I’ve come to rethink how I define feelings toward other people or things. We use love for pretty much everything but I believe there are levels of feelings. I think the initial superficial level is infatuation. Infatuation is synonymous with a crush, it’s defined by the Oxford dictionary as a short-lived intense passion or admiration for something or someone. Such a feeling is evident in hook-ups or one night stands.
Continued passion then evolves into the next level, the classic ‘love.’
Love is defined by Merriam Webster as a strong affection for another that arises out of personal ties or kinship. The second iteration is an attraction based on sexual desire: affection based on admiration, benevolence or common interest. Everyone aspires to love but given this definition, I would say ‘love’ is lacking. If one were to consider the matter further, love tends to be overused and abused. We love foods, music, colors, a majority of objects.
We use love for family and at times friends, so shouldn’t we expect something different and more from a potential mate?
The third level is devotion. The Oxford dictionary defines devotion as love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person or activity. For the most part, we hear devotion reserved for its relation to religious worship however, given this definition-I feel it is something we should desire instead of love. I want more than evolved and continued passion, I need loyalty as well. Wouldn’t you say ‘I am devoted to you’ evokes a more powerful and (specifically) romantically inclined image? ‘I love you,’ could be said to a friend or parent but devotion would seem out-of-place if offered to either. Thus I feel it is the most fitting wording for the ultimate level of romantic feeling. In my next romantic relationship, I am looking for someone to more than love me. I want them to be devoted to me.