Sep 30, 2013

Why do you love someone?

It's hard to explain. Hmm, they look great, they're really smart, they intrigue you when they speak, they have this spark in their eyes maybe. But so? I'm sure you have many friends like that. Some more 'qualifiable' by those standards. Why does a particular someone captivate you this way? I used to ask myself that a lot (before school started - no time for that since term began lol). I'd look at the girls my friends gushed about and ask: What do I have that she doesn't? Is she that much better than I am? How so? 

Now I realise it is simply another way of loving someone. I know some fantastic, incredible, mind-blowing, amazing people, and I love them. Just not in that way. But the feeling isn't any less strong. And it is hard to explain why you don't like them in this other particular way. It's just not about that. You see them and you want to spend time with them and love them, as a person, as a beautiful entity, but you wouldn't go on dates with them and mushy things would be weird.

It's like the foundation is to love someone for who they are. It's easiest to describe this with the help of the Greek words for love (no, I didn't learn this here in Greece; I learnt this in SOT). You start with philia, the mental love, affection, friendship. It is a virtuous love, one that understands the concept of give and take in any relationship; one that is willing to persevere; one that sees both as equals.

From the foundation of philia, you then branch out into eros and agape. Eros is "physical passionate love", "romantic, pure emotion without the balance of logic". It doesn't have to be about sexual desire, but it is the romantic tie between couples, the bond in a marriage.

There is also agape, a selfless unconditional love that expects nothing in return. It is the highest form of love, the most you can love; it is spiritual, sacrificial, and can be used to describe the relationship between parents and children, spouses, God's love for us, and any other relationship in general that is characterised by this reckless, giving, epitome of love.

Based on my understanding of it, I would put philia as the foundation of a friendship or relationship; from there, you can branch out into two routes that end with agape, but one route has eros in between. So one is philia-eros-agape, and the other is philia-agape. You can't really explain why you don't feel that eros. Your heart just decided to take a different route and be undistracted by that pit stop.

Do you love someone in the agape way? That is enough. It'd be great if that person loved you back in the agape way too, but because agape is selfless and sacrificial, it doesn't matter, and the lack of reciprocation wouldn't affect how you love. There is no need to ask why the eros stage is skipped, or why the friendship is still at philia - philia is still a strong, admirable stage, one that involves trust and commitment; whether eros is involved in your stages of love is pretty arbitrary, really.

My tuition kid recently reminded me of the quote that said "do not let someone be a priority if you are only an option".

This post is dedicated to you (I'm sure you know who you are). Thank you for your philia, for your trust and confidence. It doesn't matter that...well...that things are the way they are, because agape is selfless; it loves for the sake of loving regardless of reciprocation. You know that I have the fear of an imbalanced friendship, where one sees the other with much more prominence and regard in their life than the other does. You know I hate to be at the vulnerable, desperate, losing end, and I have tried to defend myself against it by backing out first, to avoid getting hurt and being the last one left. But I'm starting to try to let go of that mindset and just agape regardless. You say it is okay that I am so dependent. I will try to be reckless for the sake of it, to let myself give and be happy about that. I am also trying my best to be understanding, because of the situation and you; I know I was in your shoes not too long ago, and my own friends were selfless in loving me throughout. I am trying my best to be strong and selfless like them, so that I can do them proud and reciprocate their love by passing on the selflessness.

I know that it is hard to find space in the heart for more than one, and perhaps the reason for my own insecurity is because I know myself. I know how selective I am in my heart, how I have little room in my heart, how I really am an ugly, low, lesser person. But I believe that you are a far better person than I am. I believe you are purer in love, thought and intent; I believe you are more virtuous. And I am trying very hard to not let my own weaknesses make me afraid of others. I believe you are a better person and I am trying my best to let my heart trust so.

So, anyway, thank you for your philia, and perhaps storge, too (look it up). I believe I'm somewhere between storge and agape, I guess (I hope - perhaps it's too soon to tell). Eros will always be out of the picture, thank goodness, because I would rather not set my eyes on the pit stop and look towards agape. Eros, to me, is too energy-consuming, too painful, too much too fast too passionate and so far, it has yet to leave me as whole as before each time. So thank you for the trust, for wanting to spend time with me too, for the hugs I demand, for taking up the tender responsibility of looking after a case like karen. And so I hope that in time you come to feel agape too. ^^

1 comment:

Agrim Singh said...

you should read Plato's Symposium whenever you get the time. if nothing, this page captures it well. you're an interesting person indeed haha