So as I’m sure you’re aware, today is Valentine’s Day. However you’ve spent your day (even if it was alone like me) I hope you’ve had a brilliant time 🙂
Actually, I wanted to say something about Valentine’s Day. Nowadays we dedicate it to spending time with the person we love most, showing them that we love them, and it’s generally just very coupley the whole time. Is coupley a word? Probably not.
Due to the fact that Valentines Day nowadays is so coupley, (it’s a new word, I’ve accepted it) many people don’t celebrate it, and actually resent it because they’re single and alone.
That really shouldn’t be the case. It’s the day of love, sure, but the word love has such a broad spectrum of meanings, and I think that people forget that.
As I’m sure some of you know, the Ancient Greeks had six words for love. Now that’s a good idea. There probably could be even more, but I thought I’d share them with you to show that you don’t have to be in a relationship to celebrate the day of love.
Pragma – This means “longstanding love,” the kind of relationship that withstands the test of time. People experiencing pragma use patience and tolerance: they make compromises to make the relationship work for both people. Typically it refers to married couples, but it could just as easily be close friendships or family relationships. There’s a really nice quote from psychologist Erich Fromm:
“We spend too much energy on “falling in love” and need to learn more how to “stand in love.”
Storge – This means “family love,” the love you feel for your parents, siblings or extended family. They’re usually the people you know best, and (hopefully) they know what’s best for you.
Philia – This means “deep friendship,” The Greeks valued this kind of love a lot more than romantic love. It had originated from the love and comradeship that soldiers felt on the battlefield, but nowadays I assume that it’s between friends.
Eros – This means “sexual desire or passion,” and it’s the kind of love that we normally associate Valentines with, a romantic relationship. Actually, this is regarded as the most dangerous kind of love among the Greeks, because when you feel Eros you lose control. Make of that what you will.
Ludus – This means “playful love,” and today it’s known as flirting. It’s the stage before the relationship gets serious. But it also could mean having fun with friends, which has apparently been rebranded banter. The Greeks always thought there should be some ludus in relationships.
Agape – I think I like this one most of all. Agape means “love for everyone” or “love for humanity”. It’s a love that you extend to all people, whether you know them or not. It’s the feeling of empathy, that makes you have a connection with people you don’t know, because we are all sharing the human experience.
I guess what I’m saying is that remember that love isn’t all about the Eros. Today you could be Storge’ing with your family, having great Ludus with your friends, or just reading the stories in this community and feeling some Agape for the world.
Hope you had a good day of love, whatever kind it was ❤