As soon as you read this title, what came into your head? If you understood the reference, I’m sure the iconic hit “What is Love,” by artist, Haddaway, began to play inside of your head. Emotions have existed since the first life was formed. In the Bible, specifically in the book of Genesis, we are given a story that artistically portrays creation. Since the moment man was created he felt this sense of emptiness, which lead to the yearn for a partner. The moment upon which man received woman, mankind unlocked the richest form of love we could ever obtain here on earth. In today’s society, love has been twisted into various diluted and condescending ways, which points to the question, what exactly is love? Love is very complex and has various forms including: Eros, Philia, Storge and Agape, all of which correspond to different forms of relationships in our daily lives. Together these four forms of love come to define what love truly is.
To kick things off we can discuss Eros. Eros is a greek word that is classified as romantic love. It is a form of love that is closely related to our passions and our emotions. Eros changes often, due to our fluctuating emotions. One can experience Eros on a daily basis through our affection towards material possessions or acquaintances. An example could be one’s love for Mexican cuisine. Eros is considered to be the most malleable form of love. This form of love can be confused as true love, or genuine affection, rather than a burst of sudden pleasure. It is important to identify the types of love being given and being received because that is a direct indicator of the level of your personal relationships.
The next form of love is Philia. Philia is a greek word most commonly translated to brotherly love. This brotherly love can be experienced through more intimate relationships with not just your blood siblings, but also your closest friends. Philia is a form of love that can be formed by experiencing certain situations with others that develop a deeper friendship. Some examples are clans and greek life. By creating more intimate bonds with others, you are also creating a brotherhood that could last a lifetime. Unlike Eros, Philia has a strong chain to hold onto, therefore increasing the lifespan of those relationships.
The next form of love is unique to every individual, because everyone can experience it in a different way. This next layer of love is called Storge. Storge is a greek word that signifies familial love. One experiences familial love since the day one is born. This love is an example of one loving one’s parents and vise versa. Much like Philia, Storge is a strong bond and is sometimes even stronger depending on one’s home. This love can represent a long-lasting relationship that can’t be altered easily like Eros. This form is one of the most personal types of love that one can embrace in one’s lifetime.
The Ultimate form of love, a form that enhances all others in a profound way, is called Agape. Agape is a greek word meaning charity or sacrificial. This form of love is unconditional love, no matter the circumstances. This form of love enhances all the forms of love and brings them into a new light within the relationship. A perfect example of Agape is marriage, because through marriage one sacrifices their wants or needs for the service of the other. Agape is the purest and most genuine form of love one can give and receive. This is the deepest level one can achieve, at least here on earth, of what love can truly be.
Love is something that we all have to discover on our own. The famous journalist, Ann Landers, once said, “ Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” This quote is so powerful and I couldn’t agree more. I see love being the gateway to a life full of abundance. No matter the situation love always prevails. The first stage of that love begins with friendship and then evolves into something greater. Together, Eros, Philia, Storge and Agape, are the four pillars that create the foundation to understanding what love truly is.