The problem isn't so much you, Zach, it's English. In English there's only one word for love, so we're forced to load a lot of baggage onto one back, and it's not all that strong.
The Greeks used three words, and even that may not have sufficed. But it may be helpful here. Philia, Eros, and Agape.
Philia (FEE-lee-a) is brotherly love, as in a good friendship, the sort of love that people are supposed to have for each other that makes them want to get together with family and go out and grab a movie with bunch of pals.
Eros (AIR-os), is sexual love. Lust frequently comes under this banner. But you need to be observant, because lust doesn't always mean something sexual. It speaks most often of the sense of drive that goes with that sexual feeling as well. Thing of the wonderful novel about the life of Vincent Van Gogh Lust for Life. (also a great movie as well.) The sense of lust is often the sense of magnetism that goes with sexual desire. But one can talk as well for a lust for food, for example, or a lust for advancement. The word is complex, as is the concept. Some of us feel a lust for sounds and words and the interplay of words. Not necessarily poets, by the way, but some of us are poets, and that feel and drive for words has elements of lust in it as well.
Agape (ay-GOP-pay, where the "ay" rhymes with Hay "GOP" rhymes with Crop). Agape is the Greek word for the unconditional love of God for man from, I believe, new testament usage.
The love that you speak about in english is often thought of as being much like Agapaic love; it's idealized that way, and romanticised. It may even be somewhat that way, but with people, having bodies as we do, and not being God ourselves, it's pretty darn futile to pretend that we can do something that only God can do. Our attempts at Agapaic love are almost always mixed with eros, philia or both. Usually the best we can do is to try to be conscious of how much of each sort is present, and to make a decision about what's appropriate with whom.
Staying aware is very difficult. Acting with consideration for the other person is a measure of how much maturity there is in the love. Any one of the three types can be approached with various amounts of consideration for the self and for the other. That's why people never seem to tire of discussing the subject. Not only is it sexy as all get out, but there's so much space to think of one's self and others as good or evil. It's a feast for everybody!