Valentine’s Day wasThursday this week. By the time you read this, you’ll know if you’re in love. It’s a state that you know you’re in, not sure how you got there, yet know you never want to leave.
I know what everyone else knows about love — nothing. That validates me as an expert.
The real authorities, however, are the Greeks. They had seven types of love they believed everyone experiences over a lifetime. There is Eros, the love of the physical body. Eros was the Greek god of love and sexual cravings.
Another love is Philia, or a heartfelt love that you have for a brother or sister, or for a best friend. Pragma is time-honored love. It was the highest form of love known to the Greeks. Think of the love your grandparents share.
Ludus is playful love, a flirting, carefree love. Ludus folks would now be called “friends with benefits” — no deep roots, no strings attached. Agape is the love of the soul. The Bible talks about Agape, a deep unconditional love that never expects anything in return — a love from the goodness of the heart.
Philautia is love’s split personality. It is the love of self. On one hand, it is important to love ourselves. In fact, it is almost impossible to truly love others unless we do love ourselves. Too much love of self — ego — and we tromp over people. Storge is the love of the child: Motherly love if you will.
The Greeks did a wonderful job of defining love for us. I find these seven levels of love, however, to be way too cumbersome. For daily use, I’ve whittled the set into three handier subcategories:
“Love you forever.”
“Love you, babe.”
“Love your tie.”
Everything in life usually falls into one of these three groupings.
I also discovered that people fall in love differently. Some people date several people in search of that special love. Some people fall in love, fall out, and then fall back in again.
Some couples come together late in life, yet never talked with each other in their youth.
I know a girl who wasn’t allowed to date a certain boy in high school. Her parents thought he was a bad influence. Never daunted, she contrived a devious deception. Another boy picked her up at the house, then delivered her to the taboo boy for the remainder of the date. Ironically, the girl ended up marrying her decoy date, and the two are still together after 35 years.
Go figure.
For me, I know right away. Love on a lightning bolt. Since Valentine’s Day falls on Thursday, I remain hopeful for romance. Thursday, you see, is the namesake for the Scandinavian god, Thor. Mythology contends that Thor controlled all thunder and lightning.
Valentine’s Day on a Thursday could just be the perfect formula for someone like me, who needs to be thunderstruck to fall in love.