Someone was talking about problems getting dates.
I myself know what it is like to despair that I will ever marry. But…
Most churchgoing sorts have heard the ever popular “Greek words for love” sermon. Basically, it goes like this: the Greeks had three words they used for what we, in English, call “love.”
A lot of people remember Agape, the one the sermon is about. It means unconditional love, right? (Well, not exactly. That’s how the Christians used it. The Greeks used it as a general catch-all for anything the other two didn’t cover.)
Most people remember Eros. That’s sex, right? Actually, Eros is the Greek deity that is approximated by the Roman Cupid. He didn’t fly around advertising Pampers, but he did shoot love arrows. Eros meant, as far as I can tell from the culture and from my nosing about in ancient lexicons, the whole twitterpation thing. Infatuation. What moderns call being “in love” as opposed to “love” so they can distinguish the ooey-gooey feelings that they happen to be feeling right now from the identical feelings that resulted in a failed relationship last time.
Do I sound depressing?
Modern relationships suck. Statistically speaking, modern brides and grooms should, when asked to say their vows, pause a moment to flip a coin. If it comes up heads, they mean it. If it comes up tails, they only think they do.
That’s Eros. A fun guy, but a pathological liar.
Phileo, now… who remembers Phileo?
Brotherly love. Familial affection not limited to family. The kind of love you have for someone when you are willing to take a phone call in the middle of the night to hear him or her sob, where you dig deep when he or she is in trouble, and you love it, because it’s totally worth it, not just because the other one is a human being, but because of who this person is to you. And no necessary connection to sex or to twitterpation. The kind of love I have for my cousin dearest. The kind of thing that’s showing up with my animation buddy, and with the Steves.
Phileo lasts, man.
Remember that coin? I bet you donuts to dollars most of those people who got heads didn’t mean their vows either… they just thought they did, swept away by the emotion at the time. But it worked out because at some point, before or after Eros went south for the winter, they found Phileo.
Eros made a promise, but it was Phileo who pulled through.
Me, I’m not as trusting as I once was. I’ve decided, why take chances on what happens later, when you can try for the lasting kind of love now?
This is not the way to meet girls.
But I have every indication that this road leads to Happily Ever After rather than Flip a Coin. And I’ve seen enough coin tosses, thanks.