Love can take on many forms and meanings. It may contain a particular connotation for friends and family, but transforms with an entirely different meaning when love is between two romantic partners and other kinds of lovers or when talking about the love described as agape in Ancient Greek. As we grow older, and particularly for seniors over 70, the way we give and receive changes and grows, too.
Getting older doesn’t mean losing opportunities to love. In fact, aging brings the opportunity to be more intentional in the way we build relationships, especially loving relationships. Leaning into lifelong friendships, having the companionship of those who’ve loved us through decades of living, is invaluable as we age. But there are also opportunities for finding new friendship online. And if you’re looking for romantic love, there’s more than one dating site for mature seniors to help you on your way. Looking at the four types of love in Greek illustrates just how love plays an important role in each of our lives – especially in our senior years.
Four Types of Love In Greek: Philia
When people think about what the highest form of love is and the one that we experience the most, Philia is the special kind of love shared between friends for life. Did you know that lifelong friendships are not only endearing and sweet, but have actually been found to be beneficial for your mental and physical health?
In addition to embracing a lifelong friendship, consider joining a new club or group with similar interests to yours, taking fascinating classes to learn more about a new-to-you subject, or trying a sport you’ve never previously practiced. Discovering a new friendship online or – if you’re in a senior community – attending community events to mingle with new residents can bring new opportunities for friendship. Skip the friendship test and instead let your interests guide you into finding new friends for life.
Finding Lifelong Friendship in Our Cogir Communities
Cogir is lucky to see this play out in our own communities. Tribute at Black Hill has a group of men who drink and visit by the firepit every night after dinner. They call themselves “The Nightcap Crew.” This isn’t an organized effort or formal event, instead, the group grew organically as friendships took root. Philia friendship dramatically benefits emotional health, and it’s something Cogir encourages in all our communities. “When you can be yourself, you’re home. We hope to create that feeling for all of our residents,” says Dominic Fabrizio, Community Relations Director, one of our favorite lifelong friends quotes from our team.
Tribute at Melford has a Vet to Vet Cafe, where veterans from Tribute at Melford – along with veterans from the outside community – have a place to gather, socialize, and swap stories. It’s crucial to find a space in life where you can reminisce and make new friends who share similar interests and experiences. These kinds of in-person gatherings are often easier for seniors to navigate than trying to find friendship online, though there are opportunities online, too.
Using Technology to Maintain Lifelong Friendship Online or Just Stay in Touch
Making friends online might be overwhelming for many of us who aren’t tech savvy. Let’s face it, some of us love it, and some of us don’t. For some, email and social media are great ways to stay in touch, but others like to stick to a phone call and hearing the voices of those friends for life.
To make life easier, try these tips:
- Have a family member input the contact information of your friends and family to your phone’s speed dial, so you’ll still be able to keep in touch.
- Alexa, Echo and other home speaker devices can also be set up to call particular contacts when verbally instructed. Try it out for yourself or have a family member set one up for you. As a bonus, many are set up to play music and even trivia games, so you could host an online trivia night to make new friends.
- Consider setting up a watch party with those friends for life who share your love of a movie or series. Seeing the show at the same time as each other can help friends to feel connected. You can watch together on the phone or through FaceTime or Google Meet to share the experience.
- While you may not be able to visit far away friends’ houses anymore, you can still keep up with them day-to-day through regular calls, Facetime, Skype, or other video chat tools. Sometimes seeing a familiar face can make all the difference in turning around a tough day.
Four Types of Love In Greek: Eros
Eros is the burning and passionate love found in romantic relationships. Finding such companionship and intimacy – be it true love or near love – are important at any age. Interestingly, there are actually a slew of benefits from maintaining a positive romantic relationship, such as lowered blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and overall happiness.
