What Does Love Mean In A Relationship? | Varied Definitions

It’s weird, isn’t it? How we try to find the meaning of something as interesting as “love”? It takes on so many forms, like parental, familial, romantic, and platonic – it’s truly one of the most fascinating human experiences. The highlight in all these is romantic love, the one found in relationships, marriages, and short-but-sweet flings.

Love is an emotional connection, a life-long bond. It is comforting and involves communication, trust, efforts, mutual respect, commitment, and forgiving mistakes. It is all-accepting and enables growth. It involves some compromise and is often imperfect yet beautiful.

Let’s look at the varied meanings of love in detail.

Meaning Of Love In A Relationship

1. Love Is An Emotional Connection

Physical affection, while being an important aspect of a relationship, pales in comparison to the emotional connection one has with their partner. Love, after all, is a feeling.

The connection one feels goes beyond physical and verbal means, and people in love experience it from the inside, from their “soul”.

It involves being emotionally attached to your partner and being with them, no matter the physical proximity.

Being emotionally connected to your partner is one of the fundamental aspects of being in love with them and should be prioritized, always.

Building that connection to a life-long bond should be the goal. All this involves a lot of work, but the fruits are sweet enough to justify the labor.

2. Love Is Comfort

There’s a particular phenomenon in psychology where it’s said that when our inner child, that is, our most vulnerable self, feels safe, comforted, and secure in our partner’s presence, that is when we know the love has gone beyond the initial chasing phase and entered into the matured, understanding phase.

Being able to be vulnerable in front of your partner, crying your eyes out over whatever is troubling you, venting, ranting – all this indicates the deep love that exists between you two, where you are comfortable sharing your innermost self with them while your partner is being supportive, comforting and giving their ears and shoulders to you at your emotionally troubled state.

And while such comfort can be provided by your best-friend too, there’s something “homely” about that same level of comfort combined with romantic love that makes it so much cozier than anything platonic.

Love Is Comfort

3. Love Is Communication

Communication is the key to sustaining any relationship and, thus, the way to sustain lifelong love as well.

All relationships go through their bad phases, but these are the trials that must be overcome to make the relationship last for a lifetime.

Communication between partners, even when there’s a fight going on, with the aim to solve the ongoing problem(s), indicates the will to go past this bad time and enables the love to be expressed even stronger than before.

Even without a fight, being able to communicate freely with your partner about anything that’s bothering you will lead to easing up of any unnecessary friction that may have built up, and being able to accomplish this indicates a strong sense of bonding and the partner’s willingness to maintain that bond out of love between them.

4. Love Is Trust

Trust is the foundation of any loving relationship, without which it cannot be developed into a flourishing one. In love, the cocktail of doubts and distrust has no place.

Being able to trust your partner, be it their faithfulness or the things they say to you, is a core aspect of sustaining a healthy, loving relationship.

On the same note, maintaining that trust comes hand in hand with putting your trust in your partner. Lies, deceit, cheating – this other cocktail, too, has no place in the relationship.

Love is supposed to be pure. Not perfect, but pure with some occasional imperfections. And those toxic cocktails are not imperfections but rather corrosives that can erode even a glacier of love.

Love Is Trust

5. Love Is Effort

It’s often said that maintaining a relationship takes more work than getting into one, and it cannot be truer. Just being in love isn’t enough to sustain it.

Expressing it in a myriad of ways is equally if not more important than that. And nothing screams expressing love than putting in actual efforts to make your partner feel, well, loved.

Keeping the flirtatious comments active even if it’s been a decade of a relationship, listening to them intently whenever they feel low, or making time for them consistently – all this, although expected in the initial phases of the relationship, becomes more important than ever when the relationship starts to get old (beyond a year).

Getting complacent isn’t necessarily a lack of love, but taking your partner for granted is sure to make love a lot less enticing and the relationship more problem-inducive.

6. Love Is (Mutual) Respect

A more classical approach, but respect is a thing that is often overlooked while discussing love.

Be it boundaries, preferences, or feelings – respecting your partner’s various aspects is an essential part of loving them.

A lack of respect leads to resentment and even abuse in the relationship, and the shocking part is that it can be one way as well as both ways.

A certain level of respect needs to be maintained between partners so that even in trying times, they don’t become enemies but rather stay part of the same team; the team wants to keep the love intact.

Thus, disrespecting your partner, be it in private or public, be it physically or verbally, should be a no-go. All you are doing by this is making it toxic, and toxicity destroys affection.

Love Is (Mutual) Respect

7. Love Is Unconditional

Sounds a bit movie-like and maybe even toxic, but here, “unconditional” has a different meaning than just “no conditions”.

Obviously, there needs to be conditions, or rather no-gos, for a relationship.

But being there with your partner, caring for them, loving them even when the entire world seems to be against them, is a sign of love that makes your partner face whatever troubles they have to endure during such a time.

This also involves helping your partner improve in case they did something wrong, or even just words of encouragement can go a long way and will give them a lovely cushion to rest on while going through their hardships.

8. Love Is Compromise

Love isn’t like a puzzle, where pieces just fall together into place. It’s more like a painting of various colors and shades.

