It’s incredible to think that someone can grow up and be completely misguided about what love really is. We see the man that beats his wife, who says that he loves her every time he brings her flowers to make up for his misdeeds.
Or the drug dealer who tells his girlfriend that he loves her while he is sticking a needle in her arm. We hear celebrities say it to their fans while they are accepting their latest award.
At least with celebrities, we should know that they don’t really love us because they don’t even know us. They love our support, our dollars, and our applause. But what about those who do know us?
How could they get it wrong? Maybe it’s because they were never really taught or experienced real love. The bigger problem is that maybe we believe them, because we don’t know what real love is either.
It is said that love can be perverted. A grown man loving a child, as in being a pedophile. A father who indulges in incest with his daughter. Even people loving animals, who practice bestiality.
While we consider these things to be perverted love, that is really not the case. They are perversions period. There is no love in them at all. At least not the kind of love that we should possess.
Yes, the person may have a strong, emotional attachments to these deeds…and they may even profess love and have a fondness and an affinity for them…but real love should not be associated with such things.
So, before we believe every person who professes love for us, it’s important that we know what their definition of love is. What do they actually believe about love?
The Greeks believed there are 8 types of love. They are:
Eros (romantic, passionate love)
Philia (affectionate love)
Agape (selfless, universal love)
Storge (familiar love)
Mania (obsessive love)
Ludus (playful love)
Pragma (enduring love)
Philautia (self love)
If these types of love exist, which I believe they do, then what type of love could a person be referring to when they say they love you? This is truly something that each of us needs to consider when we choose to be involved with someone.
Not only do I believe that these 8 types of love exist…I also believe that there are deepening, ever widening facets to each of these types of love. For instance, let’s take “Mania”, which is “obsessive love”.
A person can possess an obsessive love where they think about another person all of the time. Or they can have an obsessive love where they want to completely control another person.
There is also an obsessive love where a person says, “If I can’t have you, no one can have you!” This is when we read about people being murdered by their supposed lover. None of us should want that type of love.
Yes, we want someone who loves us…who would desire only us, and who would be faithful to us… but none of us would actually want to be in a relationship with an “obsessive maniac”. That would not be a good thing.
And more often than not, the only thing that makes a difference between loving someone until “death do us part”, and loving someone “to death” …is a person’s definition and experiential understanding of love. There can be a very fine line between having a “love to die for”, and having a “love that kills”.