The Greeks have four words for "love". Why would you need this many? Isn't love just that - love?
I think there are as many ways to love someone as there are relationships. For every two people that know each other, and have some type of relationship - be it friendly, family, or romantic - there's a new, separate way to love someone. It's something that can only happen after sharing experiences together, and every two people share completely different experiences than others do. For example, my friend Will. We have been neighbors since I was 7, enemies until I was 13 (1) , schoolmates until I was 16, and close friends until now. We've been in marching band together, indoor track together, and a gang together (2). No two other people on earth have shared exactly what we've shared. This friend-love is different than anyone else's. It's completely unique and no one else has the same friendship that we have. No one else loves anyone else the way I love Will.
So often do we, especially young people, tell our friends that we love them. I tell my girls team all the time, "I love you guys!" or I'll tell Ciera's family, "Love you Connie/Kev/Sutt/Rye!"(3). "Love" comes out of our mouths countless times a day. So here comes the dilemma I am seeing in our society, especially with young people. How do you, verbally, make the transition from friendship-love to romantic love? Maybe I'm the only one who is bothered by this... But if you're good friends with someone, and it starts to turn into something more, it gets a bit awkward. Here's someone that you've always been able to say "I love you!" to, without thinking twice, and now those words mean a bit more. Of course you still love them as a friend, you never stopped loving them in that way, but maybe you're not sure if you're "in love". However, you continue to say it, because randomly stopping would be strange. Maybe one day, when you finally feel you are actually "in love", you can say, "Hey! I actually love you now. Before I was just saying that as a friend. and now I love you! Even though I already did." That is just wierd.
Had the creators of our language realized that there are more ways to love someone than one, maybe they would have added a few others to make this easier on us. Or, maybe we should just better utilize the words we have. Maybe you should tell your friends, "I care for you greatly!" or "I love you, as a sister/brother!"(4). Or maybe not. Maybe once you get into that awkward post-friendship-pre-love period, you should just say, "I like you intensely" or "I fancy you" or "I think you are pretty bomb-ass". Or you could make a pact to not say "I love you" until you feel you actually do.
Honestly, I don't really see a solution to this problem in the near future, because everyone is going to keep saying it, and no new words are going to be invented to solve this dilemma. We are pretty much screwed... unless we start speaking Greek.
1. He used to literally force me into playing kickball or football or something with him. It was horrible.
2. Fat Cobras!
3. Actually, I am totally in love with Sutton.
4. Some of you may recall using "lylas/lylab" to express this in grade school. It was all the rage.
ramblings of a semester untold, III
6 years ago