Eros, Philia, & Agape

Topics: Greek words for love, Love, Friendship Pages: 2 (536 words) Published: September 30, 2008
The Meaning of Love
Love is a funny thing. Although it is a very strong and unmistakable feeling, we are almost always left asking ourselves, “What is the meaning of love?” The dictionary has nearly 30 different definitions for the word “love”. The first definition, “a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person” (APA), is probably the one that the majority of us relate to and understand. But just because this definition is widely accepted by couples all around the world, it doesn’t mean it’s the only meaning of love out there. When somebody says they love someone or something, we often don’t know exactly what they mean, because over time, the word “love” has been used in so many ways, that it has virtually lost all its meaning. Fortunately, the Greek language gives us distinct words to distinguish between the types of loves. The first is Eros. Eros love involves passion and romance. While usually limited to just physical attraction, Eros also includes the feeling of immediate passion, such as a car enthusiast seeing his ultimate dream car, or a fine jewelry collector seeing the Hope Diamond for the first time. Eros is entirely a “now” feeling, or as most of us say, “love at first sight”. It’s all about the moment, about this feeling, the intensity right here, right now. The next type of love is Philia. Philia is a friendship love. This is a love that you can earn and lose. It is an affection shared not only by friends, but also by family, co-workers, or even pets. Philia is conditional, which means it can increase and decrease depending on what happens in the relationship. Philia can also be motivated, simply because the relationship is useful or beneficial in some way. But, on the other hand, this is also where we find our “fair weathered friends”, the people who are around only for the good times, and never for the bad. The last type of love is Agape, which is defined as unconditional love. It comes from your character, and can never be...
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