The Layers of Love We Don’t Talk About

Photo by Gemma Chua-Tran on Unsplash

During the pandemic, I spent many nights on my balcony. I remember there were nights where there wouldn’t be a single star or cloud in the sky, and all was quiet in the world.

I didn’t question it.

I just let it be as is.

Spending so much time alone, I began to explore the concept of love and if the pandemic changed my definitions of it.

It’s naive for me to say that I’ve never been in love before. I have, in the several moments I’ve been able to put my finger on, but there are the layers that come from this single, loosely intertwined string between the heart and mind. There are the main types of love– the first love, the familial love, friendship love, and the love that drives your work. Then there are those in-between layers of love that we don’t talk about.

The Almost Kind of Love

We’ve all experienced the almost kind of love. The almost relationship, almost marriage, and the almost type of readiness — that kind of almost. It’s the almost that’s at the tip of your tongue, waiting for your senses to come rushing in. It’s close enough where you can picture it and plan a couple of steps ahead. But you never get there, because that’s the thing about almost kind of loves. Sometimes fear gets in the way. Sometimes it’s the universe working behind the scenes.

The “What If” Love

There’s the “what if” love — the one who got away or the missed connection. As curious humans, we like to know all the different possibilities. The “what if” love is also beautiful in its own way. It reminds you that the most important place to be is here, where you are, right now.

The Universal Love

Love in its entirety is universal, and it’s because we’re all beautifully connected and accountable for each other. Similar to the concept of collective energy. We live in this balance, and this pandemic is proof of what happens when the entire world is off balance.

The Home Love

There’s a special kind of love that feels like home. The scent of mom’s cooking that tugs at your heartstrings the moment you walk through the door or the sound of your nieces and nephews playing outside in complete bliss. It’s the taste of diner coffee or the waves of nostalgia that come sweeping in once a song plays.

The Unconditional Love

There’s a type of love that just exists. It’s not romantic, it’s not familiar, but it just is. This is the type of love we all have felt in our lives but don’t quite have the words to explain it. Just like the stars in the sky and on cloudless nights, you never question it.

So what do all of these layers of love have in common? We put a part of ourselves in every one of them and they all exist beautifully.

As is.



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Akina Marie Chargualaf

Akina Marie Chargualaf


Human who likes to write about human things: mindfulness, connections, and five-line stories.