Romantic Love


Eros

 

When you think of the word ‘love’ what comes to mind? ‘Love’ seems to encompass so much more than just the vagueness of one word. The Greek had four different words for our one word. Two days ago I posted about Phileo (or Philia) love, known as a brotherly love, or the love one would find in an authentic friendship. Yesterday’s poem was about Storge love, or affectionate/familial love. Today’s focus is on ‘Eros’ love, or romantic love.

Eros is where we get the English word, ‘erotic’ from. It is the type of love that we would so often hear now-a-day as ‘being in love’ or ‘falling in love’. It is the type of love that lights a fire within us and is felt physically, sensually, romantically, etc. Eros is what allows us to procreate with pleasure.

I have read a couple of articles that have suggested that eros naturally fades in a sensual relationship within the span of a year. Although, one specific source, ‘From Eros To Agape’ suggested that he doesn’t think it has to fade at all. “Types of Love” says, “Although this romantic love is important in the beginning of a new relationship, it may not last unless it moves a notch higher because it focuses more on self instead of the other person. If the person “in love” does not feel good about their relationship anymore, they will stop loving their partner.”

I love this one quote by CS Lewis, from his book, “The Four Loves”

Eros will have naked bodies; Friendship naked personalities. –CS Lewis

I believe that it’s this type of love that many youth (and not-so-youth) now-a-day consider ‘Love’. Once one falls out of love, they discard the object of their past affection, breaking a heart and hurting emotions. ‘Love’ in this sense then, is purely selfish.

Do you think that many now-a-day think of ‘Eros love’ as ‘Love’ itself? Do you think Eros, in and of itself, completes a relationship between two people?


The above poem is a modern version (The Message) of the book, “Song of Solomon” from the Bible.

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45 thoughts on “Romantic Love

  1. Yes, I think it’s possible that many confuse eroticism for love. That would make sense about people becoming disinterested once the intitial passion wears off. It reminds me of a line from a Wood Allen movie. When the woman questions him about his passion, he says “You can’t expect me to keep up that level of charm, I’d have a heart attack”. Although humorous, it does speak directly to what happens once the eros wears off.

    • Hi Rob. I find this ‘eros’ love even more interesting now that jrj1701 commented about the spiritual side of it. I hadn’t considered that so much before he did, and now that I think of it, I think he’s spot on. Being that I’m a Christian, my husband and I didn’t have this type of relationship until our wedding night. That’s what we believe is right and so we waited. And it makes sense to me, because it’s like your saying, “I’m giving myself to you.” And when you give yourself to someone, then there is so much more involved than just the physical aspect. I guess when people look at eros as just a physical thing, and don’t have and spiritual convictions toward it, then it’s very easy to confuse eroticism for love, just as you said. Because then it would be all about one’s feelings and the experience at the time.
      You’re a big Woody Allen fan eh. YOu know, I’ve never watched any of his movies. I should really check one out some time. Which would you suggest for me to watch, Rob?
      🙂
      p.s. I haven’t forgotten about the other comment. I’ve been really busy these past couple of days. Today’s my anniversary and yesterday I pampered myself. 🙂

      • Hehehehe, you’re such a good man to have around the home Rob. I love how you commit your time and energy to taking care of your home and making it a place that is well kept. Kudos to you bud.
        Thank you so much. My inlaws had the kids for the night. Wow, what a difference it makes without the kids. We had a great night, and even slept in. That never happens.
        🙂

    • Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed this. I really like that quote from C.S. Lewis too. His book, “The Four Loves” is definitely on my reading list.
      Thank you so much for your reading and sharing here Chloe.
      🙂

  2. Most limit eros to the realm of the physical, the romantic, they consider it a temporary lust that burns out, yet eros is more and should be applied more to the spiritual, yet because most have limited eros to the bedroom of course it dies for it ain’t being fed by the source of eros.

    • JR, I love that you touched on this; the spiritual. When writing this, I hadn’t actually considered that so much. After reading your comment, I started to think back about my own past experiences and all, and could really see how YES, the spiritual is very present in eros. I would love to read more about your thoughts on this, if you wouldn’t mind sharing. I read something briefly that CS Lewis considered eros love as more of a ‘being in love’, rather than ‘raw sexuality’ which he considered ‘venus’. The difference being ‘wanting a woman’ or ‘wanting one particular woman’ (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Four_Loves).
      Anyhow, thank you so much for mentioning that. I hope others read your comment and consider this as well.
      🙂

      • I keep meaning to read more of C.S. Lewis, maybe someday when the time allows. Yet this is what the Orthodox desert fathers strived to teach those of us that are so easily swayed by and distracted by the spirit of this age. I am still studying this most needful thing, this need to love God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my being.

