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A Cartoon About Second-Class Love

We’re still in the Month of Love, and so I wanted to share a favorite cartoon that still makes me laugh.

When I wrote this, I thought agape just meant friendship – and no sex, which is why I thought it was funny. Maybe heaven isn’t so great after all!

But when I looked up the definition while I was writing this, Wiki says:

Agape is a Greco-Christian term referring to love, “the highest form of love, charity” and “the love of God for man and of man for God”. The word is not to be confused with philia, brotherly love, as it embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends and persists regardless of circumstance.

I didn’t know it had anything to do with God. But the cartoon still works, although not as funny.

I also discovered that Canadian psychologist John Alan Lee includes it as one of many love styles. 15, in fact. His book is Colours of Love: An Exploration of the Ways of Loving (1973) He compares kinds of love to a color wheel.

I don’t mean to be disrespectful in any way, but this strikes me as a gimmick – however, I don’t think they had gimmicks in 1973, so perhaps it’s just solid research.

heaven is where the heart is

In any case, the primary colors (love types) are Eros (erotic!), Ludus (Latin for play games or have fun), and Storge (Greek for familial love. Uh, ok).

It’s not until we get to the Secondary love types that we find Agape: Mania (yes – it means manic, like Fatal Attraction), Agape (givers taking care of their partner -Titanic) and Pragma (which is described as a convenient type of love. I can’t think of an example of convenience that actually means love, can you?)

Other Agape traits, which sounds like the best one of all to me:

  • Certain of their preferable “types”
  • Begins a relationship with an already familiar person
  • Believes a loving relationship is desirable for a happy life
  • Expects reciprocation of feelings
  • Believes sexual compatibility can be worked out

The other nine shades of love (tertiary) are just combinations, like mixing the right paint color: Maniac eros, Maniac ludus, Maniac storge, Agapic eros, Agapic ludus, Agapic storge, Pragmatic eros, Pragmatic ludus, and Pragmatic storge.

However, Wiki says though Lee names each of the tertiary types of love, “he never found enough evidence to distinguish them fully.” Perhaps other scientists will finish his work someday, so we can all live in a rainbow of love.

If you want more cartoons, check out my first book (chocolate) and my second book (love, sweet love). And Like my Facebook page to get notified of new cartoons. All rights reserved, and content including cartoon is ©Donna Barstow 2019. Thanks!

A Cartoon About Second-Class Love

Donna Barstow

Cartoonist for LA Times, Parade, WSJ, Glamour, PsychCentral, Barron's, Weight Watchers, and textbooks & Chicken Soup books. Author and editor of 2 cartoon books and a Barnes & Noble calendar.

I both write and draw all my cartoons. You are warmly invited to share the link to this cartoon. The full-size cartoons are all copyrighted, so please email me at pen.drawing AT g mail (squish it) for rates for use in textbooks, prints, presentations, publications, or websites. Email me AT pen.drawing @ gmail. com. (Squish the address.)

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APA Reference
, . (2019). A Cartoon About Second-Class Love. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2020, from


Last updated: 28 Feb 2019
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