Love Is A Useless Word. Here Are 3 Alternatives That Make More Sense

Brittany Wong

When you’re in love, there’s an underlying societal expectation that the two of you want to spend every waking moment together and that an active sex life comes easy. You want to be with your partner all the time, and you want them all the time.

That’s a nice thought, but it’s a very tall order and hardly sustainable in the long term, philosopher Alain de Botton says in a new video from The School of Life YouTube channel.

In the illustrated clip, the British author recommends we set aside our idealized notions about love and look instead to the ancient Greeks, who believed in three main types of love

  • There’s “eros,” the kind of white hot passion you feel early on in the relationship.
  • Then there’s “philia,” the deep, abiding friendship you hopefully develop with your partner over time.
  • And lastly, there’s “agape,” the charitable love you feel toward your S.O. when they make a mistake, for instance.

As de Botton explains it, “philia” is particularly important in a long-term relationship, because the hot-and-heavy “eros” phases tend to come and go. 

“Our feelings of ‘eros’ can evolve into another sort of love: ‘philia.’ It’s normally translated into ‘friendship,’ though the Greek words is far warmer, more loyal and touching than its English counterpart,” he explains. “One might be willing to die for ‘philia.’”

Watch the clip above for more on the three types of love.  

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.