Some of us are fortunate and have a long-term partner who’s still around to share our lives. Others may be looking for that eros kind of love. If you are looking for more eros love in your life, there are many excellent options to choose from when it comes to finding a dating site for mature seniors. Whether you’re looking for a dating site for widowers and widows, a dating site for seniors over 70, or one of the many other cultural subsections you might fall into, there’s likely a dating site for you (trust us, if there’s a dating site for farmers and a dating site for bikers, you’ll find a dating site that’s right for you). It doesn’t just stop at finding a dating site for seniors. You can also take into account things like your age, interests, location, and romantic desires.
Specific dating sites can also cater to different kinds of lovers. For example, you might prefer dating sites for conservatives or dating sites for the disabled. There are also dating sites for divorcees if you’re in that category. And if you’re looking for dating sites for particular cultural groups, there are dating sites for Japanese, Nigerians, Brits, and Germans as well as dating sites for religious groups. Truly, there’s something for everyone.
If you’re not certain what you’re looking for in a romantic relationship, try filling out an online love calculator or friendship test together with their new potential mate to gauge your level of mutual compatibility. Some sites even have the questionnaire built into the dating algorithm.
Did you know, however, that eros love isn’t the only of the types of love in Greek you can experience? For some, it’s not even the most important. Instead, some value philia or storge love more as they age.
Four Types of Love In Greek: Storge
Storge is familial love: the love that a parent has for a child, a child for their grandparent, aunts and cousins and nephews for one another. While many of our loved ones may be understandably busy with our own lives, it is important that we continue to keep in touch with those who share our storge love. We can take advantage of the scheduled visits with our families and grandchildren to express the familial love and pass on wisdom and knowledge through storytelling. This will allow us to preserve our family of origin meaning to our future generations.
Consider writing down memories of your children and grandchildren to help reinforce familial bonds. Some family members may also be fascinated with hearing stories of your childhood, parents or grandparents. If you fought in a war, you have the opportunity to bring history books to life for your grandchildren through telling your story. If you need some inspiration, look to other storytellers online to help. If writing is difficult, there are software tools that translate voice to text. You could also use your cell phone’s video function to record a video for family members. You can also mirror famous storytellers through online resources, such as Storyworth, a website that collects your loved one’s favorite memories and stories one question (and one week) at a time, before finally turning them into a gorgeous bound book that can be kept for generations.
You can also hint to your family that one of the small digital photo frames with wifi that would allow you (or other family members) to download pictures directly from your iCloud (or other digital photo service) to the frame would be a great gift. Some frames allow you to update photos regularly, and make it easy for moms with little kids to keep you updated on the latest events in your grandchildrens’ lives.
Four Types of Love In Greek: Agape
What agape love means in Greek, is best summed up as “a selfless love.” It is the desire for the well-being of others, without asking for anything in return; an embracing of unconditional and inclusive love. There are many ways to show agape love, but potentially the most important one is simply through listening.
For many of us, we have experienced the emotional challenges that come from retiring from a job or entering into a senior community. Some of us have gone as far as questioning our worth as we age. However, the greatest gift that we have to offer to ourselves and our loved ones is showing selfless love through volunteering, tending to our children and grandchildren, and helping our fellow friends in the senior community. This can be through life advice, sharing funny stories, or providing comfort to those we love to strengthen our family bonds and help ease the life challenges we both may be facing. And listening is something we can all do at any age or stage of life.
Nurturing any Love is Self Love
These four types of love from Ancient Greek philosophy are just a few ways that seniors can cultivate and strengthen existing friendships and improve quality of life. As our social connections keep our senses sharp and foster a positive mindset, it becomes more critical than ever to nourish these relationships and ensure that we stay connected. These four types of love from Ancient Greek prove that no matter your age, there’s always love to give… and to receive!
You’re invited to learn about available services, including independent living, assisted living, CONNECTIONS care, memory care, and more. We offer a full-service approach that includes both social and physical activities to help our residents enjoy thriving lifestyles. Call today to schedule a tour in one of our modern aging communities and talk to one of our caregiving experts.