  3. I think erotic love is only a single part of what makes up love as a whole. And perhaps as a society we focus too much on that solely right now, and are forgetting about what else makes love what it is. Perhaps our greatest loves are absent of erotic love? I love the line of the beard smelling of sage; that’s fantastic. I hope you slept better last night! Have a wonderful night!

    • I couldn’t agree with you more Benjamin. The more I read these comments, and the more I consider love, and the love relationship between a man and a woman, the more I see how these different kinds of love are, or at least should be present. Like a fusion of the different types of love. Eros, within the marriage relationship is kindled by the presence of philia and storge, I think. At least for a woman. Passion can come and go, but commitment, dedication, serving each other, choosing to show love and do well for the other, conversation, quality time, and much more are all needed to make it work.
      I love Natalie’s comment on the last two posts about love. If you get the chance, check them out.
      I had a wonderful sleep last night Benjamin. Even slept in a bit. My in-laws were with the kids last night. Thank you so much for caring and for your friendship. I hope you had a wonderful night too.
      🙂

      • I think I feel that way too. And I agree with you as passion coming and going, but the other things are what keeps everything together. I’ll check out Natalie’s comments now. That’s great your having some time to relax and rest. You’re welcome. Have a good rest of your weekend!

  4. Eros can lead to love and be a part of love, but in and of itself it’s not much more than a mutual attraction and affinity for another. Lots of fires get lighted only to die down or out completely when winds of change blow. 🙂

    • Hi Natalie. Yes, I agree. It’s the initial spark to begin something that should turn into a fusion of the three. CS Lewis mentioned that he thought of ‘eros’ as more of a ‘being in love’, rather than the raw sexual feelings that one may have. That he called, ‘Venus’. Did you get the chance to read jrj1701’s comment? I love how he touched on the spiritual of eros. I’m so interested to know more of his thoughts concerning this.
      “Lots of fires get lighted only to die down or out completely when winds of change blow.”
      –Yes, and I think when people aren’t interested in moving into the philia and storge, eros is left to being just a selfish thing. For a romantic relationship, or marriage to work, it can’t be based off of chemistry or simple physical attraction. I think there needs to be a progression of moving into the other loves.
      I love your comments on all three of these posts Natalie.
      Love and hugs.
      🙂

  5. I think Eros is an illusionist. Some “physical” passions can be related to spiritual love, or/and express spiritual love. But many of them are not. Unfortunately in our materialist world, Eros tend to mislead (and deceive) many people… poets say roses wither. Eros is not eternal. True love is!

    • Hello dear frederic. Thank you so much for sharing your views. I am blown away by the comments I’ve been getting on these posts, and they have lead me to think even deeper about the topic.
      “Some “physical” passions can be related to spiritual love, or/and express spiritual love.”
      –The more I consider this topic, and how it relates to the other loves, the more I can see that within a romantic relationship, or marriage, it is so important that there is a fusion or marriage of them that is necessary for a fulfilling love relationship. Today is my anniversary, and it’s been 11 years. We have been through some serious rough patches (especially in the first year, and me not knowing about certain health issues I have), but have always stuck it through. I am dead set against divorce, unless there is some type of abuse of infidelity, and I have full assurance and trust in my husband that that would never happen. There have been temptations along the way, but my strong convictions in my faith, spiritual beliefs, God and morality are what serve for me a foundation that can’t be shaken. In saying all this, I believe that there is a not only a physical aspect, but also a spiritual aspect to eros. I didn’t consider that so much until jrj1701 commented on it. For me, and biblically speaking, marriage is the relationship in which eros can truly flourish in the way that it was made too. It is a blessing and gift from God. However, when you take out the other loves, leaving only eros, it is, as ‘illusionist’ as you mentioned. There is an illusion of ‘love’, but once that spark is gone, then the relationship breaks, and along with it, breaking hearts and hurting another.
      Thank you so much for your thought-provoking comment Frederic. I love how you mentioned that Eros is not eternal as well. I still need to touch on the ‘Agape’ love, which is ultimately God’s love, and unconditional.
      Love and blessings to you, my dear friend.
      🙂 ❤

