Love vs Care
In any relationship, care and love are required for it to work. But how crucial are they really? Does one outweigh the other or are they practically one and the same? Do they co-exist or are they entirely autonomous? The answer will certainly vary from one point of view to another, as care and love prove to be two of the most intriguing and complex emotions known to man.
By definition, care and love are clearly distinct from one another. The former may be a noun or verb pertaining to the ‘feeling of concern or interest’ as in the case of caring about one’s family, work, friend, possessions, pets, etc. It can also mean ‘the act of rendering treatment or attending to someone or something’ as in the case of medical care, pre-natal care, personal care, etc. Love, on the other hand, involves ‘a stronger sense of affection and personal attachment’. Moreover, there are several kinds of love namely philia, eros, storge, and agape. Philia is that which is within friendship, eros is that which drives a romantic relationship, storge is familial, and lastly, agape refers to a selfless giving and compassion to others. Given that, love could mean more than what it’s popularly known for and could be way broader than care. It’s so broad that it, in fact, overlaps with some key fundamentals of care. This is especially true with the non-romantic types of love such as storge and agape. For instance, a mother who naturally has deep familial love or storge towards her son will no doubt care for him unconditionally. In this case, caring becomes a result, a mere component, or a manifestation of the broader concept which is familial love. Another example would be Mother Theresa’s agape or compassion to the impoverished masses in her country and around the world. Her absolute love didn’t stop as sheer emotion. Rather, it translated to her addressing the needs of the less fortunate and campaigning towards their welfare. In other words, her care for them coexisted with, again, the broader force, which is agape or compassionate love.
Moreover, the line between love and care becomes a little more distinct in the context of a romantic relationship. Eros or romantic love is considered as desire, affection, and physical attraction. Normally, it is eros that creates a spark in a potential relationship but can be sometimes very superficial and volatile in nature. A good depiction of such emotion is that which occurred between Romeo and Juliet in Shakespeare’s phenomenal creation. Eros was evidently recognized through their strong longing to be together despite the odds. However, we can’t really say that their ‘love’ was selfless enough to manifest genuine care or unconditional love. Closely looking at their intentions and decisions, they are mostly about fulfilling what they want for themselves and not exactly what would be good for one another. Furthermore, care seen in the same context, can still exist even without a desire or attraction as strong as that in eros. In that sense, care is presumed to have come from a deeper, more genuine connection that transcends physical desire. Care is probably best shown by Mr. Darcy to Elizabeth in the classic novel, Pride and Prejudice. Of course, desire was there as well, but even before it was confessed, Mr. Darcy already revealed through his actions how he genuinely cared about Lizzy. Both care and love in the realms of romance can ignite but don’t necessarily guarantee commitment or unconditional love.
1. Love and care are emotions inherent in human beings. They are crucial in every relationship.
2. Care refers to a feeling of concern or interest or the act of attending to someone or something. Love, on the other hand, bears broader meaning. It could be familial or storge, romantic or eros, brotherly or agape, or platonic or philia.
3. Love and care in the context of agape, storge and phili overlaps with care.
4. In the romantic sense, love is usually driven by physical desire and personal wants. Care is rooted in deeper, more genuine connections.