4 Kinds of love

How would you describe being in love?

The euphoric adrenaline-fuelled state of infatuation. You’re buzzing like a permanent caffeine-high with more energy than you know how to handle. At a moments notice you’d do anything just to be with the one who has captured your affections and elevated you to the dizzy heights of love.

20150305 4WaysToLove

You know what they say, “What goes up must come down.”

For every meteoric rise of emotion there is the descent. Perhaps you’ll gently float down to ‘reality’. You may find yourself dumped in a heap, stunned and wondering how the floor managed to come up and hit you so hard.

It’s when the shine is taken off the euphoria of being “in love”, our heads dislodged from the clouds and feet returned to terra firma that we are able to discover true love.

Yes, love is a confusing thing. We love friends, football and fine wine. We love our spouse. What is this word? A flick through a few English dictionaries suggests that love is primarily a romantic feeling of attachment and, ultimately, sex.

However, in ancient literature there are four Greek words often translated into English simply as ‘love’.

Storge is that family bond between a parent and child and between siblings.

Philio is a close friendship, brotherhood or other non-sexual friendship.

Eros is sensual, intimate and romantic.

Agape is unconditional, self-sacrificing and caring. It’s not even dependent on any objectively lovable qualities of the recipient.

A marriage built solely on an eros foundation will soon struggle. Toothpaste tubes, dirty socks and drawers left open. Amidst the annoying realities of life we must choose to cultivate a more complete love , a love that encompasses the other ‘loves’, in order to enjoy a long and satisfying marriage.

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