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The Four loves

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purplejacket4 posted 1/23/2014 13:44 PM

I've noticed on other threads the abject confusion from BS and WS wondering about the "love" that exists in the primary relationship and the affair.

In English we use love to mean many different things: I love football. I love coke. I love George Clooney. I love my best friend. I love my spouse. True, we sometimes use words like "infatuation" or "like" but usually we toss the word "love" around.

In the ancient Greek (okay here comes my knowledge from being a preacher's kid) there were four words for what we call love.

Storge: affection (what we feel towards places or things)

Philia: friendship (what we feel for other people we care about)

Eros: sexual love (what we feel as infatuation, lust, limerance, in love)

Agape: unconditional caring (what Christians feel God has towards us, the love parents have for their children, the mature love that partners develop for each other after the eros calms down)

It seems that in our culture people don't seem to appreciate that eros must mature into agape or the relationship cannot last. Eros is not sustainable. Not to say you can't have a little eros mixed up in your relationship at times but eros won't get you through the hard times. Only agape will. It's too bad so many people don't get this.

Rebreather posted 1/23/2014 13:51 PM


scarednbroken posted 1/23/2014 14:04 PM

Exactly what I was trying to say! Thanks!

Big "like"

Leave it to the Greeks to explain it well. :)

StillStanding1 posted 1/23/2014 14:18 PM


Totally frustrating when the WH said he "loved" us both. Whenever I try to distinguish love as a verb or choice, as opposed to love as a tingly feeling, I seem to get nowhere. He had a lot in common with her, so he still believes it really was "love" not just a tingly feeling. She wasn't some "dumb young ONS", she was this attractive, successful, professional woman ---- so I guess then it's 'love'? I'm so darned tired of trying to "explain" it, but perhaps I shouldn't try.... Can he really think it's possible to have 'agape' with two different women simultaneously? sigh. I don't think so.

purplejacket4 posted 1/23/2014 14:26 PM

I think you can have agape for various people (like you can have more and more kids and still feel agape for them).

Part of a lifetime partnership is the understanding of monogamy. If you have agape for your partner you may feel eros for another person (after all we're only human) but you will set boundaries so that eros as an action or behavior will never happen. So affairs are generally not going to have agape involved.

Now I think that you can have an ex partner from earlier in your life you have agape for at the same time you have agape for your current partner. However, again, the fact your current partner is your current partner means you inact boundaries with all other potential partners no matter what form of "love" you have for them.

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