Monday, October 29, 2012

I'm All Agape

Not the right season for it, but this post is all about love.  The Greeks call it agape.  Carolyn and I did a Korean mandu run on our lunch hour and passed the "Agape Preschool" on Olympic on the way back.  Simple, imbecilic me was like, "Agape?  What's that all about?  Well the two children on the banner are gasping, so I guess they're all agape, that makes sense."  The more profound and intellectual Carolyn said, "I think it's love, in Greek."  "Huh?" was my response.  (A not infrequent reaction where I'm concerned.)

And sure enough, a quick Wiki of the matter revealed that agape is love and Carolyn went on to recite the various kinds of love, Hellenistically speaking:
  • Eros – a passionate physical and emotional love based on aesthetic enjoyment; stereotype of romantic love
  • Ludus – a love that is played as a game or sport; conquest; may have multiple partners at once
  • Storge – an affectionate love that slowly develops from friendship, based on similarity (kindred to Philia)
  • Pragma – love that is driven by the head, not the heart; undemonstrative
  • Mania – obsessive love; experience great emotional highs and lows; very possessive and often jealous lovers
  • Agape – selfless altruistic love
Clyde Hendrick and Susan Hendrick of Texas Tech University expanded on this theory in the mid-1980s with their extensive research on what they called "love styles". They have found that men tend to be more ludic, whereas women tend to be storgic and pragmatic. Mania is often the first love style teenagers display. Relationships based on similar love styles were found to last longer. People often look for people with the same love style as themselves for a relationship. These styles are akin to the Greek types of love.

Oh, doesn't it all make perfect sense now!  I wish I had known these love styles from my first inkling of "love," it would have streamlined the matter so much more, if I were able to say, "Oh, this is not pragma, this is ludus!  No, it's mania!"  And would have moved on in much more efficient fashion.  Yes, I've known plenty of ludics in my day.

Today's comment on love also goes out to a dog I knew, for whom I certainly felt an agape.  He was a sweet little thing, English by bloodline and 100% heart.  He was 7.  I'm sending a peppermint up to doggie heaven.

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