Eros Agape Philia

Achieving a balance between the four kinds of love: Eros, Agape, Philia, Storge.

Don’t you just love the blossom?

Recently I got a gift in a clothing shop: three white soaps in the form of a heart, nicely packed in a red cardboard box with three words in white color printed on it: Eros Agape Philia. I remembered the Greeks and a quick look into Wikipedia affirmed my assumption that those three words are defining different variations of love. See: Greek words for love.

Eros means “love, mostly of the sexual passion”. Agape in Greek philosophy is “love: esp. charity; the love of God for man and of man for God”. Philia would be “affectionate regard, friendship”. There is also a fourth kind of love: Storge “love, affection, especially of parents and children”.

In my opinion, what we strive for all our lives is a balance between the four kinds of love. And I would like to stress that there is also a fifth kind of love, which should not be forgotten: the love for oneself, self-respect, self-defense.

Let me say something about Eros first. I believe that in romantic love relationships we need Philia too, which will see us through the non-passionate periods. And how could we grow old together without friendship-like love?

Agape on the other hand is our spiritual connection, our sense of eternity of soul and at the same time the ephemerality of body and pain. If we meditate through a chaos of emotions in times of a life-partner relationship crisis, there will be more Philia and Eros left. Anger and fear will not chase them away. That way one has more to bargain with in face of one’s fate.

What about the parent-child-love, or Storge in Greek? What we need to know about this kind of love is that being strict is a part of it. It is easier to give in to your child’s wishes, but what (s)he needs is to experience limitations. That is the only way the kid will set her/his own limitations as an adult. And be it any plan in life, one cannot focus on it without some kind of borders and giving things up. One household has this set of limits or rules, another a different one – what matters is the concept: The kid cannot do whatever (s)he likes. At least not in any situation. The child can pick the flavor of ice-cream for instance, but cannot have ice-cream before lunch. Or let us look at another example. In one household family members are allowed to eat in front of TV, but they must always sweep or wipe away any remains of food should there be any. In another household they can only eat in the kitchen for example.

Read more about love in my romance novel.

Take care,

Helena Smole, author of:

– a fantasy novel with romance Vivvy and Izzy the Dwarf: A series about relationships

Balancing the Beast, a book offering a bright view of schizoaffective disorder ˗ bipolar or manic-depressive type

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