Love is our highest value – yet love is also the source of considerable anxiety.
This post is for those with ROCD and Relationship anxiety*
As humans, we like to put things in boxes. we like to define things with words, meanings and symbols. It helps us reassure ourselves that we’re normal.
These symbols, meanings and words also make us feel that we are not experiencing love the way we ‘should be’. Love has become a construct, it has become romanticized so much we actually believe that the way we love someone will stay the same or should stay the same for the rest of our lives.
Society not so subtly suggests that we must love in a very particular way. Constantly thrilled to see the partner, long to see them, crave to be close to them. The passion, sexual tension and desire towards an individual will remain from years and years to come.
We give in to the ideal that we must live in romantic ecstasy throughout our lives.
beautiful in theory? but out of line towards our real experiences of intimacy.
Well, here is a different notion of ‘love’, which actually is not new – but quite old.
Actually I’m talking real old… like ancient greek.
Ancient Greek has four distinct words for love: éros, philía and agápe (there is also storgē – which is more family related)
“love mostly of sexual passion” The powerful feelings we have at the start of the relationship.
Normally translated as “friendship”, though its more deeper than that. Perhaps, companionship? “One might be willing to die for philía.”
A charitable love. Unconditional love. The love we may feel towards someones character flaws, anger or emotional outbursts. Even though there are flaws of the persons character, we still feel compassion. Like a mother towards her children, or a god towards his children. Or what an audience might feel towards an evil yet damaged character.
I find these words more sincere than the word “love”, they are real yet they hold a higher value to the romanticized definition of love. Maybe its because love is about acceptance, compassion, loyalty, equality, virtue and familiarity – its not just a feeling it is also the act of understanding a person.