Sometimes, the lighter tones need to be overshaded with darker ones, while other times, the darker ones need to leave space for the lighter shades.

Love is like that. Compromising on some things is a part-and-parcel of being in a relationship so that both partners can accommodate each other into their lives.

Will it be perfect? No. But when is anything beautiful ever perfect?

The willingness to compromise a bit on your goals, ideas, or anything to give breathing room for your partner is a great way to express your love and shows maturity in the relationship.

Love Is Compromise

9. Love Is Commitment

Being indecisive displays a fear of true love. While being a major thing, commitment displays your conviction towards your partner and the love and affection that is being developed between you two.

Commitment acts as a kind of proof about love. Without commitment, any serious relationship cannot proceed further from the initial infatuation phase.

In fact, being decisive about your love towards your partner signals that whatever there is between you two is serious rather than just a casual fling.

Being committed is a big decision, so we are not pressuring you towards it. All we are saying here is: Without commitment, you cannot expect the “like” to transform into love. Monogamous

relationships, in particular, are the ones where commitment serves as one of the biggest boosts (along with marriage) for the relationship to develop further.

10. Love Is Growth

Love doesn’t and shouldn’t thwart your life. Your partner shouldn’t be someone who stops you from achieving your goals or tries to sabotage your path to success.

In fact, your partner should be your biggest cheerleader. And growth is not just materialistic. Growing as a person, developing your personality, and becoming the best version of yourself should be the goal.

Helping each other in each other’s pursuits enables the relationship’s growth too.

Helping each other overcome trauma, building skills, and other similar stuff can deepen the bond as well as make lasting impressions on the relationship.

Love Is Growth

11. Love Is Imperfect

Nothing is perfect. And hence, love isn’t perfect either. That’s it; that is the point.

Expecting perfection in your love life/relationship – no fights, no misunderstandings, overwhelming and overflowing love always – such expectations are unrealistic as love, just like any other experience in life, has its ups and downs.

But what matters is going through them, often repeatedly, and coming out with a stronger than ever bond.

Romanticizing your relationship is fine as long as you are realistic in your thoughts and take the bumps as just part of the journey rather than an impediment.

12. Love Is Forgiveness

Humans are feeble creatures. They can be the best thing in your life, but sometimes, they may commit mistakes that can upset and hurt you too.

In a long-term relationship, couples often forgive each other for their mistakes and move forward with a better understanding of each other’s boundaries.

Now, what mistakes to forgive depends entirely upon the people involved and what boundaries they have set in the relationship, but the important thing here is that – forgiveness isnecessary.

Holding onto a mistake, or having a grudge towards your partner even after they apologized and have improved after their mistake, will only further sour the relationship.

And people who want to salvage their relationship, and move forward from this bad phase, have stated that love makes you forgive the other person.

And that it’s not necessary to just get over the thing instantly, but healthy communication can enable even the almost-destroyed relationships to flourish again.

Love Is Forgiveness

13. Love Is Acceptance

A relationship is where a person is supposed to be at their most vulnerable, and finding someone who accepts you in your entirety is one of the greatest marks of finding true love.

Love enables us to accept the other person with all their merits as well as flaws, and the shared vulnerability acts as the catalyst to develop the bond further.

We all are afraid of showing our true, flawed selves to the world, thinking that it will make us weak.

Hence, finding that one person who accepts us for who we are, rather than the “us with a mask”, is a big thing in our pursuit of a fulfilling love life.

And love makes it all seamless. There’s no compulsion involved in the acceptance – you just like the person for who they are and would, in fact, dislike it if they start acting like someone they are not.

Being real, honest, and truthful is a strong bonding trait, and love enables this effortlessly.

14. Love Is Indescribable

Yeah, you know it was coming. Even after so many descriptions of love, the point we want to highlight and finish this article off with seems a bit anticlimactic, but well, truth is often boring.

Love is indeed indescribable.

With each person defining love in their own way and expressing and experiencing it in their own unique ways, love becomes a thing truly dependent on the people involved and their own ways of describing it.

There are commonalities between people’s descriptions, sure, and that’s what we have listed above, but truthfully, it’s all just an average of the experiences people have had.

Love is strange fellas. Is it a feeling? A passing emotion? A fling? A mixture of hormones? Such varied definitions for a concept that is so intrinsic to the human experience!

Great thinkers and philosophers have argued about love’s definition for millennia, but no concrete statement has been decided upon, even today.

All in all, it’s a fascinating emotion and an experience that all humans deserve to go through in their lives, hopefully in a beautiful way.

Love Is Indescribable


Love is weird, quirky, boring, predictable, unpredictable, and indescribable – all at the same time.

Even scientists haven’t been able to quite figure this out except for relying on hard-to-pronounce hormones to describe the feelings involved.

But we hope we have provided enough insight to you regarding what people, in general, feel about love, and we hope this gives value to you in your pursuit of love.

Shashank Verma

A trained theatre actor and a STEM graduate who brings perspectives and methods from these worlds into dating and relationships. Also a big time Krav Maga enthusiast and practitioner.

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