  6. I am just going to go ahead and pour out all my thoughts on love, not just about this post, but my thoughts about love in general. I have written an article about what I think Love is on my blog.
    And I think Love is about unity, and unity is also attachment and attraction right? I am not talking about sensual attraction, but just attraction in general. Like a baby seeking a mother-like figure when the baby is crying, or the way we feel attracted to people we want to be friends with, it is more like an attraction of energies, and the more tuned in we are to our souls, the stronger will that attraction be, because we can feel other energies stronger, also in a negative way, so we might also feel more fearful around certain people and wish to stay away from them. The strongest attraction our soul will feel will be the attraction to God I think, just like the strongest attraction a baby will feel will be to his or her mother. Our soul yearns for God, especially when we are going through hard times. Attachment is the next concept, some times we feel attraction because of attachment, or because the bond or physical attachment to someone or something has been broken and we long for it to be mended, like when you take a newborn away from his or her mother, or when you take the soul away from God.
    For me Love is about this attraction and attachment. I do not believe in a Love based on genes or blood. Love between family blossoms because we are attached to each other, beacuse we have spent most of our lives together building that bond, or forming that attachment. We have become a unity.
    When we are very tuned into our souls and soul-energy we can feel this bond or attachment even to people we have not spent much time with or really know that well, because the attachment is an energy-attachment or spiritual bond. This is the way, I believe, we feel unity with the whole world, when we are pulled by the use of energy attraction into a unity or family by the recognition of an energy attachment, or a soul attachment. This is, to me, universal, or divine Love.
    When we talk about romantic Love I think it starts often with a physical attraction, or that we feel drawn on a physical level to the other person. I think it works the same as energy attraction only in romantic Love it also happens on a phyiscal or sensual level. When we get to know the other person we might also get attracted to their qualities and personalities, and we might start feeling that this is a good life partner for us, it might be on a very basic level, like I want to share my life and have kids with this person, then we start forming an attachment, and I think what is special about romantic Love is that this attachment happens quite quickly. I think that phyiscal attraction might come and go in a romantic relationship, and that is okay, as long as the attachment stays strong. I think this attachment is in essence the same in any relation, meaning there is no difference between romantic attachment and family attachment. This is to me what we call Love.
    I think however, if we are very soulful, very spiritual, even the romantic attraction is colored by this energy attraction or soul attraction. Our life partner becomes someone we feel attracted to on a soul level, because he or she is the one that will help us grow and expand spiritually, it is no longer only about a life partner, but a soul partner, a spiritual life partner. I dont mean to say that the physical attraction is not there, but it becomes less important, and is not the cause of the attraction.
    Here in India they say that your life partner is the one that God or the universe wants you to be with, beacuse he or she is needed in your life to help you become everything you are meant to be.
    Through prayer we might therefor ask God to lead us to this person, but we have to be open about it, and let go of our lower instincts and tune in 100% to our souls, I think only then will we experience and recognize this soul attraction. If we do that, earthly Love, also romantic Love, becomes a stepping stone to Divine Love, just like in the song of solomon in the Bible. 🙂 🙂 🙂
    I have now written a gigantic comment about my thoughts, so I think I should not let my thoughts take up more space on your blog now 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Lots and lots of Love to you! ❤ ❤ ❤

    • Oh wow Trini, I can tell you really thought about this and I’m honored that you shared so in depth here. Thank you so much.
      Today is my wedding anniversary, so I really liked that you pointed out what they believe in India about how your life partner helps you become everything you’re meant to be. In thinking about that, I can honestly say that I believe that my husband and I are perfect for each other, because we are complete opposites. Where I am strong, he is weak, and where he is strong, I am weak. I am a feeler, and he is a thinker. After 11 years of marriage, I can see how I have been challenged to grow and see things not as black and white, and not just go by my feelings. I know that when my feelings start to get the best of me, and I can’t think straight or logically about something, I go to him. Sometimes he just smiles, because he knows how I am. Then he shares his very strong thinker side with me, and it helps so much. I think there really is something to that, “opposites attract” saying.
      I also really love how you mentioned that even the romantic love is a spiritual thing. I hadn’t actually considered this so much until jrj1701 mentioned it. It made me think of my own past experiences, and what I believe about romance, sexual relationships, marriage, and how, even thought it is a physically stimulating thing, it really is connected to the spiritual. And because I’m a Christian, I believe that once you give your body to someone, you are made one with them. So then yes, it is definitely a spiritual act.
      “I have now written a gigantic comment about my thoughts, so I think I should not let my thoughts take up more space on your blog now”
      –You are so cute. No problem at all sweet Trini. Sometimes I write gigantic comments too. Especially when I’m sharing something that I feel strongly about.
      Love and blessings to you. I hope you’re getting tons of inspiration with your children’s writing. Can’t wait until your Christmas stuff comes out on your other blog. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
      I will be sure to share it with my kids.
      ❤ ❤

  7. No doubt…people fall in love in the morning and have sex in the evening…hello…you guys just met…people only believe in satisfying their physical needs…they have forgotton the true meaning of love…

