Agape

Just as eros depends on philia, so philia needs agape. May (1969b) defined agape as "esteem for the other, the concern for the other s welfare beyond any gam that one can get out of it; disinterested love, typically, the love of God for man" (p. 319).

Agape is altruistic love. It is a kind of spiritual love that carries with it the risk of playing God. It does not depend on any behaviors or characteristics of the other person. In this sense, it is undeserved and unconditional.

To summarize, v■ - —iflaa.;^ healthy adult relation-

™ ships blend all four forms of love. They are based j on sexual satisfaction, a | desire for an enduring ^^■mP^^S'V union, genuine friend-

CfFfwt i ship, and an unselfish

B gy, . . ^ concern for the welfare of the other person. Such authentic love, unfortunately, is quite difficult. It requires self-affirmation and the assertion of oneself. "At the same time it requires tenderness, affir-

Agape is altruistic love that requires nothing in return. (May, 1981, p. 147).

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