Social connection is one of the most fundamental sources of happiness for us, but psychologists report that we are in the middle of an epidemic of loneliness, with 36% of Americans in a recent survey reporting “serious loneliness.” And the statistics might be quite similar in many other countries. Many people spend countless hours looking for their “soul mate,” the perfect someone with whom to share their life. But could it be we are overlooking all the other ways that we can find love and connection in our lives?
Cultural philosopher Roman Krznaric thinks that we can learn a lot from the ancient Greeks, who had six distinct words for love. Through exploring these different varieties of love, we might be able to discover that our lives are richer than we imagined and perhaps find new ways to experience and express love in our lives.