Love: What It Really Means
What is love? When someone tells you that they love you, how are you supposed to respond? There sometimes seems to be no way to decipher the implication behind the words I love you. When one loves someone or something, to what extent is their desire? It would be ideal if the English language could have more words for love. Love is so complicated in and of itself, that even if you were to have different words; it would still be challenging to clarify. Because the English language is lacking of distinctive nouns to describe this strong affection, it is essential to look to the Greek dictionary to find words that define the distinguishing types of love that we feel as human beings.
The most prominent type of "love" in our culture, which also happens to be the most selfish, is Pathos. This type of love is the self-focused lust of the body. Sexual in nature, this type of love is not worried about emotional or spiritual connection with others. This physical affection is simply the sensual and passionate longing or desire for another human. One can love another with pathos and not care for them in any other way. In the Greek, this word is not used to describe love, but in the English language love is frequently used to describe and relate to erotic activity and feelings.
Another type of love that is closely associated with pathos is the emotional fondness of Eros. This type of love is a sincere longing to be emotionally connected to another human in a romantic way. It is a very intimate love, but it does not have to be sexual in nature. It can simply be someone who you have an even more cherished love for than phileo (friendship). Eros love, without any pathos or physical attraction, is referred to as platonic. The literal definition of eros is more complicated than a sexual or romantic affection. Rather, it signifies much more and says something utterly different from our word for love. Eros is the striving after of...
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