Today you are in for a real treat! I have the final installment of Chris and Laura of TwoINFPs’ four part series on Love. In the fourth of their series on the Greek types of love (storge, philia, eros, & agape), today Chris takes a closer look at agape.
When I consider the word “Agape,” I know the literal translation is “love.” However, I think a better descriptor would be “serenity.”
Out of the four Greek types of love, Agape refers to “true love” on a spiritual and emotional level. This is as opposed to Eros which is more about passion and romance, or Storge which is love of family. Rounding out the four is Philia, which is friendship-love.
Agape is what you feel in those moments when you are lying in bed with your spouse, your arms wrapped around them, and there is nothing but contentment and peace. I find that I feel this type of love most when I am at truly and deeply relaxed, doing nothing but spending time with Laura around our house.
While all the types of love are necessary for a healthy life, I feel Agape is simply not given enough thought or time by most people.
We’re often so busy in our lives that it seems like the special, quiet moments where we simply enjoy the presence of our significant other are an afterthought. We make sure to pay attention to the other types of love and will run around to meet friends for coffee, call to talk with our families, and of course most of us in a decent relationship wouldn’t fathom going too long without some excitement under the covers. But after that we just fall against the mattress and crash, exhausted from going all day long without taking the time to sit peacefully for just a little while.
I feel that to cultivate more bliss in our lives, we need to start turning off the TV more and instead tune into the person we love. Try putting some light background music on and simply sit with your spouse on the couch, talking about places you’d love to travel to or experiences you want to have. You might have discussed it all as you got to know one another in the beginning stage of your relationship, but times change, so keep talking.
Or, instead of banging the snooze button every morning and trying to get every last minute of sleep, attempt getting up a little early to enjoy a cup of tea as the sun rises. It is a better way to start the day every so often. Since making the snooze button the exception rather than the rule, I’ve found that most of my days go much more smoothly. I now get to wake up and enjoy myself with Laura as we cook and eat breakfast together, even at the expense of that extra twenty minutes of lying comfortably under the covers.
If you must stay in bed that extra twenty minutes, I strongly suggest you cuddle as much as possible the entire time. For it is when we spend the time doing these seemingly small and trivial things, or common daily tasks with each other, that I find myself smiling and feeling true love the most.
These are all actions you could take by yourself to find some peace and tranquility, but the act of sharing it with another person and enjoying it with the person you love is what truly makes these moments serene to me. They wind up being therapeutic, because of both the calming effect they have on me personally, as well as the continued nourishment you are providing to your relationship in the process.
The best part is, all of this is easily accomplished by putting some thought into your situation and making the conscious decision to slow down and unwind. Start by taking just 5 minutes a day to sit down and discuss the coming day with your spouse in the morning. Or, take 5 minutes at night to hold one another for a little while.
I suspect by making this a habit for a week, you will find yourself to be less stressed as you go about the other parts of your life each day. I think that is certainly not a bad return on investment for putting in 5 minutes to enjoy yourself with the person you love!
Christopher Thomas shares writing duties with his better half, Laura, for their blog Two INFPs. So if you enjoyed this article, he’d love it if you checked out his other thoughts on relationship advice over at TwoINFPs.com. He’d also like to hear from you directly, so feel free to send off an email or connect with him and Laura on Twitter. He’s going to stop typing in third person now.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the incredible duo of Chris and Laura from Two INFPs for sharing these four articles on Love. It has been a complete delight to have this little peek into the lives of two wonderfully romantic people. For those of you who missed the earlier posts:
The Importance of Storge by Laura: “Storge is the Greek word for natural affection, or love founded upon familiarity. Most often, this type of love describes love between family members.”
Philia – Part of the Happiness Equation by Laura: “Philia (the ancient Greek word for friendship love) is an emotional need for human beings. As Aristotle put it, “No one would choose to live without friends even if he had all the other goods.””
The secret of never having to “work” at your relationship by Chris: “Eros is the strongest type of love a person can truly share with another person, and the beauty of it is that it is not only selfless, but cyclical as well.”