Valentine's Day: Love beyond romance February 04 2015

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and as romance gets splashed all around us through TV, films, magazines and social media, we'd like to remember that this date can be about so much more than that. LOVE is a big word that transcends romance – a feeling that inhabits many other spheres of our lives.

The Greek language distinguishes at least four different types of love, with different words for each of them.

ÁGAPE (ἀγάπη) is the concept of brotherly love, charitable love that is given whether it is returned or not; a type of love that goes beyond any self-benefit. It is the Love that sees beyond the surface and accepts the recipient just as they are, despite their flaws. If accurately translated, ágape would be a verb, as it is the love demonstrated by our behavior towards another person.

PHILIA (φιλία) is the affection and regard of friendship, a warm love between equals, a dispassionate and virtuous love. This concept is expressed as a loyalty to friends, family and community and strongly rooted in equality and the shared experience.

Photography: Martine Franck

STORGE (στοργή) is the love that parents naturally feel towards their children, the love among family members and friends that in your heart are like a brother or sister. It is a type of love that makes you feel comfortable and safe, a love of forgiveness.

Photography: Stéphane Berl

 

ÉROS (ἔρως) is the sexual and intimate love of romantic relationships and marriage. It is passionate, emotional and intense. Named after the Greek god of fertility, in ancient times it was also viewed as a dangerous, fiery and irrational kind of love, which can take hold of us. Ironically, the loss of control that caused fear in the Greeks is precisely what we seek today: to fall “madly” in love!


Photography: Frank Horvat
 

This Valentine’s Day, we invite you to embrace the vast meaning of love. This is the time to expand and express our love way beyond the labels of boyfriend and girlfriend, of husband and wife, of passion and romance.