Seven Stages of Human Love
The daughter of one of my closest friends asked me to contribute an item to celebrate her parents’ fortieth wedding anniversary, which resulted in my description in note form 'Seven Stages of Love'. ‘Love’ is a highly ambiguous word bandied about in popular songs with little distinction between mere obsessive attraction and selfless or self-sacrificing love. C. S. Lewis’s book on this subject 'The Four Loves' is based on four terms in Greek 'storge' (empathy, attraction) 'philia' (friendship) 'eros' (romantic and erotic love) and 'agape' — selfless love, which are implicitly included in the description. The tone is generally humorous and the content is aimed at young people considering marriage to aid differentiating from ‘true’ and superficial or false love.
I was rather pleased when my lawyer friend expressed concern regarding the characters in the description, fearing a host of libel suits. However, the characters are all pure inventions, but I have tried to make them as realistic as possible. The description may be appropriate for any one in similar circumstances celebrating a long and successful marriage or for anyone contemplating marriage, but who needs to know more.