This one is tough, as the English word “love” covers everything from agape to eros to philia and so many different virtues have been swept under its name over the years.

One distinguishing thing about love is the prominence of emotion. You can imagine being dispassionately kind, considerate, respectful, etc. but being dispassionately loving seems more like a contradiction.

Prototypes of loving include that between parents and children, and that between lovers. (The book Character Strengths and Virtues pivoted from talking about the character strength of love to talking about research on “attachment” almost entirely, for example.)

Complementary virtues


Contrasting vices


Virtues possibly in tension


How to acquire or strengthen it


Notes and links

Mentioned elsewhere

Inspirational quotes