From the book All About Love, again by bell hooks (thanks Autumn!):
When we see love as the will to nurture one's own or another's spiritual growth, revealed through acts of care, respect, knowing, and assuming responsibility, the foundation of all love in our life is the same. There is no special love exclusively reserved for romantic partners. Genuine love is the foundation of our engagement with ourselves, with family, with friends, with partners, with everyone we choose to love. While we will necessarily behave differently depending on the nature of the relationship, or have varying degrees of commitment, the values that inform our behavior, when rooted in a love ethic, are always the same for any interaction. (pg. 136)
Reading this passage was jarring to me. I had long seen love as a "pie" which had different "pieces": Platonic love, romantic love, sexual love, etc. This was comforting to me because I felt that if I couldn't have the sexual and romantic pieces, there were still others. However, bell hooks seems to view love as one pie with different toppings: Love topped with romance, topped with sex, topped with a parent's nurturing. When I thought about it, hooks' conception started to make more sense to me than my own had done. And, anyone can have the whole pie. So, do you agree with any of these pies, or are you eating a different baked good altogether?