The 4 Types of Love We Should All Experience

The 4 Types of Love We Should All Experience

Family. Friendship. Passion. Humanity.
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As Valentine’s Day approaches and shops begin to showcase a blinding array of pink, red and white, I always take a moment to remember why February 14th is my favorite day of the year. It’s never the candy or the cards or the French kissing — instead, it’s the love. Valentine's is a day solely dedicated to the extravagance of love, and a hopeless romantic such as myself should be easily enamored with the pizzazz and flashiness of the affection-filled holiday.

Although, that’s not why I find Valentine’s Day so important. Yes, I think love is the most amazing thing on the planet; however, it is the celebration of love that causes me to brim over with happiness at the simple thought of February 14th.

I would argue that love, whether giving or receiving, is perhaps the greatest feeling in the universe; yet, why should love be celebrated just one day a year? Love, which I often find very difficult to define, is a powerful force that has many intricate nuances. Love is so nuanced that the Ancient Greeks separated it into four different types. I firmly believe that experiencing all four types of love within someone’s life is important for spiritual growth and emotional happiness.

StorgeThe love of community and family. Storge can be described as the type of attraction between a mother and her children, very close friends, grandchildren with their wiser, much older grandparents. Storge, at its very core, is unconditional. This type of love can be seen as the most recognizable between spouses who are best friends—committed, understanding and sacrificial in all aspects of their romantic life.

PhiliaThe love of friendship. Philia is often compared to brotherly love (its name lending to the city of Philadelphia) or the love between friends. Originally conceived by Aristotle, philia is often romantically neutral and is instead focused on the connections between friends, lacking the passion seen in agape or eros. This type of love can be seen as a very high form of respect and openness between loyal friends.

ErosThe love of emotional intimacy and sensuality. When people hear the phrase “I love you,” this is most frequently the type of love associated. Eros is a powerful, sexual love that is often expressed through physicality and passionate emotions. While a relationship, in its early stages, thrives off this type of love, eros requires the presence of the other 3 types of love to be truly sustainable.

Agape My personal favorite type of love. The love of humanity and all living things. Arguably the most reverent type of love, agape is defined as a strong, persistent love for those around you, despite flaws and shortcomings. In a more spiritual sense, agape can been seen as the goodwill between one another and the love for our fellow humans.

As every Valentine’s Day rapidly arrives, I always wish that love will not be perceived as just sexual, passionate love between those in relationships. Rather, I hope and urge others to focus on all four entities of love: storge, agape, philia and eros. Love, while clearly complex, is such a beautiful and amazing concept that intertwines people of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, cultures, environments and upbringings. So, as you tackle this magical celebration of love, remember the people in your life that may not be at the dead center of your sexual affections—instead, this Valentine’s Day focus on your friends, family, returning war veterans, families in homeless shelters, your dog—anyone. Finally, I urge everyone to celebrate community, friendship, and humanity not only because love permeates all these realms, but also because I believe love can change the world. And changing the world through love seems like a pretty cool thing, wouldn’t you think?

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.

Cover Image Credit: Wallpaper Wide XYZ

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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You've Heard Of 'How To Be Single,' But Let's Talk About 'How To Be Romantic'

For some of us, it takes work to be cutesy and romantic.

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Okay, I'm probably the least romantic person anyone has ever met. Not to say that I'm a bad girlfriend or that I'm not caring. I just find love in simple things like knowing what to order for them at restaurants, doing their laundry, planning unique dates, or cooking for them. It's not that I'm opposed to being arduous, I've just never been a chocolate and flowers kind of girl. I'm more of a Mongolian hot pot and "let's walk across the Brooklyn Bridge!" kind of girl. I appreciate some effort, tailoring something to fit a person's idiosyncratic personality or general spontaneity, not how flowery something looks. Not saying that I'm not feminine, I'm just my own entity, so to speak, and that translates into my love life. Needless to say, I thought I should learn how the other half lives, so I've challenged myself to take a course on being a classic/hopeless romantic just to understand how others think and who knows I might change some of my habits!

1. Leave notes

I think it's a really cute and simple idea that I will try to do because it makes everything very personal.

2. Write them a poem

I've had this done for me but I've never actually done it, because believe it or not, I didn't like to read or write poems up until this year.

3. Cuddling

Okay, so I'm not a cuddler, I have no idea why — it's more or less a personal space and attachment issue, I guess. I love hugs though! I guess I just have to be in the mood to cuddle and at times I can be. Other times it just makes me nervous.

4. Dedicate a song to them on the radio

It seems like the people on the radio that do this are crazy in love and honestly, to be able to have the ability to go on the radio and just declare your love for someone else is really inspiring.

5. Surprise them!

I personally cannot stand surprises, but I love to surprise other people and just be spontaneous, so I sort of do this already.

6. Carve your names into a tree

I've thought about doing this, but I've never got around to it, so I promise one day I will.

7. Go see a romantic movie

Nope, nope, I'll barf! Not happening, strictly horror movies for this girl, sorry!

8. Make them a care package

See, this makes me think a lot about what really defines romantic, because I do this all the time, but I don't consider it romantic, I just think it's sweet.

9. Take a walk on the beach together

I've done this, but I have to be doing this while looking for seashells or I feel like I'll be bored.

10. Make a CD for them

"THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER," CHARLIE IS QUAKING.

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