This Article of mine was published in World Time Magazine August 2010; about very interesting subject “Is it more important to love or to be loved?” I hope you to have enjoyable reading; Please do provide me with your feedback afterwards.
Please click over images to enlarge.
Is It More Important “To Love” or “To be Loved”?
By: Prof. Ayesha Kashif
It has been commonly said that if one needs to live a happy life; he should marry the person who loves him, instead of the one whom he loves. If we believe in argument above; long story gets short and chapter seems to be getting closed. Though this rule of thumb may not work always; and one can only wish if enigma of “love” would be this simpler. This rabbit hole goes much deeper than it seems apparently. In fact both of the dimensions of love are interlinked and interdependent on each other. In order to enjoy the status of “Being Loved” it is very much important that one must know “what love is?” and this can only be known when a person himself / herself falls in love and must experience how it actually feels.
What is Love?
In case it is asked from you what is Love? You may find yourself puzzled; though majority of the dictionaries explains its meaning as “An intense feeling of deep affection”, “A great interest and pleasure in something”. Often it is observed that most hyped denomination of love is “Romantic Love” and due to lot of influence thrown by media, it has become most common perception about love among majority of us. But love just does not mean hero / heroines of a movie holding hands heading towards beach at sunset; it is somewhat more complex than this.
In order to understand love in depth; we first need to know the important types of love. For this we can further divide love with help of three Greek words. Regardless of their spiritual and mythological background; this most simplified classification seems best for understanding “Love”
These three Categories of Love are as follows:
- Eros (Romantic Love)
- Philia (Friendly Love)
- Agape (Pure Love)
Eros (Romantic Love)
As the word (Eros) represents itself; this is “Erotic Love”. Its initial developmental stage is considered to be fastest amongst all; it gets triggered due to physical or alluring appeal, self interests and other external variables. When people usually make such statements like “I have fallen in love” or “I am experiencing love at first sight”, it is more likely that they are experiencing Eros (Romantic Love).Though these statements soon seem to evaporate as soon as harsh words are exchanged between both parties and they experience conflict between their self interests. Such conflicts can lead to frustration resulting in decline of Eros (Romantic Love). This type of love is often experienced in Man-Woman relation; where both look forward to live as couple. This type of love is fastest to grow; and fastest to shed away as well.
Eros (Romantic Love) is more Self-Centered; but it is great for initial relationship development. This type of love does not contain even slightest flavor of logic. It just grows with flow of sentimental emotions; and same is the reason of its decline; that it is more concerned with “Self”. Having a very high reliance over external variables i.e. relationship status, environment, time, and physical appeal; the moment any of these key supporting element moves away; lovingly feelings also change their route.
Philia (Friendly Love)
Philia (Friendly Love) has its “Reliability” somewhat higher than Eros (Romantic Love), as this relies more over logic; both parties have something in common, especially with respect to their interests.
This type of love is often experienced between friends, best-friends, fellowship, colleagues, or may be siblings. In this category one just enjoys the company of another person. As the interests of both parties match so one feels more comfort and ease in the companionship of the loved one. As it’s often well said that basis of every relationship should be based on healthy friendship; as only then long-term understanding and interest in one another could be maintained.
Philia (Friendly Love); yet again is not always too reliable. As it changes with change in circumstances. Moreover this relationship is somewhat based over “give & take” factor. Due to which it is more likely that this love might not stay FOREVER! Primarily “Philia” is friendship, but if you just look back in your life you will realize that there were so many people in your past to whom you called “Friends” and now you don’t even know there where-about. You might have lost contact with them due to change in common goals and your feelings slowly have been blurred with dust of time. In short when your mutual interests are no more “Mutual” Philia (Friendly Love) begins to deplete.
Agape: (Pure Love) “Ishq” in Urdu language
Agape (Pure Love) may not involve any logic apparently; but if observed carefully this indeed possesses highest intensity of logic. This type of love is often tagged as “Un-Conditional Love”. And without a doubt Agape (Pure Love) is considered to be most reliable love amongst all the categories.
This type of love is often experienced in God-Human, Mother-Child and in Nationalism relations, where one eliminates his/her ego, self-esteem, and begins to love selflessly, no matter how one is treated by the loved one, the essence of love keep flowing. This is why it is often quoted as “Purest form of Love”. It may take longer time to develop among two human beings; but once developed it is likely to take longest time to shed away. It may even stay FOREVER.
Our expectations towards certain people play very important role in the quality of life that we spend. Love is very qualitative and can hardly be quantified. The love that you experience is actually your own perception about it. Your perception about love might be absolutely different from another person having almost the same circumstances as yours. So this is emphasized that in order to experience more love, keep your expectations lower. Only then you can experience self-contentment and inner satisfaction. This leads to conclusion that one needs to keep increasing his love for others and keep reducing his expectation in order to experience highest joy of love.
Gate Way to True Happiness and Self Contentment:
If someone is truly loved; then it needs to stay forever.If intensity of love reduces due to change in physical appearance, financial status or other external variables; then it cannot be called as true love.
True love comes with “priceless” price. For which; get ready to wash away all egos, promise yourself to keep reducing your expectations from the loved one and to keep increasing intensity of love; this will not only lead to greatest boost in relation but will also leads to self-contentment and lifelong happiness.
Choose “to be loved” for self comfort and other external benefits & loose your self-contentment. For inner satisfaction and greater stability of relationship it is more important “to love” than “to be loved”; start loving more than other person does, keep increasing your love intensity, stop expecting. You will have great love filled life.
“Being Loved” is a blessing that few may have; but “Joy of Loving” is endorsement that even fewer can imagine.”