When asking yourself if love is ever enough in a relationship, the first thing you need to consider is: what is love? Some people define love as an intense feeling of deep affection.
Some possible traits of love may include:
– A willingness to prioritize another’s wellbeing or happiness above yours.
– Extreme feeling of attachment, affection, and respect.
– A fleeting emotion of care, affection, and like.
– A choice to commit to helping, respecting, and caring for each other.
– You can even say love comprises of all of the following.
But personally, I believe love is much more complex than that. In fact, I do not think there is one definition that can fully capture the meaning of love. Probably that is why love is broken down into different types.
Types of Love
Different people have tried to break love down into types and fractions based on their understanding. Some even believe in categorizing love into primary, secondary, and tertiary kinds of love. But the most common types of love could be:
1. Agape: This is believed to be the highest level of love there is to offer. It is given without expecting anything in return. But I often ask myself, is it even possible. Even in Christianity which believes that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is the greatest possible love there is still require you to give your life to Christ to be saved. So I often ask myself, are humans capable of displaying such love?
2. Storge: This is a term for family love. Usually, it’s the love between siblings, spouses, cousins, parents, children, and kinship. It is the kind of love that gives you a sense of responsibility and duties towards family. Needless to say, a lot of families are taking advantage of this kind of love and it is not as strong as it used to be in the past.
3. Philia: This is love between neighbors. It often involves feelings of loyalty among friends, camaraderie among teammates, and a sense of sacrifice for your pack. Although nowadays, phrases like “mind your business” have gradually degraded this type of love in society. In the past, it was believed that it takes a village to raise a child, but that is not the case right now because we all question the intentions of other villagers towards our own children. Hence we all mind our business
4. Eros: This is used for sensual or romantic love. The term Eros originated from the mythological Greek god of love, sexual desire, and physical attraction. This kind of love is viewed by many as the type of love that seeks its own interest and satisfaction.
In this part of the world, when we talk about love between couples, we are mostly referring to Eros, the romantic and physical attraction kind of love. A lot of relationships develop problems because most couples get into an Eros kind of love relationship but expect characteristics of Agape kind of love.
When you get into a relationship based on romantic and physical attraction, you have to be prepared to keep the romance burning and the attraction constant. Above all, you have to be able to change or evolve because Eros is a love characterized by self-interest and satisfaction. And these things (satisfaction level) change as one grows or evolves. Also, learn your partner’s love language, it always comes in handy.
When you get into a relationship, you need to know the kind of love at the level of that relationship. Obviously, it cannot be Storge except you are related, and for you to be romantically involved with your partner, it has gone beyond just the Philia type of love. You will only be deceiving yourself if you think your love has moved automatically to an Agape type of love and nothing is expected from you.
When you are involved in an Eros kind of love, my suggestions are, if you are satisfied with what you are getting from your partner, you need to keep evolving to meet your partner’s physical attraction level or any level in which the relationship was built upon. Your partner also needs to be satisfied with your own level. Above all, put yourself first because this type of love is known as the own interest and satisfaction kind of love. Whenever you feel your partner is not doing enough to keep up with your level or is not good enough, you do not have to settle. You have the right to demand from your partner as long as you are giving enough to meet your partner’s level.
As you continue to change or evolve as some may call it, there is a possibility that the both of you are evolving in opposite directions and slowly the Eros type of love slowly fades and reverts to Philia (the love in which you truly care and loyal but just no more physically attracted).
Since this type of love started with physical attraction, it will be folly of you to discard physical attraction as not important.
In summary, to maintain a romantic relationship which is usually based on Eros type of love, you need to keep putting in work to keep your partner satisfied while also considering your own self-interest. It can never be a one-sided kind of love. The measure you give is the measure you expect and the measure you get is the measure expected from you.