When we think about the definition of love, it s not easy to think of one specific definition, or even one kind. Since love, to every person, is felt differently and is defined as so many different things such as a feeling, a person, or a way of life, it is difficult to encompass a true interpretation of what it means. In ancient Greek philosophy, philosophic pillars such as Plato and Socrates often divided love into two separate categories: earthly and heavenly.
If one experienced earthly love, one was overcome by lust and feelings of sexual desire rather than intellectual desire. If love was shared spiritually and intellectually between two men, with divine aspirations, it was heavenly love. In today s society, we tend to divide love into three categories because the love we feel for different people is different. The three categories are: love for parents and family members, love between friends and love between man and woman.
The first type of love, love for parents and relatives, is manifested through fraternity and instinct. Parents, children, and other relatives have been telling each other “I love you” for quite some time. The phrase is often put to use at holidays or other family gatherings. Most often it is the children and adults who say “I love you. ” The children say it because it s what they ve been saying since they could talk and it s what their parents say to them many times throughout the day. The grandparents say it because they know the true depth behind the words.
I love you” can be said when there are not enough words to describe feelings. I love you can be said when there are too many words to describe feelings. “I love you” can be said as a way of saying “Thank you. ” And “I love you” can lift the spirits of a sad heart. Even though not everyone in a family tells each other they love one another, The second type of love, love between friends, is shown through companionship. The love friends share for each other is different than that of family members.
Friends come and go, but only the true ones stay. Friends support each other through thick and thin. They tell each other things they wouldn t dream of telling a family member and trust them to keep it a secret. Even though friends may not agree on everything, they are willing to listen to each other s opinions. Friends aren t expected to give up everything for each other, but, as the relationship required, friends will be there for each other to say “it ll be all right,” or “I m happy for you.
The last, most common emotion associated with love is that which is shared between a man and woman. This is the most prevalent form of love. The difference of this type of love from the other two is that the relation ship may involve sexual communion. Love between men and women involves the joining of the two on an intellectual level as well. It can be seen in almost any successful marriage that the understanding a husband and wife have for each other can be quite exceptional and unlike any other relationship.
When two people come to know each other so well through the union that love brings, it is as if they become one, in that they have pure understanding for each other s needs and feelings. It is at this point when they can truly experience love. True love is that which brings positive outcome for both individuals, and is not dependent on, but grows from the physical aspect of the relationship. If a couple can grow and learn together and become better individuals from a union, they will experience love to its fullest.