SELF, FRIEND, MONEY AND SEX
Last year, June 2015, my daughter, Aneil, released her first music single called “Let Me Be” on the Word, Food and Music label. It is basically a beautiful song that gives a youthful perspective of love.
The first verse starts out as follows:
“I got a scare today when you left and didn’t stop to say bye, I thought I lost you.
I admit I can be a bit overbearing but let me explain why, It’s cause I love you”. Aneil – Let Me Be – June 2015
Since then I have been asking myself the question: What is love? Shamefully, I must admit, I don’t know what love is or more correctly I am not sure what love is. By the way, do you know what love is? Have you ever been in love? Are you in love? I did ask a few friends “what is the true meaning of love?” Some said it is giving, sharing, caring, selflessness, kindness and those glorious glittery words. Some say it is sexual intimacy: that mushy feeling, hanging up the phone and calling back. Those can’t sleep, can’t eat moments. A few friends said that love is pain, stress, heartache and headache with even a smaller amount saying love is punitive, jealous, bias and self centred.
Yes, it seems love is all these things and then some. Comfortingly, the Oxford Dictionary doesn’t seem to know what love is either. According to the dictionary, Love is affection and fondness but the same Dictionary said fondness is love and affection. I rest my case. So, what is love? Do you feel that you are seated comfortably on the stool of love in your life and relationship?
FINDING LOVE AND RELATIONSHIP
In a relationship or marriage, two persons decide to become one so it is necessary to determine from early “which one?” Is it the male, the female or the unified unit as one. Importantly too, just as how we all know AIR is important to all living things, similarly, in relationships, there is a vital type of AIR (Attention, Interest and Respect) that is also needed. Normally, the stronger the AIR, the stronger is the relationship. A relationship consisting of multiple mind rocking orgasms and body tingling sexual experiences; socializing with partners’ friends; getting gifts such as sweets or roses and Victoria Secret lingerie’ intellectually and meaningful conversations, simple nature visits to the park and hanging out at the beach; volunteering with many of the philanthropic organizations are all important in living life and in relationships.
A proper combination of sex, friendship, share/care and spiritual growth leads to increased chances of success as love would be seated firmly on the “four legged stool of love”.
Indeed, Love is such a lovely thing that sadly, sometimes, we spend a lifetime pursuing it instead of living our lives. Yeah, most of us talk about finding love as if Love is lost and waiting to be found. We join organizations; go church, go clubs, sign up for online social sites and get smart phones all with the intention of finding love, true love. Sadly, many never found love and many have fallen but not in love. In fact so many of us have fallen and broken into pieces after maybe weeks or months of sitting on a stool that has one or two legs. Unconsciously, we fall in and out of love just like the seasons of North America.
Seriously, some of these love failures then go around and break other people’s heart as a hobby. If not careful, we become cold, insensitive and cynical about new “love”. The saddest part is that sometimes marriage and children result from these “love” affairs.
The truth of the matter is that many of us who go searching for love are ourselves loveless. We confuse great sex, or financial comfort with love. Also, we talk about finding our other half as if to say we are not whole beings. The important thing is that whether 25/75 or 99/1, together both partners must complement each other in order to be complimented.
THE FOUR LEGGED STOOL OF LOVE
As seen, we can all say we love but it is hard to determine or even explain Love. Love is a special and complicated emotion that does affect our heartbeat but the emotions and feelings associated with love are found in the brain. It’s the brain and not the heart that generates chemical signals to make us understand love whether platonic or sexual. Does this mean that love or the conditions for love can be created?
Indeed, love or a relationship can be seen as a stool with four important legs to accommodate firm and comfortable sitting above ground. These four important legs that the stool of love do need to be balanced although not necessarily equal. It depends on the terrain or ground on which the stool will be seated.
There are no manuals or how to do booklet on “How to Let Love Last Longer” but a quick look at the four legs of love on which a real love affair stands can be insightful: 1 The mental/spiritual (self); 2) social (friends); 3) Money (economic) and 4) intimate (sexual).
