By one account, Eros is the son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Eros is frequently represented as the young, devilish Cupid who pierces his target with the arrow of desire. When Eros strikes, his victim is overcome with attraction and longing for a specific person.
This longing is frequently portrayed in images of blissful sexual union and ecstasy, a supreme state of wholeness and fulfillment. However, real union far transcends sexual intercourse. In fact, for sexual intercourse itself to result in complete union a meeting of spiritual nakedness must also take place, and this requires relatedness. Eros is really relatedness.
Relatedness means connection at a feeling level. To meet another at that level we must be willing to reveal who we really are behind the mask of our attractive persona. As well, we must be able to meet, accept, and value who our partner really is.
If we impose our needs, expectations, and appetites upon our partner we are not related, we are entitled, and our partner generally feels burdened, pressured, and not met. Entitlement breeds alienation, the opposite of Eros, which seeks deep connection.
When we share our fears, vulnerabilities, and weaknesses with our partner, as well as the pain and humor of our human cluelessness, Eros is activated. When we tune in with attention and sensitivity to our partner’s revelations of their felt flaws and guarded secrets, Eros draws us closer, deepening our connection.
When we acknowledge our carnal lust and desire but temper it to meet where it is truly possible to meet at this time, Eros rewards our restraint and sensitivity with deepening soul contact. This is the pathway to relatedness and genuine love.
It’s always been possible to overpower and take what one wants. This kind of exchange will never result in love. Love requires respect. Without respect the soul retreats, Eros flies out the window, and love dies.
Important in these times—when the ruling leaders of the world are of the entitled, grabbing what you want ilk—that the true tenets of love be reinforced. Eros is not sex. Eros is relatedness. Relatedness is the pathway to love, and that love might indeed open to blissful sexual communion. But blissful sexual union can never happen without Eros, the god of true relationship.