What can we learn from the Greeks about love?
Based on the book: How Should We Live? Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life. By Roman Krznaric
What our ancestors believed love looks like and what we can learn from it. Are we fulfilled by the love we are receiving? Can we replace some kinds of attachments for different ones? Can one person give us complete desire? Find your type or combination of different kinds of love that are most important for you, learn old values, beliefs, and desires from the Greeks.
Eros – Key Love
Eros is based on sexual desire and passion that you share with your lover (male or female). It is purely focused on sexual satisfaction that you give/receive from your partners. Not necessary a committed type of relationship but offering fulfillment from a sexual desire. Modern dictionary: Sexual Relationship
Philia – Key Love
Philia is based on pure non-romantic feelings. Provide stability, support, and nurturing connections. Fulfill closeness without a sexual connection. Strong emphasis on strong support from those who are close to our circles. Friendship or family relationships.
Ludus – Key Love
Playfulness and games could represent this kind of relationship if we translate this into modern language – flirting, jokes, dancing. Anything that has a sexual undertone but without intimacy. All those games can provide sexual fulfillment without commitment or sex.
Pragma – Philia & Ludus
Pragma focuses on desire and understanding. “Pure love” can be the best description for this kind of feelings and it is a firmly grounded one. It is for people who really know each other well and can provide a strong commitment and long lasting relationship. This could be viewed as a strong, stable marriage.
Agape – Eros & Philia
Agape, love for everyone else without commitment or exclusivity. This attachment was shared freely without expectations to receive anything back. It was associated with helping others, kindness, and support. Empathy to care for others and extended circle of attachment beyond family and lovers.
Philautia – Eros & Ludus
Self-love (unhealthy vs. healthy). The unhealthy love was associated with narcissism and not being able to provide deeper feelings to anyone other than yourself. The healthy self-love is one in which you are able to believe in and appreciate yourself.
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