What is Love
Can we define this in a four letter word? Does it has the same meaning for everyone? Does it even exist?
Ancient Greek philosophers identified five forms of love: essentially, familial (in Greek, Storge), friendly or platonic (Philia), romantic (Eros), guest (Xenia) and divine (Agape). Modern authors have distinguished further varieties: unrequited, empty, companionate, consummate, infatuated, self-love, and courtly love.
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The color wheel theory of love is an idea created by Canadian psychologist John Alan Lee that describes six styles of love, using several of the Latin and Greek words for love. First introduced in his book Colors of Love: An Exploration of the Ways of Loving (1973), Lee defines three primary, three secondary and nine tertiary love styles, describing them in terms of the traditional color wheel. The three primary types are Eros, Ludus and Storge, and the three secondary types are mania, pragma and agape.
- Eros is the Greek term for romantic, passionate or sexual love, from which we derive the term “erotic”. Passionate physical and emotional love of wanting to satisfy, create sexual contentment, security and aesthetic enjoyment for each other.
- Ludus means “game” in Latin. Lee uses the term to describe those who see love as a desiring to want to have fun with each other, to do activities indoor and outdoor, tease, indulge, and play harmless pranks on each other.
- Storge is the Greek term for familial love. Lee defines Storge as growing slowly out of friendship and is based more on similar interests and a commitment to one another rather than on passion.
- Mania is from the Latin for “mental disorder”, from which we get the term “manic”. This type of love leads a partner into a type of madness and obsessiveness.
- Agape is a Greek term for altruistic love. Lee describes Agape as the purest form, derives this definition of being altruistic towards one’s partner and feeling love in the acts of doing so. It is based on an unbreakable commitment and an unconditional that is all giving. Is often referenced with religious meaning.
- Pragma derives from a Greek term, meaning “businesslike”. Lee defines pragma as the most practical type, not necessarily derived out of true romantic love. Pragmatic lovers have a notion of being of service which they perceive to be rational and realistic.
Our language is a majestic machine. If we have some many ways to describe all these types of love, why do we use one word only to describe so many different things.
Why a mother lies her children and to herself telling them she loves them? If indeed what she means is “I Storge you” or in worse case “I Manic Storge you”. Wouldn’t that be more accurate, honest and clear? Not giving other the wrong idea. And not lying to ourselves about what we truly feel?
While I pretty much agree with this color wheel of love (not completely, I guess I should try to make my own color wheel) I don’t agree with the word Love. Why keep calling it that if the creation of this wheel demonstrates that LOVE DOES NOT EXIST. But emotional needs and connections, for which we have different words to describe, are the real relationship interactions.
Are we really that dumb? That we can’t handle the language logistics of 9 more words into our vocabulary?
Are we such liars? That we prefer to keep lying to others as much as we lie to ourselves?
Learn about self-discipline here, or about the stages of grief here.