family member would invoke feelings of affection, a gentle feeling of fondness or liking. You may feel adoration and attachment for a parent. A friendship would be expressed as warmth and devotion.

The feelings of a committed partnership would be expressed differently. For your lover you would express your affection through intimacy, a close familiarity or friendship. Desire, the strong feeling of wanting something. And endearment or infatuation may be other synonyms that would define how you feel for your partner.

Some of the synonyms for the word have a darker denotation. These types of feelings can lead to more harm for you and the other person than happiness. Some of these darker feelings include idolization, a feeling of blind adoration. Also a feeling of intense longing, or yearning for someone, can be unhealthy.

How you express your affection for another person depends on where they fit in your life. How your parents showed you affection will largely effect how you show it to those you care about. If you had a fond, close bond with your family growing up it will be much easier for you to share these same feelings the people you care about.

As you can see, these four little letters add up to one powerful word. We can express the emotions behind this word in a variety of ways. These emotions can enrich our lives or bring us to the brink of darkness.


You can read more from Tamala on creating happiness and love in your relationship on her blog, Tamala’s Journey, here:,