• Getting and Keeping Them Never Loosing Your Best Friend
  • Marriage & Love Relationship: A Complete Marriage
  • A Complete Marriage
  • ​The Missing Link
  • The Definition of Love
  • Loving or Needy?

Love is the source of emotional oxygen that keeps humanity alive and well. As long as there are human beings, there will be love. Will it always be healthy? NO! Will I have to work at it? YES.

Are you ready to see what that looks like? Or are you just going to give up? Be a quitter? Plenty of fish in the sea. Is this your partner that you see yourself with at 80 walking down the beach holding hands?

Why are some couples happier in love than others? Although love has often been compared to a passionate romance, it is really much more than infatuation. Love can come in many forms, for example, a person can experience emotional intimacy, platonic friendship, "friends with benefits", infatuation, parent/child concerns, and healthy patterns of bonded love.

How do we know when we have found healthy love? What makes love function in a truly satisfying way? While romantic love has some special characteristics, loving relationships of all types (spouse, partner, lover, parent, child, or friend) have some core qualities that set them apart. At the heart of love is:

  • Being able to depend on one another in times of need.
  • Mutual understanding and sharing.
  • Giving and receiving emotional support.
  • Mutually supporting one another's welfare.
  • Enjoying one another’s company.

There are four types of love that MUST be present at the same time in any marriage and love relationship to make a complete marriage. When ANY of these loves are missing, it leaves a gaping hole in the relationship. (Strive to keep these four types of love active in your marriage. It will keep it secure!)

A marriage relationship is built over a lifetime. There are four kinds of “love” needed to make a marriage relationship complete. They are AGAPE, PHILEO, STORGE, and EROS. All are essential in a marriage.

The highest form of these types of love is agape. Agape love is unconditional love. It loves when all other types of love quit and care when there is no apparent reason to care.

People make friends with others according to the kind of car they drive or what kind of clothes they wear, or their status in society. The agape love of God goes past the surface, enabling us to look deep into our mate’s hearts and love them for who they were made to be despite their faults and shortcomings.

Phileo love is the kind of love that makes agape love enjoyable. Phileo love is having tender affection toward your mate. Most friendships are built on phileo love. Phileo love is that “something” that you see in another person that draws you to be their friend. It’s one thing to unconditionally love (agape) someone who you don’t like to be around because they irritate you. It’s quite another thing to unconditionally love someone who is tenderly affectionate (phileo) toward you. THE TENDER AFFECTION OF PHILEO LOVE MAKES THE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE OF AGAPE ENJOYABLE. It’s the joy of friendship!

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Another kind of love needed in a marriage is storge. Storage is a physical show of affection that results from a pure motive. It may be a hug, a kiss, or another expression of genuine affection. Because males are different than females, the wife usually needs this kind of love more from her husband. It is important for the husband to set aside his need for companionship and meet his wife’s main need, which is affection.

When all four types of love operate in a marriage, the marriage is complete. A picture of a complete marriage is a husband and wife who lay down their life for each other (agape love) no matter how many times the other offends them or causes them to have ill feelings. They both have tender affection toward each other (phileo love). They enjoy each other’s company because they’re best friends. Because they enjoy each other so much, they hug, kiss, hold hands and do nice things for their mate (storge love). Because their hearts are filled with agape, phileo, and storge, a warm passionate desire arises within both of them to enjoy each other sexually (eros). Now, that kind of God-centered marriage will weather ANY storm.

We must nurture and protect ALL of these different kinds of love in our marriage. Negligence of any kind of love leaves a gaping hole in our relationship. To show you the significance and impact of this on our relationship, let’s remove one type of love at a time and see how incomplete the other three are alone.

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Let’s take out the highest form of love first, agape. Since agape love is unselfish the thing that will be prevalent, is selfishness. Human nature in itself is very selfish. Agape love influences and dominates all the other types of love. Selfishness will dominate phileo love. The friendship of the relationship will have a predominate undertone of “how can the friendship satisfy ME.” “If I act a certain pleasing way, I can get this.” Storge, that physical show of affection will diminish because “self” does not see it as important unless IT wants something. Eros, the passionate desire for sex, becomes one-sided.

When phileo love is missing, the caring and unconditional love will still be intact, but there will be a lack of friendship in the marriage. That gooey show of affection of storge will not be as prevalent. The need for sex of eros love will be more out of honor or duty.

Storge, that physical show of affection, is normal when phileo and agape love is intact. Storge love is usually missing because of emotional or psychological problems. The wounds that were inflected from trauma, neglect, or some other issue of the past must be worked through; otherwise, one partner may feel a measure of rejection because they believe that their partner does not want to be affectionate to them. It’s not that they don’t want to, but that their heart will not give them the liberty to express it. This, of course, will affect the eros love. The couple’s sex life will diminish. Most likely sex will be a result of need, rather than the passionate desire that arises from the affection of storge love.

When asked to define what love is, one study rated the trust as the most important component of love. Also rated as highly important were commitment, caring, honesty, friendship, respect, faithfulness, reliability, loyalty, and communication.

People who are insecure sometimes use unhealthy love relationships to boost their self-esteem or give themselves a sense of identity and direction. When one relationship ends, they anxiously seek another to replace it. This type of relationship can never substitute for inner direction, true self-esteem, or a reason to authentically enjoy life. Infatuation is identified by the drive towards satisfying needs instead of a conscious choice to be in a loving, healthy relationship. Some of the signs and signals of infatuation are:

  • Desiring to become one with the lover
  • Anxiety about being loved in return
  • Never feeling loved enough
  • Idealizing the loved one
  • Feelings of insecurity when outside a love relationship
  • Life is seen as fulfilling only when involved in a love relationship
  • Extremes of happiness and misery
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Infatuation is falling in love with your own creation—what you need or hope for the other person to be, rather than who or what they actually are. Certain qualities put some people at high risk for compulsive or frantic love. These include:

  • A tendency to love too easily
  • A vision of oneself as a unique individual who is very deserving of love
  • Frequent and easy daydreaming and fantasizing
  • Wanting more love from others than is usually received
  • A high sensitivity to goodbyes and separations
  • Defensiveness when criticized
  • Failure to show anger openly and directly
  • Self-centeredness—focusing more on getting love than giving it.

People with these traits are more prone to love in an unhealthy way than people without this combination of traits. Compulsive, anxious, or frantic lovers are not likely to find lasting love without professional counseling. If some of these characteristics sound familiar to you or someone you know, counseling can help to quickly overcome these concerns and improve all of your relationships.

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