Everything You Need To Know About Love
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Everything You Need To Know About Love

It doesn't have to be star-crossed to be true.

Everything You Need To Know About Love

I've got a ton of books sitting on my bookshelf, and last summer I decided to go though and donate some to our local $5 Bookstore. As I went through the stacks of paperback and hardback novels, I came across an entire stack of Nicholas Sparks books. I have read so many of Nicholas Sparks books and have seen the movies that go along with them, and just like the next girl, I fall in love every time. That's the problem. Don't get me wrong, I love reading his books just like every other lovesick girl out there, but his love stories are just so perfect. Aren't they?

Here is the basic recipe: (1) innocent tortured soul (male or female) that lives in or moves to South Carolina, (2) a local South Carolinian that is super attractive and helps the main character feel free and discover him/herself, (3) passionate love, (4) some kind of conflict that makes them break up, (5) a resolution that leaves the two together forever happily living in their new perfect, joyous love. So, maybe it's not spot on, but at least it's pretty close. The problem is that these wonderful love stories that Nicholas Sparks writes are simply not reality, and they make girls all around the world think that this is what really happens when you fall in love. The English word for love is used in many different situations and scenarios, which means that the one word has several different meanings. In ancient times, specifically in Greece, there were three words that defined the different types of love.

The first type of love is EROS. Eros is the kind of love demonstrated in the novels we've been talking about. It is the passionate, romantic type of love. This type of love is not unreal. In fact, this love, Eros, is a real thing, and I have no doubt that it's a beautiful thing when it is in the correct context. Romance novels, however, seem to be based solely on this passionate love... But this is only one part of the whole. True love is so much more than the physicality of loving each other.

The next type of love is PHILOS. Philos is a love that is based on friendship. This is what mankind experience on a daily basis with the friends that we make. There is a strong bond that forms between two people where you want to learn about and know each other; you want to spend time with each other simply because you enjoy each other's company. This type of love is unique in that it takes time to develop -- it does not happen over night. It is a type of love that is quite overlooked in many of today's romance novels – and even in real life. You can’t be in love with someone that you don't even know. You've got to really know the person you're getting into a relationship with. We all have our "deal breakers" or "pet peeves" and if you don't know the person you're getting involved with you'll have no idea who they truly are and if they do or possess one of your deal beakers or pet peeves. Truly not knowing who a person is sets any relationship up for complications - even if it's just a regular friendship.

The final type of love is AGAPE. Agape is a selfless, unconditional love. It is a love in which a person will do anything for the well being of another person, whether they are a friend or an enemy. In this type of love, the giver realizes that he or she most likely will not receive anything in return, but that's alright; they love simply because they want to. Agape love is a struggle, especially since we live in a natural state of selfishness; however, if we have in us the agape love of our God, it is completely possible for us to love all people - just like our Heavenly Father does. As a matter of fact, we are called to love just as he does.

Books by Nicholas Sparks and Sarah Dessen and others are still great reads, so go out and enjoy them! (I have!) Just don't allow your mind to get carried away with all the flare and passion and mushy stuff... Remember that love doesn't have to be star-crossed to be true.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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