It’s famous that the Greeks have many words for love where we have just one. My favourite distinctions are Eros and Agape. Eros – we all know what that is, but Agape? Agape is the unselfish compassionate love which just wants the best for people.

I found this distinction very helpful when disentangling myself from my marriage. It allowed me to understand that without sex, Eros is not what is being experienced and that Eros is required for married love if it isn’t to become just about family, conventionality and convenience. When I could accept that it was not about Eros for us and never had been at all for him; I could stop resisting, trying to force it … I could turn my love for my husband into Agape.

This lack of acceptance in prior years had turned me sour – closed my heart and accepting it immediately opened it again. Now our relationship is simply the best divorce you can imagine.

Now Agape is the guiding principle of my life. It’s not perfect – a work in progress and I am as prone as the next man to find myself so irritated by someone that it’s hard to love them – but most days my heart simply brims with love for my friends, my family and my work colleagues.

And then Eros comes along. And in the worst circumstances. A married man. My track record here is poor. As mutual Eros has eluded me my whole life I was desperate for it to work out. I became obsessed. horribly anxious. I recognised in him a similar marriage to my own and shared my experiences to try to short cut the 4 years it took me to reach that conclusion myself. It didn’t work . He’s gone back to her. My heart is broken once again. 

I. who assert love to be a guiding principle of my life, do not want him to be happy without me.  Try as I might and I know she has completely different qualities to mine which is partly why he was unable to chose, I cannot love his wife either. 
Such is the selfishness of Eros.


6 thoughts on “The selfishness of Eros

  1. Eros is an amazing thing when shared with another…it makes you feel awesome.
    But is all about physical and mental sexual and emotional satisfaction.
    Eros is not always something we chose.
    Agape is loving someone unconditionally…even when Eros love is not present…or priority.
    I have experienced both…is hard to let go of EROS with my lover for AGAPE for my husband.
    What us sad is that I always thought I would chose agape over eros…
    Eros got me in its claws and even thou I know is the wrong path is taking me…I can’t quit my lover.
    Turmoil, hurt and guilt overwhelms me

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Agape is appropriate and necessary for all couples. The perfect world you would have both…I’m seeing agape love given to me from my husbad while I still need,crave and succumb to the eros love my lover overwhelmes me with…
        I am so lost is not even funny…
        I never seen this me before.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well yes I agree but Eros and agape both required for married love unless you are in your 60s…. In my opinion. Without that you will find Eros coming upon you unsuspecting from another quarter perhaps or you will slowly die inside- maybe not everyone would but I would. I only know that since my husband became my ex husband I have perfected my love for him – as I don’t expect or require him to love me in a way he can’t. I need that to feel alive, female, fulfilled, attractive – I think every marriage does. I haven’t found anyone to fill his spot yet but he has and that makes me happy – that he has found it all in one person. At least one of us has. I really really hear you though

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I can relate to this. And I agree, marriage needs a balance of Euros and Agape love. That’s what separates the relationship from others and makes it so special. Otherwise what’s the point of sharing your life with someone if your relationship only consists of the same love you have for your family and friends.


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