Love has many forms. In Greek there are four different words for love: Agápe, Éros, Philia and Storge.
Agápe type love is the word you would use to describe one whom you hold in very high regard such as close family members or a deity. Philia refers to a dispassionate yet virtuous love – the love and loyalty one would have for friends, relatives and community. Storge (the only one I can’t pronounce) is used when referring to natural affection – such as the love of parents for their offspring. Éros of course, is passionate love, desire, longing; usually reserved for someone who is more than a friend. The modern word, erotas, refers to Intimate love – which is where we get the word ‘erotic’ from. Oddly enough, the use of the word Éros can mean the appreciation of beauty; it does not necessarily have to be of a sexual nature.
Anyone confused yet? Seriously. However, what is love if not confusing? And yet the majority of single people continually pursue love and romance as if it were sustenance for their starving soul, (which it is, IMHO.) We browse internet dating sites, haunt local hangouts and bars . . . we’re always on the lookout for that perfect . . . someone.
A torrid love affair can last one night, ten years or the span of a lifetime.
Who wouldn’t want to meet someone with whom the heart, mind and soul connection was so intense that both parties would be thrilled to spend the rest of their lives together? I know every marriage or serious relationship starts out with this mind set, but what happens? Why does that spark fizzle out?
I have a theory regarding this – an unspoken rule that should be voiced – perhaps taught in college relationship classes, something that took me literally years to figure out.
If each person in the relationship makes a conscious decision to uplift the other whether in support of working toward a mutually beneficial dream, the perpetuation of physical pleasures, giving encouragement, or discovering new ideas or hobbies together, there would never be cause for that relationship to go stale. This takes consistency and creative thinking by both parties, but what better way to enrich your life than by focusing such positive energies on your soul mate – giving and taking equally. The love can only spiral upwards and blossom unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before.
This recipe requires two passionate, devoted people willing to work at a relationship 24/7. They must respect each other and hold the other in the very highest regard. All forms of love must be recognized and utilized at all times. It’s not a complicated as it sounds. Really, I promise.
Now that you have your guidelines, boundaries must be set outside your circle of two. Got kids? Put them to bed and lock your bedroom door. Intrusive relatives? Turn off your phone. It’s great to hang out with dear friends, but not every single night. Balancing your priorities with outside relationships will take concentration and practice, but will be well worth in in the end.
Now for the why. I’ve read recently (in a book about Feng Shui of all places) that people in a mutually loving relationship live healthier and longer lives than those who are widowed or divorced and choose to stay alone. When you think about it, it makes sense. Often when a life-long partner dies at a ripe old age, their spouse follows shortly thereafter.
So technically, physical +emotional + spiritual love help sustain life. Love *is* good for the soul.
Think of a torrid love affair you’ve had. Are you grinning? Does it give you the warm-fuzzies? How can that not be good for you? Now to find someone willing to meet said challenge right along with you.
For some humans, sex is just something to pass the time. It’s “fun.” (I must admit, I can’t stand it when people say that about their aimless sexual experiences. It totally cheapens the gift we’ve been given.)
A caution to the casual lover: I know (especially for the male of the species) jumping from flower to flower like a bee is looked upon as ‘cool’ especially from your buddies. But eventually, your soul will feel empty – you will long for a companion – someone to have meaningful, deep, soul-wringing conversations with. You will likely think to yourself as you approach the autumn and winter of your life, ‘if only I would have realized this earlier . . .’ Finding your soul mate can take precious time. Dating trends, at least for serious dating, tend to change as technology, generation-generated and/or cultural climates expand and shift. Don’t be left alone.
Open your heart to the possibilities of a love that lasts a lifetime. Desire a fulfilling existence where both parties work hard and contribute – daily – to that relationship. There is nothing more romantic that doesn’t come with a view.