In the meaning explanation of the vocabulary 恋, it says that the meaning of the word isn’t shared with the kanji, meaning that 恋 as a word doesn’t mean romance. However, I checked ウィズダム和英辞典 and there it translates the word 恋 to romance as well.
Koi is a love for the opposite sex, or a feeling of longing for a specific person. It can be described as romantic love or passionate love. While ai has the same meaning as koi, it also has a definition of a general feeling of love. Koi can be selfish, but ai is a real love. Koi is always wanting. Ai is always giving. Koi is a state in which you grow to like someone romantically and your heart is disordered by many different emotions, whereas ai is when your heart yearns for someone so much that you become miserable, while feeling a great affection towards your partner.
Quote from that website
That makes it very clear! So you could say 愛 is a little more romantic in that sense.
Yes, I think that’s one way of summarizing it. Phrases like “To fall in love” (恋に落ちる) or one’s “first love” (初恋), which are not necessarily the most profound types of love, always seem to use 恋. So yeah, I think the idea is that 恋 could turn into 愛 with time and the right efforts.
…I’m not so sure about that. How are you defining romantic in this sense? For me, romantic has more of a feeling of the early days,’ lovey-dovey kind of love (except when it’s used in the case of romantic poetry, but let’s not go into that). Do you mean something else than me with the word “romantic”? From the portion you quoted and what little I’ve seen of Japanese in the wild, 恋 is the type of love you find in romances, while 愛 is the type of love that a child can feel for a parent, a sibling for another sibling, a friend for a friend. But of course, 愛 can also be the love joining two lovers, if they get past the preliminary stage of 恋.
Ah, my mistake there. I was thinking of how 恋 was described as “taking” love, while 愛 is a matter of “giving” love. So I assumed the latter was more romantic, which is not necessarily the case.
Also, didn’t even think of familial love and stuff. Does love for a friend also work under 愛? Or is that too extreme?
If you did want to talk about the love you have for a friend, I suppose you would use 愛–definitely not 恋 at any rate. I think you can think of 愛 in the same way as the word “love” in English. While many will assume that the phrase “I love you” is going to be romantic because it is often used that way there isn’t anything in the definition itself that requires that it be.
What I know for sure is that it can be used for familial love, as there’s this song I know (「聞こえますか」) written from the perspective of a younger brother to his older brother, and he uses the phrase「愛する人」to refer to him (at the 0:44 mark). From this I would assume that 愛 would work for friends as well, since there are similarities between the love between family members and the love between friends.