And now here's something you'll really like. . .
Storge(affection)...two syllables and the ‘g' is hard.
The warm fuzzy feeling you get when hugging someone with a wool sweater, your feelings for a koala, pet dogs, or favorite pair of slippers. The object of your affection is simply familiar with you. That's the only requirement. It can be ugly, or old, new, refined, obtuse, cranky, warm, or slightly schizophrenic, as long as it's familiar.
Agape(what some call motherly love, selfless love, the God kind of love, loving someone unconditionally, for who they are, not for what they've done or can do or should do, just because)...and the accent is on the 1st ‘a,' not the second.
This is unqualified, unconditional, keeps no record of wrong, and is the strongest of the four types. It keeps people married when they want to do bodily harm after arguing over the thermostat. A good picture is the story of the prodigal son; the father (God) ran out to meet his runaway son (us) and killed the fattened calf.
Or what else? Say a child has no arms and legs, is blind and deaf, has leprosy, and just got word that they missed the school bus. I daresay he would have few friends in this world...that's just how people are...unfortunately. However, his mother would still have a keen awareness of his deepest needs, wants, and desires and would provide for him.
Philia (friendship) Brotherly love, where Philadelphia gets its name.
Let’s see...some examples. The local women's group that meets monthly to talk about quilting, Elks clubs or whatever the club is that attracts those old men together that drive those mini-race cars at 4th of July parades...you know, the guys with the earrings and fezzes with Osiris embroidered on the front-those guys, 3 old men reminiscing about WWII over drinks in a dingy pub, a girl's slumber party, it's me and the guys playing war, camping out, and shooting horses with pellet guns because were not smart enough to know any better (we were very young), it's a young couple exploring a museum together, pen pals. Two or more people doing something they both enjoy, and the more people doing it, the better, like going to a football game, the better...up to a point. In friendship, we don't (normally) place much importance on who the other person(s) is/are. It's the doing of the thing that matters. So long as they're doing the thing they enjoy, together...the love called Philia lives. We acquire new and lose...or rather change...our friendships over the course of our lives. Most of the time, friends are of the same gender, sometimes they're not. If not, then Philia will have an excellent opportunity to experience the 4th really close encounter type. . .the one that everyone croons about. That's right boys and girls...we're talking about Eros. The love where people not only enjoy what it is that brought them together, they look at one another. Philia almost never does. It's awkward. And in affection, the object may not even know of your existence.
Eros (erotic love) the wholly inclusive intense physical attraction between a man and woman of which sex is merely a part...not to be confused with lust.
Eros wants the beloved, Eros makes a man really want, not A woman, but one particular woman. Lust wants it, Eros wants her... in complete totality. Lust is a perverted form of Eros, much as an orc is a perverted form of an elf, or a demon the perverted angel. Actually, all evil is good perverted. That's why God has no equal. Satan is the opposite of Michael the Archangel, not God. (Michael is also my middle name).
I'm sure you're quite familiar with Eros. It's a wild untamed god who delights in mischief. It doesn't always strike two people simultaneously, when it does...its helloooo hormones, intensely dangerous, very playful, and beyond pleasurable. Like Niagara, it can't be stopped once turned on. Eros in the marital covenant should be a frenzied madness. That is how God designed it. This is the type of love God told me to let sleep until the proper time.
I avoid dating, at least one-on-one dating...I've gone out with groups of people...strictly to avoid arousing feelings of intense passion for the opposite sex. But believe me, though the god is sleeping, one day he'll awake and some special girl will discover this part of Jason that's been wandering in the wilderness. Monks make pretty good lovers you know.
Solomon said ‘Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.'
This is why I do the things I do. I'm inclined to believe the old boy was right. He had lots of experience...700 wives, 300 concubines...lots of headaches...So, believe me. I don't have anything against hugging, kissing, and cuddling. These are all needed, especially in woman. They'll die for the lack of it, and it is one reason why bodice-busting romance novels are popular among the fairer sex. Physical intimacy is as vital to women as rotisserie chicken is to me.
Perhaps, I've been overly cautious in this area. I could be you know. Even though people view me as some kind of icon of stoic, I've really a very tender heart. But I really don't trust Eros. He's dangerous. He's wily. Loves to strike when you're not looking. If I avoid him altogether, there's no fear. If I remove any temptation, I've nothing to worry about. Sure, it's not for everyone, but I don't trust myself. A candle is easy to put out; a campfire harder still; a forest fire can really mess you up. Instead of playing with matches, I avoid them. I blow up enough stuff at the lab here the way it is (I'm writing this at 300 AM at work). I REALLY do blow up stuff. It's neat. It's fun. And makes the boss happy. Does this make any sense to you, O' Gentle Reader, or have I constructed an elaborate system of self-preservation at all cost?
I'm not immune to self-delusion.