Through my self-discovery, I’ve identified one of the most cherished parts of my being – and it is love. It is important to me on so many levels. Love in friendship, partnership, support, happiness and self worth.
I’ve realized that it was the Greeks who first defined love, and bucketed that love into many different domains based on the needs of humans.
Philia: the kind of love that you have for friends.
Eros: sexual and erotic desire and love.
Agape: unconditional or divine love.
Ludus: playful love, as between children.
Pragma: long standing love as in the love of a married couple.
Philautia: the love of yourself.
While Greeks recognized all of these ways to love, today we focus so much on only one type. The overly commercialized Valentine’s Day makes us think we need one significant person and if there is no person, we might as well give up now and fill that void with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s or a bottle of wine. If you have the person, the pressure is on for them to fill your every loving need.
Modern love has become watered down in the 21st century and has morphed into a one-dimensional fantasy. The soul mate process is now a business. The profitable online “dating” method omits the practicality of two people getting to know each other in a respectful and natural way. Instead people scroll through a catalogue of physical characteristics and soul mate-worthy qualities to conveniently and superficially identify the one. What this accentuates is a singular definition of love based on a perfect role we want another person to fill.
While the idea of a perfect romance is not new, or hardly the fault of modern technology, methodologies like e-harmony have definitely contributed to our monolithic views on how love should fulfill us. If we step back from the obsession with not being alone, we realize that love can be achieved and found in all areas of life. This Valentine’s Day, chart out all the areas of your life where you have any of the six types of love, and ask yourself – “how can I continue to bring love to myself and others?” The more you broaden your idea of how love should be defined in your life, the more fulfilled you will be.
The entire month of February either via social media or through my actions, I am celebrating the six categories of love for my #28daysoflove challenge. Follow me on social to participate or conduct your own love challenge!