Agape love is one of the many kinds of love that philosophers have defined when trying to understand how we love and why.
There are numerous references to agape love in religious literature, ancient philosophy, and even contemporary philosophy, but each offers its own slight variation on what agape love is.
Agape love is different from eros love, which refers to sexual love, and philia love, which refers to affectionate love because it is the deepest and purest form of love. Agape love can be felt between lovers, family members, and friends, making it a universal form of love.
The traditional understanding of agape love is the kind of love that does not respond to the value of its object. It is an unconditional and unmotivated love that we feel for lovers and family members. Commonly known as the highest form of love, agape asks nothing of the person who receives it.
The very essence of agape love is supportiveness, compassion, and joy in the person that we love. Formed through faithfulness and commitment to one another, it is characterized by a strong moral character in the two partners of the relationship.
This is why it is considered to be the purest and meaningful form of love.
How to practice and nurture agape love in everyday life
Although it is the most natural form of love, agape love still needs the same care and attention we give to other forms of love. Agape love is not necessarily something that we can perfect, but it is something that we can nurture and develop.
Set aside your own agenda
Agape love is a selfless love. To nurture your agape love, you must set aside our own goals and agendas to sincerely support your partner. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have and pursue your own goals, it just means you must wholeheartedly support one another.
In support of the other’s aspirations, you should not be thinking how your goals fit with theirs. When encouraging an agape partner, temporarily forget your own goals and look for ways you can help them achieve. In an agape partnership, your partner should reciprocate this care and support, and do the same for you.
With true agape love, support and encouragement are frequently and freely given.
Sometimes we must be patient with one another. Whether going through hard times or busy times or when things distract us, you cannot let these things get between you and your partner. Give your partner the time they need to complete the things they need to do, support them through the busy times, and enjoy the time you have together.
Do not let it get to you when you cannot spend all the time you wish to with your partner. Quality time will come if you are patient, as long as you are both committed to making time for own another.
In its selflessness, agape love is generous. Agape partners give freely and willingly to one another, no matter what is asked of them. Part of supporting one another is to give what is needed from you generously and in good faith. Do not resent what you must give to support your partner and ensure they have what they need.
At the same time, share in the hard times and give a shoulder to cry on when things get tough. Keep your heart open and sympathetic, giving emotional support when needed.
Be encouraging, not envious
One of the most important aspects of agape love is rejoicing in your partner’s accomplishments. When your partner achieves something great, don’t let it make you jealous. Encourage their achievements and appreciate the work they have given to succeed.
Envy is the enemy of agape love, so try to remember the effort your companion has given and encourage them to continue this. When we are working hard and achieving, it is our agape partners that we want with us every step of the way.
Honor your commitment
The most important characteristic of agape love is the love and commitment that comes with it. To practice and nurture agape love, honor and respect this commitment as much as you can. Temptations are a natural thing to experience, and everyone has them sometimes.
It is important to not let yourself give in to them. Remember how important and special your partner is to you and honor your agape love.
Agape love is the purest form of love, but that doesn’t mean it is always easy. Taking the time to nurture and practice your agape love daily will help it to grow and endure. Take the time to notice your partner and respect how they feel.
Agape lovers reciprocate this because mutual respect is key. Putting in the work to cherish your agape love will make it so much stronger in the long run. By working to maintain your agape love, your relationship will last a lifetime.
By Francesca F.