The English word “love” can look up a diversity of different feelings, states, and approaches that ranges from interpersonal fondness (“I love my mother”) to enjoyment (“I loved that meal”). It can talk about a sentiment of a strong attraction and personal attachment. It can also be a character representing human compassion, sympathy, and fondness —“the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another". In addition, it may illustrate sympathetic and loving actions towards other humans, one's self or animals.
Four forms of interpersonal love have conventionally been differentiated based on ancient Greek precedent:
- the love of kinship or familiarity
- the love of friendship
- the love of sexual and/or romantic desire, and
- self-emptying or divine love