Romeo Juliet, Laila Majnu, Heer Ranjha, Anita Andrew. In case you are wondering who the last pair is, Anita and Andrew are just an ordinary couple in love. So what are they doing in a list of legendary lovers? Well, it is pretty simple really. Love is a great leveller. It affects a plebeian and an aristocrat equally. Cupid’s arrows don’t choose their subjects based on wealth or rank. However, the Love God’s quiver consists of an assortment of arrows which shower love of different kinds all around. Here then are the five main classifications of romance. Find out in which category you fall (in love).
Puppy Love: Pehla pyar laaye jeevan mein bahaar. The first crush has something charming about it. “Be it our college professor, boss, neighbour or the guy at the bus stop our crush keeps changing but adolescent love is a totally different experience, spicy and innocent at the same time,” says relationship counsellor Madhu. “If you catch a teenager mooning around with stars in her eyes you know she is in the throes of a serious infatuation. But this phase is so transient that before you have time to worry about how she will cope with her first crush she will have flitted across like a butterfly to her second ‘heartthrob’.”
Love equation: Recall those toe curling days. Do you feel the same surge of hormones at seeing the hot jogger in the park that you had felt for your school captain back then? Then you are totally smitten by the handsome hunk. It is a stage which will never return so feel the magic while it lasts without worrying too much about the duration.
Platonic love: He is your agony uncle, your 3 am pillow talk philosopher, your bear hug recipient and the official taster (read guinea pig) of your culinary experimentations yet he does not set your pulses racing. So can two warm blooded heterosexuals have a deep, non sexual friendship? “The line that men and women can never be good friends is obsolete nowadays,” says Madhu. “Decades ago due to the conservative social fabric, friendship between opposite sexes was not encouraged but now the scenario has totally changed. Be it the influx of BPOS, the overwhelming popularity of social networking sites or the pub culture, there are a lot of opportunities for boys and girls to mingle leading to shedding of inhibitions. Friendly rapport between the two genders is a natural consequence,” she reflects.
Love Equation: Studies reveal that men lend a more reliable shoulder to cry on. So, paint the town red with your gal pals but hold on firmly to your ‘boy friend’ too. He is perhaps the best thing to have happened to you.
Physical love: This kind of love is subservient to yet another four letter word: LUST. In fact, sceptics are quick to dismiss the whole love at first sight thingy as a myth and say it is an offshoot of physical attraction. Love gurus say physical love arises not out of emotions but out of body needs. When testosterone and progesterone collide the latent lust comes to the fore. Madhu warns, “Be careful not to take decisions about the future when in the grip of lust. You may end up repenting at leisure. Take those drunken weddings in Las Vegas, for instance. When sobriety returns, the couple almost always regrets its actions.”
“Having said that, we know pre marital sex has now come out of the closet. Today’s woman is empowered to handle her emotional and physical needs. There is no guilt trip involved. She knows what she wants and goes for it,” says Madhu.
Love Equation: As two consenting adults, enjoy the moment but do remember to practise safe sex. Women are emotionally more vulnerable than men so hurtproof yourself by accepting the fact that nothing may come out of this no strings attached relationship.
Love on the rebound: Bouncing back after a long term relationship goes kaput can be very painful not to mention depressing. “Break ups, no matter how amicable, are never easy to handle. It is natural to feel inclined to latch on to the first man who comes along but this can be a highly dangerous thing to do,” warns Madhu. “Generally, rationality is inversely proportional to love and this is especially true in case of affairs on the bounce. Once the initial euphoria passes, memories of happy times spent with the ex, comparisons between past and present flames and other such complications rear their ugly heads threatening to nip the rebound romance in the bud.”
Love Equation: Before giving the new relationship your all, test the waters and see if compatibility and chemistry between the two of you is adequate. Once you feel he is your second Mr. Right go all out and have fun but safeguard your heart against pain and try and avoid the mistakes you made in your previous relationship.
Twilight romance: Geriatric love is yet to find wholehearted acceptance in our still conservative society although things are progressing on the right track. Widows or divorcees in their sixties feel the empty nest syndrome even more than their married counterparts. In most cases, this kind of romance stems out of an acute need for companionship in the twilight years of one’s life. “Often the fear of facing ridicule from family, friends and society leads to such affairs getting terminated halfway. But couples should follow their instincts in these cases. If they think their chosen partner can provide them the security and affection they are seeking they should go ahead with their plans,” advises Madhu.
Love Equation: If you feel the good looking gentleman with a striking streak of silver in his hair is the one for you do not hesitate to give the relationship a go. Your loved ones, especially your kids and grandkids, will come round eventually once they see the glow on your countenance and realise you have never been this happy in years.
The Final Analysis
What is true love? Though experts are still engaged in the toffee-coffee argument on whether true love exists or not, couples in love vehemently insist it does. Chennai based retired teacher Jaya is a strong advocate of the same.
“Of course true love exists. In fact, it is an amalgamation of all types of love. I developed a crush on Ram when we were in college. It was definitely love at first sight for me. The chemistry was instantaneous. He is my best friend too. And now after fifty years of togetherness I can absolutely confirm he is The One for me,” she says with a wink.
As someone has rightly said, “Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning.”