Cosmopolitan Love: The Social Side of an Intimate Feeling

Aug 18, 2021

Nigel Rapport, Professor of Anthropological and Philosophical Studies and Head of the School of Philosophy, Anthropology, Film, and Music at the University of St Andrews, UK, proposed a reinterpretation of love called “Cosmopolitan Love”, in his book having the same title. In this context, love would be serving us as a Civic Virtue where we would be intensely attracted to another human being in a non-erotic way.

It is described as a deep curiosity towards another human being, about its uniqueness, specificity, mind map, values and beliefs, every aspect of his/her life, and being able to feed that curiosity based on the conversations that we would have. It is mainly a search for a deep connection without any interest – a very alluring concept.

cosmopolitan love

The author introduced the definition of this term the obligativity of respect for other people’s views, mind maps, and way of living. It’s a perspective of acceptance and being able to enjoy the moment of connection in a selfless way.

This concept for some might seem far-fetched, but for some might seem normal. The application of this term is a cultural dilemma. In some cultures, the type of behavior which needs to be aligned with cosmopolitan love might put you in danger, while in other countries it would be normal. This is why it’s highly recommended to merge this concept with culture and make sure it’s a cultural fit on all levels (individual, social and cultural levels).


The truth is that we are living in different places, time zones, cultures, and our minds and bodies have adapted to take care of ourselves. This does not mean that one way or another is right or wrong, it’s just different. Always have in mind that we are much more similar than different.

If you want to know how the concept of cosmopolitan love works in your culture, here’s a tip: check out your social score system. What is considered good or bad in the society you are living in? What are the rewards and punishments? What are they teaching kids and youngsters? How do they relate to adults and older people? These questions might seem upfront, but really take time to answer them on a personal level. What do these answers look like in your everyday life? Make sure you are aware of them.

If you want to learn the 6 other forms of love, join 3CP’s new, self-paced online course “How to Love Beyond Race & Culture“!

Course info & Enroll today:

Renata Sas


Author: Renata Sas
3CP Global Trainer and Instructional Resource Developer

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