LIFE IN BALANCE- Four types of loveAdeshola Ezeokoli
Since it is my wedding anniversary week, I have decided to blog about love, as it relates to marriage. If you have been following this blog( and if not, please go ahead and subscribe 🙂 ), you would probably have noticed that I have written, a few times in the past, about the fact that it takes more that just emotional love to sustain a marriage.
In this piece, I will be talking about 4 “types” of love, loosely based on the Ancient Greek definitions( agape, phileo, storge, eros). All of these function in a healthy marriage to make it work, and without them, the marriage risks becoming off balance in certain areas.
1. Emotional love: Loosely based on Eros, this refers to the feelings, the butterflies, the sex, the rush, the excitement. When a guys says to a girl, “I love you”, this is what he is talking about. It is great to feel that way about someone. It is fun to be in love. It is great when this person occupies your every( or almost every) waking thought. It is wonderful to be the object of such affections. Or is it? Emotional love, strong as it is, sweet as it may be is not enough to base a lifetime of marriage on. It is not the only “type” of love that a marriage needs. A lot of people do not know this, but eros is flighty and fleeting. Eros is like a flame which burns strong and bright, but can be put out in an instant. It ebbs and flows and may not be 100% all of the time. It is a feeling, and like other feelings and moods, it comes and goes and can be switched on and off. It is strong in the first bloom of a relationship; but, as said relationship starts to become more stable, if the needs of emotional love are not met, those flames can flicker and die. Emotional love is very, very important. Without it you cannot have a truly intimate relationship with your spouse. Do not let your “eros” die. What do you do when you are not “feeling the love”? Go back to your first memories. Revive things by taking time to be with your spouse and reconnect. Go out of your way to do romantic things, fun things. Emotional love is not the whole pie, but it is a big slice. If you base your marriage on emotional love alone, however, you will miss out on other elements that could potentially save your marriage during and emotional ebb.
2. Friendship love: Loosely based on phileo, this love says: “I love you because….” It is a bonding over shared dreams, shared goals and shared interests. It is very, very important in marriage to have common interests with your spouse. Before you marry someone, you have to have some shared interests and goals. You have to like their mind. You have to get to know a person before you can decide whether you like his/her mind or not. Emotional love does not help you get to know a person but friendship love does. What you find out can help deepen the emotional love. Friendship love makes you talk for hours about your hopes, dreams and aspirations. Friendship love is mutual, respectful and reciprocal. I love you, you love me. Friendships are based on this too. Someone once said: “a friend is your needs answered and your life shared”. A friendship is a nurturing relationship. You make time for a friendship. If you want your love to grow, make time for your spouse. Friendship love places value on, and adds value to the other person. Friendship as you probably know, on its own cannot sustain a marriage. That is why we do not marry every friend that we make. This is yet another slice of the pie.
Do you want to read about the the last two slices of the love pie? Watch this space, and subscribe to this blog for the next update, delivered right to your inbox.