Is Affection An Offshoot Of Love?


Affection comes naturally but it has to be nurtured in the impressionable years of growth. If it is rebuffed in the earlier stages of childhood, it recedes to the remotest corners of our heart, difficult to reignite.

People who grow up to be reticent and unemotional have probably been denied this affection. They have never been told that it is natural to hug and speak in clear words about their emotions. When emotions are snubbed, we learn to disregard them.

My earliest recollections about affection are connected with my grandma but she didn’t live in our house and she died when I was quite young. Out of all my aunts, I felt drawn towards only one, probably because she was kind, soft-spoken and listened calmly.

Besides this I didn’t know what is affection till I became a mother…why it doesn’t come naturally to all mothers is the biggest mystery!

Affection is different from love, which can be selfish and demanding though understanding love is more challenging than understanding affection!

Affection is a much profound emotion, which is inexplicable but can be fathomed through our pores. It percolates down our skin slowly. It exposes us to some finer emotions. It can mold us into caring and understanding persons.

Though the synonyms of affection are: fondness, liking, feeling, love, care, desire, passion, warmth, attachment, goodwill, devotion, kindness, inclination, tenderness, propensity, friendliness, amity

But…Affection is not passion; it is not love albeit love may later develop due to this sublime emotion.

Affection is not transient; it grows even when it is not reciprocated.

Affection is not a desire; it cannot be commanded. It is earned.

Affection is not ‘liking’; it doesn’t change with seasons.affection-quote

I had a colleague who was very affectionate. She could win many hearts with her way of approaching people and her words, even those, which carried an unsolicited advice could affect! I felt drawn toward her due to her kindness but I won’t say I loved her.

In the beginning; love is just a passing thought, a mirage that allures us.

Love grows if it is nurtured. It evolves itself but withers if it is not watered with affection, care, respect and kindness. Romantic love morphs into a loving and eternal relationship if we understand what is love.

We attach so many emotions and expectations to love that its real visage gets sidelined. It’s illusionary aspect carries us far into the world of unknown…obviously we wander and drift away!

While the perception of love changes with time and depends on culture and conditioning, affection is more reliable.

“Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our natural lives.” – C. S. Lewis

Affection can be nurtured:

  • Respond to your child’s demands with soft words
  • Make bedtime a memorable and loving moment
  • Read good stories with the right emotion and intonation
  • Hug your child lovingly and speak endearing words calmly
  • Be gentle and soft, as a child can understand the caresses more than a usual touch
  • Be positive and honest in your dealings
  • Avoid manipulations as a child can understand them quite well
  • Be sensitive to the thoughts and fears of your child
  • Never ever yell at or nag them for their imperfections
  • Be emotionally present and empathize with their frustrations
  • Always use positive words to encourage them.

The moment we indulge our affections, the earth is metamorphosed, there is no winter and no night; all tragedies, all ennui s, vanish, all duties even. – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

How do you show affection? Does it affect love?

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.



27 thoughts on “Is Affection An Offshoot Of Love?

  1. I like the fact that ‘love has to be watered with affection, respect…’ I was thinking all this while where I am lacking and I got it all right! You won’t believe that I hear these words quite often at my home 😊

    Btw, from the points it seems affection is more towards children, but it can be with anybody in general?

    Thank you for an enlightening read, again.

    1. Thanks for thinking deeply Alok, which must have evoked that question…affection can be nurtured better during childhood and those caresses of formative years leave an indelible mark on our psyche, making us positive and affectionate…then those words that you hear so often at home don’t have to be repeated! 🙂

      1. Agree with it, I guess our forefathers were not that learned and knowledgeable. Future generations would hopefully do better at training their children to be better.

  2. Your writings touch deeply upon a subject that has made me think deeply.

    I remember well the affection, love, laughter bestowed upon me by my Grandmother.. And yet try as I might, I cannot think of one time when my own Mother drew me to her to give me affection and Love.. I am sure there would have been those times..
    But her distance in later years I often wonder if they cloud my memories, yet in all honesty I cannot pull them to the surface if they are there.

