Dear Love Doctor

How Do I Find Love Without Romance? Help Me Love Doctor

Why not send former Kingston-resident Love Doctor your relationship queries? Use the form to submit your question(s).


I have been single for a couple of years, just as the novel cornonavirus appeared.

How can I get that feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love without being involved in a romantic relationship?

Marlene, St. Elizabeth


Love Doctor’s Answer:

Love Doctor MontiThere are many forms of the union of love, which we have learned from the ancient Greeks in their pursuit of wisdom, despite just one word covering them all.

What you seem to be seeking is what the Buddhists describe as mettā, which is basically universal loving kindness – that is love regardless of people’s flaws. This is the purest form of love because it is free from desires and expectations and referred to by the ancient Greeks as Agape.

Let me explain about the different forms of love from the ancient Greeks so that you can find fulfilment at least one that suits you, and avoids you being blinded by a blanket of emotions.

Once you have this self-understanding then you will find yourself in a better place overall. My advice is straightforward, the only way to be truly happy is to unearth unconditional love for yourself.

Agape is selfless unconditional love. This form of love has nothing to do with our sexual obsessed culture, as it is spiritual love with compassion and empathy. This is the type of love that is intuitive and relies on accepting and forgiving others.

But you also require Philautia, which is self love, to find deep-rooted happiness. We can only care for others once we have learned to care for ourselves.

This is not about vanity nor personal gain, but instead focuses on the understanding that only once you possess the strength to feel comfortable about yourself then you will find the power to love yourself and are therefore able to provide love to others.


It may sound obvious but it is impossible share what you don’t have, in other words if you don’t love yourself then you can’t truly love anyone else.

Ludus was perceived by the Greeks as a playful form of love, such as the affection between lovers. This is the feeling we experience in the early stages of a new romantic relationship with the euphoria of falling in love.

This form of playfulness in love is essential. But when it is lost then the relationship nosedives, hence the overused term of honeymoon period. Without this playfulness then you lose the excitement and interest, which tends to happen when long-term relationships become complacent.

On the subject of falling in love the initial kind of love according to the Greeks is Eros, named after the Greek god of love and fertility as this represents sexual desires.

Love tends to be blind because of Eros, as this type of erotic love is all about passion and is so intense that we find ourselves almost out of control of logical thoughts – driven by sexual feelings that slowly move into the romantic arena.

You sound as though you are wishing to move away from that. Maybe you have been hurt by previous romantic relationships, so should focus on finding excitement through what the Greeks referred to as Philia – namely affectionate love and friendship.

This should not be confused with Friends with Benefits. The ancient Greeks valued Philia more than Eros, as it was considered a love between equals. Philia is a type of love felt among friends who have endured tricky romantic times, so there is mutual respect and empathy.

Finding someone who has endured similar difficulties often brings single people together, as they have a common denominator that keeps them in constant contact. This is always a great foundation for a relationship, which over time can turn romantic. Friends first and lovers second is the best way to a meaningful and loving relationship.

Storge is another form of Greek love, which is not too dissimilar from Philia but without the physical attraction that as sexual beings we heavily rely on. Instead it is about familiarity.


This love is a natural form of affection, which for example can be found among childhood friends and shared as adults and is seen between children and their parents.

When this type of love creeps into romance unfortunately familiarity breeds contempt and the partnership comes crashing down with aplomb.

That brings me onto Mania, which is the kind of love that leads a partner into obsessiveness. This occurs when there is an imbalance between Eros and Ludus.

Mania is when a person seeks self value by being desperate to both love and to be loved. Unfortunately this type of needy person tends to show jealous and possessive traits.

Finally, there is Pragma, the enduring love that naturally matures over time. This is beyond the physical type of love and results in harmony, which is often found between happily married couples and long-term friendships.

Pragma seems to be the most difficult kind of love to find and keep for the simple reason that it requires constant effort from two parties.

My advice is to devote your time and efforts into seeking the types of love you crave and learn to maintain these. Being patient and learning to compromise will empower you, and Cupid can always strike whenever you least expect it.

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