I think a lot of romance myths (The One/Soulmates Myth, The Love at First Sight Myth, Falling In or Out of Love Myth) spring from a superficial definition of love.
I think its useful to use the ancient Greek words for love since two in particular I learned as part of New Testament* understanding in church growing up (and I know Lewis writes about them in The Four Loves which I WILL get to one day). Also forgive any grammatical issues, I’m no Greek or New Testament scholar.
- Philia meaning brotherly affection (from what I understand the 4th term, Storge is similar, so seems repetitive).
- Agape meaning self-sacrificial type of love, let’s call it devotion.
- I think everyone knows of Eros as sexual love.
I prefer to think of Eros as passion in the appropriate sphere and lust in the inappropriate sphere. I know some people refer to lust as passion and vice versa, but I think its better to differentiate and have one positive and one negative. People often use Eros to justify a lack of self-control and cheating, and I think it’s awful to lump that together with something that is good and necessary in a relationship.
To me, a healthy relationship and marriage should combine all three.
- If you have affection alone, you are friendly, but not close.
- If you have devotion alone, you are related? Can you have this one alone without being blood related?
- If you have only the sexual passion, you will probably have a short lived affair.
- If you have affection and devotion, you are friends.
- If you have sexual attraction and affection you will have a short term relationship.
- If you have devotion and sexual attraction, you are missing friendship, you will have a long term relationship that is unstable (you stay together for duty and you’d sacrifice for each other, and you come together for sex, but you don’t enjoy being around each other like you should in day to day life) and not full and complete.
- If you have all three things, affection, devotion, sexual attraction, you will have a committed bond for a life of fulfilling love.
*On a tangent, in the Bible we sometimes lose a lot in translation, for example in the passage where Jesus is asking Peter if he loved him, Jesus was using the Agape word for love while Peter was answering with the word Philia until the end. Really deepens the story to know that.