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  • Writer's pictureKim Prendergast, LMFT

Cultivating Love

This morning I was explaining ‘galentines’ to my 15 year old daughter and with Valentine’s Day upon us it got me to thinking about love and all its meaning. Of course, the focus of Valentine’s is Eros or romantic love and we seem to place a high value on romantic love in our culture. Romantic love certainly is a powerful experience. Anyone who has been married for many years can testify that they wish they could recreate the magic from their early days with their partner and of course they are speaking of the romance. Love takes on many different forms throughout our lives, and it has been identified that humans engage in several different types of love experiences.

Meet the 8 Different Types of Love

  • Philia — Affectionate Love (love without romantic attraction that occurs between friends or family)

  • Pragma — Enduring Love

  • Storge — Familiar Love

  • Eros — Romantic Love

  • Ludus — Playful Love

  • Mania — Obsessive Love

  • Philautia — Self Love

  • Agape — Selfless Love

We may experience this list of love types with different people or the same person all at once. Love is something we cultivate and nuture in ourselves and others. While love may occur on accident (think love at first site) it most certainly does not sustain itself. There are tools to cultivate love in your life and one of those tools is books.

Here are some books that we love about love for adults:

  • Constructing the Sexual Crucible - David Schnarch

  • The 5 Love Languages - Gary Chapman

  • 8 Dates - Gottman and Gottman

  • The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work - Gottman

  • Parenting with Love & Logic - Cline and Fay

  • The Power of Showing Up - Siegel and Payne

  • Raising Good Humans - Clarke-Fields

And for children:

  • The Kissing Hand - Penn

  • I Am Love, A Book About Compassion - Verde

  • The Invisible String - Karts

  • Love You Forever - Church

  • Part of My Heart - Sunday

Of course there are many ways to nuture love on a daily basis and understanding how to do so deepens your experience with love. And if we will feel more love, we can share more love. And that is something the world needs a lot more of right now.

If you are struggling with love related issues in your life and a book is not enough, reach out to a trusted person in your life or invest in some counseling. My wish for you is that you have all of these love experiences in your lifetime and your journey into love is vast, whole and complete.


Kimberly Prendergast, LMFT is one of the Owner's of Empire Therapy & Family Services. She has been assisting children, adolescents and families in crisis for over 20 years. Kimberly can be reached at 805.798.3723 or

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