LEG 1. THE MIND – SPIRITUAL (AGAPE)
The first leg of love is the love for self and fellow human beings. If you don’t love yourself then you can’t love anybody else. This is an unconditional love that sees beyond the outer surface and accepts the recipient for whom he/she is, regardless of his/her flaws, shortcomings or faults. It’s the type of love that everyone should strive to have for self and his/her fellow human beings. A kind of philanthropy or as Thomas Aquinas puts it: “to will the good of another.” It is rooted in the idea of brotherly love, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God.” Although you may not like aspects about yourself and others, you decide to love yourself and him/her just as a human being.
The Greeks called this mental, intellectual and spiritual love Agape.
Leg 2: FRIEND – SOCIAL. (PHILEO)
The second leg of love is the love for a buddy or best friend forever (BFF). The Phileo love refers to an affectionate, warm and tender platonic love. It makes you desire friendship with someone. It goes beyond the love for self or fellow human being. The Phileo love sees you not just tolerating someone but also celebrating someone. Although you may have an Agape (mental/spiritual) love for your enemies and competitors, you may not have a Phileo love for those same people.
In fact, although there is a common saying that friends don’t have sex with friends, it is uncanny not to be your lover’s best friend. Being a friend with your partner helps create relationships with more commitment, more love and even greater sexual satisfaction. A strong friendship is the secret to a long-lasting romantic relationship as it fortifies the romantic relationship and serves as a buffer against breaking up. Remove this leg of the stool and the relationship gets very rocky. In short, when you and your partner are not having sex or worrying about the bills, frolicking like school kids is delightful.
LEG 3: MONEY – ECONOMICS STORGE
Then there is the third leg of love. The affection of family and friendship. (Storge). Here a couple or persons decide to have togetherness and to take on the world as an economic unit. It is a type of confidant and interdependent love. This is necessary to handle the basic requirements of life such as food, clothing, and shelter. It is a kind of love that members of the family have for each other; or the love that friends feel for each other beyond their social friendship. In some cases, this friendship love may turn into a romantic love relationship. It’s committed, sacrificial and makes you feel secure, comfortable and safe.
LEG 4: PHYSICAL – SEX (EROS
The fourth leg of Love is sexual or intimate physical love or “erotas” as the Greeks called it. Eros is a passionate and intense love that arouses romantic feelings; it is the kind that often makes you say, “I love him/her”. It is simply an emotional and sexual love and may not last unless it moves up a notch higher because it focuses more on self gratification more than that of the other person. If the person “in love” does not feel good about the relationship anymore, he/she will stop loving his/her partner.
Whereas most animals have sex for procreation, humans have seen sex evolving beyond reproduction (procreation) to serve additional social functions including recreation. Sex can keep the male around the female and offspring therefore providing help with home and child rearing. This reinforces intimate social bonds that may help in overall survival of the family. Sex can help get the partners to know and understand each other as well as bring them closer. Touching, caressing, holding hands and any means by which we provide physical comfort to our partner can all be viewed as part of a fulfilling sex life.
Here is the good or bad thing about sex. If you are getting some good sex, sex is not very important in a relationship. It becomes a given. The other three legs become more important: friendship, money and mental. However, if sex is a source of frustration in your relationship and your sex life is unfulfilled, it can easily become a gigantic issue. A weak leg.
ARE YOU SITTING ON THE STOOL OF LOVE?
The four legged stool of love analogy shows that a strong relationship will stand up to the trials and tribulations of common life and set a solid base on which to leave the past, live in the present and step into the future. As individuals, ideally we need to cultivate the love of self, love of friend and love of partners before we consider the love of sex if we want real long term love. It is especially advisable for a committed relationship to have all our (4) components (or legs), as it can survive longer and support a great deal more weight. If it has only 3 out of 4 legs, it can still support sitting but there is a chance it will teeter. If a relationship only has 2 legs, it is in grave danger and is likely to topple or fall. In order for a relationship with only 1 leg to thrive it needs a mighty juggling and gymnastic act that most likely will lead to toppling and doomed.
|Not that all four legs of the stool need be equal as different people crave different support systems. However, it is important that all four legs be positioned so the stool doesn’t tilt or topple. Then again, are we even seated on all four legs of the stool of love: Self, Friend, Money and Sex?|
|NOTCLIF NOTES: This blog is a short version of my ebook “The Four Legged Stool of Love”. Read the full length by visiting http://www.wordfoodmusic.com and signing up for our free email or by simply clicking the eBook cover below. It was inspired by Aneil’s debut single “Let me Be”. Check her out on www.aneilmusic.com.|