    • I hear you here Aarya, loud and clear. I believe that romantic love and sex is a gift from God. HOwever, in it’s right place. I don’t believe that people should be just giving themselves to anybody. As a Christian, I believe that is a special gift that God has given to us to be enjoyed with one person, and one person only. To me, that says it’s something pretty special and intimate. To meet someone in the morning, and be having sex by night, is as you said, ‘satisfying physical needs (actually, I’d say more like lust)’. Once the fire’s gone, the relationship ends. Hearts are broken. Emotions are hurt. Like cutting a person in two, after they’ve become one. Ouch.
      Thank you so much Aarya for sharing. I’m so glad you feel this way.
      🙂

    • Hahahahahaha Audrey. You put a smile on my face. Braver? Are you sure? Hahahahaha. Today is my and my hubby’s big day. Woohoo! We’ve made it 11 years, and there are many more ahead of us. It’s not easy, that’s for sure. But incorporating the four loves mindset, being a little counter-culture and sticking to what we believe makes it happen. Did you notice I left ‘eros’ for the day before the actual anniversary 😉
      Hahahahaha.
      We celebrated last night. I pampered myself in the afternoon with a cute new haricut (which I love), some highlights and even had my eyebrows plucked -hahahahaha. My in-laws took the kids for the night, we went out for dinner, even slept in (which almost never happens with our early risers).
      Anyhow, thanks for making me smile Audrey, and have a great weekend yourself.
      🙂

  8. Pingback: Then and Now – 11 years of love | A God Coloured Girl in a Grey World

  9. This is from an Old Drama saying: “I know you can take care of yourself,” he said, with absolute certainty. His vivid eyes probed hers. With the same underlying resolve, he lifted a hand and brushed her cheek with his fingertips. “I just don’t think… you shouldn’t have to.”

    • Hey Mihrank, did you mean to write, “you should have to”?
      I know one thing, I certainly wouldn’t want to have take care of myself, as well as my two kids, all by myself. The beautiful thing about family, and marriage, is that no one is an island. We need to take care of each other, right. And this doesn’t in any way mean that one is higher, or greater than the other. It just means we have different abilities, places, desires and duties. I, for one, am so glad that I’m not the one that’s responsible for providing for our family. My hubby is. I feel privileged to be able to invest so much time and energy into my kids.
      Thank you for sharing this Mihrank. It’s a beautiful quote you’ve shared.
      🙂

      • Thank you Staci – You have such elegant and powerful reply, I am humbled and speechless. May God Bless you and your family and brings you joy and health.

  10. Wow – It is so amazing reading those comment and everyone participated in this beautiful dialogue received back a wonderful reply. I see, there is one has left out.

    • Oh yes, the discussion provoked by this series on love has been awesome. Oh yes, I’ve replied to you on this just a few minutes ago. I normally don’t do a lot of blogging on the weekends because I’m with my family a lot, but it’s Sunday night so I thought I’d get back to responding now (the kids are in bed :-). Thanks so much Mihrank. 🙂

  11. Staci, this yet again is a wonderful post, as you continue with the idea of “love” and the many forms that it takes. “Eros” is a unique form of love that is all too often, as you say discarded and perhaps even discounted today. I like the quote by CS Lewis, I’m wonder though if “Eros” is to withstand the test of time and last, must it take into account both “naked bodies” and “naked personalities”, to be truly and completely under the umbrella of “Eros”? Very thought provoking, thank you! I love the poem, “King Solomon” that you have included, just beautiful! Please take care and enjoy your week!

    Warmly,
    Pepperanne

    • Hi Pepperanne. Thank you so much for kind words and thoughts. I like how you mentioned the ‘eros’ standing the test of time. I was reading something that CS Lewis thought about what ‘eros’ truly is, and he made a comparison between ‘eros’ and ‘venus’ – “Eros, for Lewis was love in the sense of ‘being in love’ or ‘loving’ someone, as opposed to the raw sexuality of what he called Venus” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Four_Loves). That kind of makes this statement more understandable for me. Because if you truly love someone, and eros plus familial or maybe philia or both are present, then there’s kind of a fusion that happens. Like if eros is present from the beginning of the relationship, but there’s no attraction or willingness to ‘care’ for or understand the other, and it doesn’t go deeper into the other types of love, then I guess the eros was maybe just ‘venus’ afterall.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the poem, and shared a thought-provoking comment.
      Have a great week and take care.
      Staci 🙂

  12. Pingback: Love in 10 Sentences | A God Colored Girl in a Grey World

    • Good point. It’s true. Like that saying, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Whoever wrote that had no idea what he was talking about. Hahaha.
      Thanks for the comment.
      🙂

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