Before reading this post, it's assumed that you've read the previous posts in the "back to the basics" series. Some of the content of this post builds upon those posts. I'd also strongly recommend reading the recent posts by u/girlwithabike on the book "for women only".
What is love?
Love is a big word that means a lot of different things. The definition of love changes based on the context, but there's an overarching common theme to the concept of love - an emotion that brings two people closer together. The difference between different types of love is how they bring people together and in what way they come closer together.
The context and types of love are so different from one another that one type of love can be inappropriate in the context of a different type of love. For example, the parent/child relationship is one context for love, the husband/wife relationship is different context for love. If you love your child with the type of love that ought to be reserved for your spouse, you'd go to jail! If you love your spouse with the type of love that is like a parent/child type of love, you'll have many issues in your marriage! Understanding the context and type of love we're after is key for success. The rest of the post will focus on the varying types of love between men and women.
Men date down, women date up
This is true in many ways and has been discussed in a previous post. To expound on what has already been covered - the male and female love themselves also move in opposite directions. If love is the emotion that brings two people together + men date down and women date up = logic follows that male love operates in a 'downward motion' while female love operates in an 'upward motion' as will soon be explained.
Male expressions of love
A woman arouses within a man a deep seated desire to provide for her and protect her. Both of these can be seen as having a downward motion and fit perfectly with the idea that men date and marry down.
To be a provider entails a great deal of generosity. Indeed, a man will express his love through giving his time, energy and money to support the woman he loves and to do things that will make her life easier. Same is true with regards to being the protector. The man - as the one who's bigger, stronger and braver - is protecting his wife and children who are smaller, weaker and more timid.
This type of love is constant and steady. It's always there, never wanes. It's in a downward motion because it's to provide and protect for the weaker members of the family. This love comes with ease. It moves downward, with the force of gravity. This type of love is analogous to water that's always there, flows downward effortlessly, makes things stick together and is cold.
Female expressions of love
A man awakens within a woman a sense of awe and respect through being better than her and higher up in the hierarchy. Through providing the male type of unwavering, steady provision and protection. She looks up to him and that's sexy to her. Her deep respect, awe and admiration for him is what arouses her love.
This love goes against gravity and is not always there. Unlike the man who's steady like a rock and full of generosity - the woman is prone to mood swings that come with the ups and downs of the menstrual cycle. Furthermore, the woman's love and desire for her man is also not at all steady. It changes drastically all the time.
The woman must be there to nurture the child. Nurturing is fundamentally different from generosity. Generosity is to give new stuff endlessly, nurturing is to keep out all foreign stuff and to grow what you already have. Traditionally, men brought home the bacon and women turned it into a delicious and nourishing meal. The man was generous, the woman was nurturing.
But although the female love isn't steady (hence the saying - she'll never love you the way you love her), when it's there, it's much much stronger than the male version of love. Anyone who had sex knows that when a woman is truly turned on, she'll easily outpace a man. OTOH, the man can always be turned on, rain or shine, stressed or calm, exhausted or we'll rested. The man can turn on in relatively short order because his love is steady and always there. Not so with a woman who needs more time to warm up and when she warms up, boy does she get hot!
Which is why female love is analogous to fire that rises up, that needs constant fueling lest it burn out, that is all consuming and that can be extremely constructive or destructive depending on how it's used.
What we need from each other
Men crave respect because this indicates that she's looking up to him. Next, men crave sexual desire from their women because that's the result of her looking up to him. The male love that's always present and contained, like cold water in a bowl, craves to be brought to a boil through her fiery sexual passion that comes as a result of her deep admiration for him.
Women crave stability to counterbalance the turbulence of their emotional roller coaster. The rock in the stormy waters. What do women find sexy in a man? Strong arms, a strong personality and other displays of strength. When a woman cries and falls apart and her man helps hold her together, he will become sexually aroused (even if he'll try to hide it because it's inappropriate). When a man cries and falls apart, the woman becomes sexually turned off. She needs strength and steadiness from him. She needs him to remain cool through the turbulent thrashing heat of her emotions. She needs him to always be there and always be ready for her when her fire ignites.
Men and women love in different ways. Male love is cold, constant and steady. Female love is hot, turbulent and unsteady. This can be frustrating to men because when the woman's love is not openly present while his love is as steady as always, he's bound to feel that his love is not being reciprocated. That's why many men conclude that women are incapable of love, period. Truth is, that we each love in different ways. The female fire of love can be consciously kept alive in the heart and actions of a woman who consciously chooses to do so. Many women don't bother making this choice and that's cause for much male frustration. However, this is nothing new. King Solomon wrote in the book of proverbs - a woman of Valor, who can find her? He goes on to describe her as being a rare find. If you consciously choose, you can be this woman!