    I agree Love grows from affection, and all of those other things you mention, Care Respect Kindness all come into the mix..
    There are so many ways to LOVE and feel the stirrings of this emotion within so many of relationships with others.. Be it friendship, siblings, or just the emotion of Love we have within Nature and our hobbies.. We use this emotional expression to express so many things which affect our hearts

    Such a great list of positives you have given in your guidance to nurture affection

    I try often to fulfil the list especially with my young granddaughter..

    Love and Blessings dear Balroop, I hope you have a Peaceful Weekend my friend.

    Love ❤ Sue xxx

    1. Hi Sue,
      I can truly understand the feeling that your words carry, giving a benefit of doubt, thinking hard whether the memories have been clouded but I know such memories never recede…your words resonate so much with my own memories…always trying to creep below to find some solace of having felt the affection…Love and laughter of those formative years is so precious and yes, lets do our share by giving them to our grandchildren 🙂
      Many thanks dear Sue for your lovely reflections, they always bring so much solace and affection.
      Love and hugs. Have a wonderful week.

      1. Thank you for that beautiful reply Balroop.. I am glad it is not only I who dig deep to remember affection.. And yes.. I have an abundance to give to my granddaughter.. Much love to you also my friend xxx ❤ And you too have a lovely week xx

  3. I agree with your views on affection. Mostly affection grows towards people whom we think, we have to protect, nurture and care for. You’ve rightly said, affection is profound and, is full of a myriad a feelings.
    A nice take on affection this was… 🙂

    1. Thanks for your kind words and welcome to Emotional Shadows…I could discern some emotions while reading your love for ‘another lady’ 🙂

  4. I agree with you and C.S. Lewis. We can have affection without love but not the other way around. Touch is a very human need beginning in the cradle. I read an article recently about what the dying really need from their loved ones—touch was the number one. Affection is all about touch as well as though gentle words you talk of often here at Emotional Shadows. Profound topic you’ve tackled here, Balroop and we don’t often stop to think of it in such terms. Thanks for this beautiful reminder and tips.

    1. Thank you Lisa and welcome back, hope you had a wonderful, fun-filled break.
      Affection begins even before the cradle…the natural touch that nature has provided to an infant, that’s why a mother’s touch is so heavenly 🙂

  5. I’m not a mom, but I do have a dog and I’m very affectionate toward her. She gets lots of pets and hugs! I figure that’s where all my maternal instinct went. I know I would have been touchy-feely if I was a mom, even though I’m not really a touchy-feely person with anyone else!

  6. I believe affection can make a beautiful difference in people lives Balroop. I would never imagine motherhood without it. My parents were very affectionate with us as children and I am the same with my son – it’s never too much. I believe affection gives confidence and help us grow.
    Thank you for sharing your views on the subject and giving us tips and advices to nurture it.
    Stay well and have a lovely day Balroop.

  7. I hadn’t thought about the difference between love and affection. I like your ideas on now to nurture it. If it’s truly love don’t you think it wouldn’t be demanding though.

    1. Firstly I don’t think there is anything called true or false love… It was said a mother’s love is unconditional but my observations say it too becomes demanding with time as mothers have a lot of expectations from their children. In ancient times they were voiced loudly but in modern times they are conveyed diplomatically.

  8. I craved more affection as a child, but my parents (who I knew loved me ) were not affectionate people. Fortunately, I discovered immediate affection for both of my children when they were born, and they were raised with lots of hugs and verbal pronouncements of love, as well as non-verbal. I’m so happy to see that my children are affectionate parents now. Makes my heart sing.

  9. Hi Pamela, Thanks for sharing your personal affections…I share your thoughts of being blessed with affectionate children and grandchildren. The delight is really inexplicable!

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