Love of a lover is not a mere affection, sentiment, or passion. Affections come, sentiments disappear, passions wane. Yet love, insofar as it is love, not only resides but also grows. Emotions perish, love endures.
Furthermore, love of a lover is a religious concept. I devote myself to my lover, with this commitment not being a prison cell or an obligation I must fulfill: it is a desire I celebrate. I want to devote myself to her regardless of changing circumstances, the fluctuations of moods, the travails of misfortune.
Thirdly, love of a lover is an ethical concept. I must recognize my lover as a particular human being with a unique suite of desires, ideas, capacities, and dispositions. This recognition should bring me to ‘wish her well’ in a very strong sense. Meaning: to care for her for her own sake, to imagine as best I can what she thinks but does not say, to achieve an intuitive grasp of her way of being.
In spite of the way we chat about love, love of a lover is not a fainthearted undertaking. It is not nice; it is dangerous: it will, as it must, break you before it deems you worthy of the blessings it so graciously bestows upon both of you.