The Greeks had five words to describe the different levels of love: eros, passionate love, essential desire and longing, romantic love; philia, friendship, loyalty; storge, natural affection; agape, selfless giving; and thelema, desire or will to do something. In the English language we have many states of feeling that describe different elements of love: idolization, affection, devotion, worship, infatuation, lust, passion and rapture. None of which are synonyms for love, as we only have the one word for that, love itself.
My husband and I, who have spent an inordinate amount of time mulling over the finer points of love's various meanings, have come up with our own adaptation that was part of our sacred marriage vows: I want what you want for yourself.
Then there is another subcategory of love we Westerners recognize as being "in love." It's a kind of "objective" love: the state in which we project our affection onto another person and vice versa, which evolves into a more mature version, characterized as an act of giving without expectation, i.e. respect, affection, adoration, etc.
And then (I could go on and on down that rabbit hole, but won't) there's the growing phenomenon of addiction.
According to the current DSM manual, relationship addiction falls under the category of process addiction, which means it's behavior-related. Websters defines it as the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming to such an extent that its sensation causes trauma (an emotional wound or shock that creates substantial, lasting damage to a person's psychological development, often leading to neurosis).
As opposed to the etymological definition, addictio, meaning to surrender to, or a giving over of. No matter how you slice it, addictive relationship or love is in a class all by itself, and when unattended can lead us into some real dark and potentially dangerous places for everyone involved! Keep reading ...
More love advice from YourTango:
- Why Can't I Find A Relationship?
- 10 Ways Men Show Love
- 5 Ways To Be Happy About Your Love Life Right Now!