Expressing Love Through Play; the Greeks called it “Ludus”



There are many forms of love but there are very few words (at least in English) to describe them. That was why I was excited to find a Yes! Magazine article by Roman Krznaric, "The Ancient Greeks’ 6 Words for Love," that actually provides a name to what you knew you felt but did not know how to say. Here they are:

  1. Eros (Sexual Passion)
  2. Philia (Deep Friendship)
  3. Ludus (Playful Love)
  4. Agape (Love for Everyone)
  5. Pragma (Longstanding Love)
  6. Philautia (Love of Self)

The one that stopped me cold was number 3, Ludus. (Playful Love) The author describes it as "…the affection between children or young loversThe flirting and teasing in the early stages of a relationship. But we also live out our ludus when we sit around in a bar bantering and laughing with friends, or when we go out dancing."

I had never thought of play as an expression of love but when I considered it further, at least for me, the notion of love through play has always been a powerful part of my relationship with my family and friends. Most of my conversations with those I care about involve laughter that derives from verbal play and, during family get togethers, we typically play board games.

So, I am wondering if this notion of expressing love through play is one of the reasons I chose play as a profession. What about you? Do you express love through play?




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