My favorite thing about February is that it seems to be the designated month of love. It’s the time of the year when people seem to make a conscious effort to show LOVE to their family and friends in one way or another. Even people that find it hard to say “I love you” and secret admirers feel as though they have a free pass to do so on Valentine’s Day!
Love has many levels of implication, which makes it hard to define and sometimes even harder to understand. Thankfully, the ancient Greeks tackled the subject long ago and devised terminology to clarify the 7-States of Love:
Storge: natural affection; the love you share with your family
Philio: the love that you have for friends
Eros: the romantic desire kind of love
Agape: this is the unconditional love, or divine love
Ludus: this is playful love, like childish love or flirting
Pragma: long standing love; the love in a married couple
Philautia: the love of the self
The 7-States of Love represent seven different feelings, yet the same word is used to name each one: LOVE. That’s so confusing, but think of it like this: Even though you might say ‘I love you' to two different people and mean it, the truth is that you don’t love your mother the same way that you love your significant other, and so on!
So, how can you clearly communicate your feelings when you say ‘I love you’ without using the actual terminology used by the ancient Greeks? (I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say something like, “I have philio-love for you!”) One way is to try using a simile to clarify. For example: I love you as a friend; or I love you like family. (There's your ELA connection!)
Love is one of the most important parts of our lives, so understanding the 7-States of Love and how to convey our feelings of LOVE will make a huge impact.
Remember: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7