Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Valentine's Day designated for love through the centuries


February 13, 2020

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and many folks will tell you that it is a “Hallmark Holiday” another excuse to have to buy cards, candy, and gifts. There is an actual history to this day of love, but there aren’t many who could tell you what that history is.

The Catholic Church actually has at least three St. Valentines, all of whom were martyrs. During the third century Roman Emperor Claudius II made a decree that young men were no longer allowed to marry as he believed that single men made better soldiers. Valentine continued to perform marriages in secret until he was discovered and put to death. The second Valentine was a Bishop of Terni and was also beheaded by Claudius II, and finally Valentine number three was a young man who helped Christians escape the Roman prisons. According to legend this young man fell in love with a woman, possibly a jailer’s daughter, and wrote her a letter signed “from your Valentine,” a phrase still used today. While it is unclear which of these stories is true, it is easily said that February is the month of love.

In case you didn’t know there are eight different types of love, and most relationships will fall into one of these categories. The lowest and worst form of love was called mania by the Greeks. Mania is an obsessive love. Oftentimes shrouded in jealousy, madness, and anger, Mania is love that can stem from low self-esteem. The person that is involved in a mania love can be obsessive and often fearful of losing the object of their affection which can cause erratic behavior and madness.

The second form of love as defined by the Greeks is called ludus. Ludus is a playful love. This day and age we tend to call it “puppy love” This is more like a crush and can often be categorized as a young love or a first love. This can also be used to describe the first feelings of infatuation or the early days of romance. Often recognizable by butterflies in the stomach or giddiness, if you’ve ever had a crush you’ve experienced ludus.

The third type of love as we move up the spectrum is called pragma. Pragma to the Greeks is also known as enduring love. Pragma love develops after a long period of time and will oftentimes outlast the lives of those who experience it. This kind of love is rare as there is not many that have the patience to wait for this type of love to develop, but once there it’s effortless. Couples who have a pragma love are good at compromise and make efforts to make each other happy.

Storge love is a love between a parent and a child. It can be experienced along with other types of love as there is no romanticism involved. It is simply built out of a strong bond and kinship. Philautia as explained by the Greeks is a self-love. Like Storge this type of love can also be experienced with other loves as it’s not romantic either. Philautia is important because the healthiest way to love someone is to first love yourself. The third in the series of non-romantic loves is Philia. Philia is the love you feel towards your friends. Often the Greeks found this love as deeper than any of the others as it represents two people who consider themselves equals.

Next on the list is Eros love. Eros is a love that is associated with passion, desire, and romance. The Greeks did not admire this type of love as it often burns hot and bright, but burns out quickly. This is often not a love that lasts, but it is a love that can be all consuming while it burns.

Finally the love that most of us desire, but oftentimes we are just too human to maintain is called Agape love. Agape love is unconditional. Agape love is altruistic, selfless, and can often be seen as spiritual. Many of those who consider themselves Christians will compare this type of love to that of the love that God has for his followers.

No matter where you are on the love spectrum odds are there is someone in your life who deserves a Valentine. Whether it’s a parent, child, friend, or lover love is there to be had, and to be given. So from us here at the Post, Happy Valentine’s Day!


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