It still took years for me to let go of learned pattern’s of behavior that negated my capacity to give and receive love. One pattern that made the practice of love especially difficult was my constantly choosing to be with men who were emotionally wounded, who were not that interested in loving, even though they desired to be loved. I wanted to know love but was afraid to be intimate. By choosing men who were not interested in being loving, I was able to practice giving love but always within an unfufilling context. Naturally, my need to receive love was not met. I got what I was accustomed to getting. Care and affection, usually mingled with a degree of unkindness, neglect, and on some occasions, out right cruelty.
— bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions
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 a 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.
— bell hooks, All About Love (via xuron)