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24 May 2018
The language of love
English as a language is full of peculiarities and contradictions, but is also descriptive, romantic and bursting with possibilities. But when it comes to the topic of love, the ancients Greeks definitely had more words and evocative and eloquent ways of describing the many forms of love that we experience with all its nuances.
Here are the six types of love:
In essence Agape is unconditional love, or love for everyone. It does not necessarily describe romantic love, or even that of love between friends. It is moral in nature and describes commitment and faithfulness. In this love there is compassion, kindness and pleasure – it is an act of will.
Eros is of course the Greek god of love and fertility. Eros represents erotic love, love in all its passionate forms, those that bring both romantic and sexual feelings. Interestingly Eros was something that the Greeks feared, it was seen as dangerous to want to engage in a fiery passionate entanglement – they did not want to lose control. Whereas today many of us are searching for exactly that ‘madly in love feeling’.
Ludus applies to more than one group of people, it is a playful love, and so for example can be seen between children and siblings in terms of affection but can also be seen in the early stages of a relationship when a couple are just thinking about getting together or are falling in love – think about jokes and teasing each other and gentle flirting. It is also used between long-standing friends, they may rib each other, but it is all in good fun.
Philia is the love of friends, it is deep affection shown between equals. This is reserved for deep and mature relationships, the ones where you show the most loyalty and where you will sacrifice for them. Philia is also often seen by groups of people that have to work very closely together in a team and who depend on each other for their safety such as the military.
You would expect to see Pragma in long-standing relationships. It is a mature love that has deepened and has endured through the years. It is about understanding that compromise is needed, that you have to be patient and tolerant in a partnership to let each person grown at their own pace whilst staying together as a romantic couple. Pragma is revered, it is easy to fall in love, but not so easy to remain in love.
This last word for love, is all about family – the love shared between siblings, parents and children, and extended family. It is about familiarity and kinship. The affection of Storge is considered instinctual and natural.
Ref: The Magnolia JournalTweet