Ancient Greeks studied different types of love and gave Greek names to all. They came up with eight different types of love. Since all kinds of love are catalyzed differently, each love affects you uniquely. Society has taught us to distinguish different types of love based on experiences. Love represents human kindness, compassion, and affection. The love you feel for friends is totally different from that for the family members or life partner. You can love people in different ways. Each individual expresses and perceives love in his/her own way.
Let’s look at the different types of love you experience in lifetime:
It is also known as Familiar love. You may experience this love primarily in parent-child relations but also occurs between best friends. In such love, you feel a deep emotional connection with the other person. You may recall your old memories with the other person. It leads to a stronger bond between the two individuals.
You can express Storge for someone by giving them importance by sacrificing your time and personal pleasures or forgiving their wrongful actions. When as a parent, you keep your child’s interest above yours or forgive their mistakes, you express Storge. In Storge, you show gratitude for whom you care. Another example of Storge is that you love your children as parents. You don’t hold grudges with them for their wrongful behavior but forget them instead. There is a reference to Storge love in the Bible too. This love between the parent and the child is the purest form of love. It occurs naturally and without coercion.
It is also called Self Love. In Philautia, you recognize your self-worth and personal needs. You feel responsible for your well-being. Your soul helps you to do the same. It is essential to indulge in self-love because you can’t give something that you don’t have. Only when you start loving yourself will you learn to love others.
When you create an environment around you to nurture yourself, that’s Philautia. In self-love, you take care of yourself as a parent would take care of a child. You spend time with people who support you. When you engage in self-love, you feel happy and confident about yourself. You make better decisions in your life. When you experience Philautia, you tend to look for positivity even if you make a mistake. You take it as a learning. When you focus on gaining fame, wealth, pleasure, and excessive self-admiration, that becomes an unhealthy form of Philautia. It is advised not to cross that line.
It is also known as Selfless-love or Spiritual love. You offer such love without expecting to get anything in return, so it is considered the highest form of love. You offer Agape when you decide to spread love in all circumstances, including destructive situations. It is important to know Agape is not a physical form of love.
When you choose to be dedicated to improve others’ lives, you are spreading Agape. You engage in charity and are mindful that your actions are always for people’s benefit. Agape can also be a simple act of offering your time to listen to the other person in need. It is compassionate love for everyone. In this love, you are open and free from attachments to the other person. You want the best for the person you love irrespective of their shortcomings, but there is no sense of ownership or jealousy. Acts of saints like Mother Teresa are an example of Agape. If you offer this love, you will feel better both mentally and spiritually.
It is also known as Friendly love. Philia is one of the four Biblical forms of love. This love that occurs among friends who have had difficult times together. This love happens among the friends who have the same wavelength and understanding. Philia is not romantic love, but it is affectionate love for those who are close to you. It is a form of warmth and affection towards another person when both individuals respect each other and share the same value.
You can feel this love by enjoying doing activities together. You can also show Philia by exchanging your imperfections and beliefs with close friends. The support and love that you get from friends is absolutely different from the love you receive from your romantic partner. While Philia love is friendly love, it is an integral part of marriage and a long-term relationship. Even if you are in a romantic relationship, still healthy friendship is also essential, making Philia a vital part of a healthy life.
It is also called Playful love. Your emotions play a significant role in Ludus. You experience Ludus in your relationship’s early stages when you indulge in playful flirting with the other person.
You may feel excited about the individual if you are experiencing Ludus. In the presence of the person you love, you may feel euphoria or have an innocent heart flutter. When in Ludus, you may think that your childlike innocence is alive. Your life might feel more interesting than usual.
Ludus form of love is expressed by teasing with playful motives, spending more time, or having fun by engaging in whimsical conversations or playful activities with the person you love. Ludus is common in young people. The affection between young lovers is an example of Ludus. Sometimes the older generation can also experience Ludus in their relationships. In Ludus love, your objective is to experience love without commitment.
It is also known as Romantic love. In the Greek language, Eros means ‘intimate love’. This love also occurs due to instinct, but unlike Storge, Eros occurs due to attraction to the other person’s physical body. You may also experience this love due to infatuation with the other person.
Eros is expressed by showing physical affection towards someone by indulging in romantic behavior, which may not be limited to physical touch and hugging. You tend to admire the person inside out. Eros is a passionate form of love.
You should know if a relation is built only based on Eros, the relationship may be short-lived because Eros tends to deplete very fast. Eros is among the different types of love mentioned in the Bible. In the Old Testament, Eros is the physical and sensual intimacy between husband and wife. Eros wasn’t seen in the positive light in the old times. In today’s world, if you are intimately attracted to someone, then you experience Eros.
It is also called Enduring love. Pragma comes from the Greek term, which means businesslike. It is the most practical and convenient love. It is a love that matures and develops with time. As the relationship strengthens, Eros develops into Pragma. The sexual attraction towards the partner becomes secondary, giving importance to shared goals. Pragma is common in arranged marriages. It is long-lasting love between a couple who are committed and dedicated to each other.
You can find Pragma in couples who stay together for a long time or in a long-term friendship. Pragma develops over the years and shows synchronization and balance. It is a result of an effort on both sides. In Pragama, you learn to compromise and show patience and tolerance to each other for your relationship. In this love, you strengthen the bond of an everlasting relationship. You choose to work with your partner forever. In a Pragma relationship, you believe in your partner blindly.
It is also called Obsessive love. Excess of everything is bad. It applies to love as well. Among the different types of love you experience in your life- Mania is a form of love that you should avoid as it leads to unwanted jealousy towards your partner. Jealousy is not suitable for any relationship. Mania occurs when there is an imbalance in the Eros and Ludus love. For a long-term sustained relationship, you should aim at having a healthy level of playful and romantic love.
If you keep checking on your partner repeatedly by intruding into his or her privacy, then you might be experiencing Mania. You might experience peaks of sadness and joy and might be looking for constant reassurance from your partner. It would help you if you avoid this. You can do so by developing trust in your partner. You can also do the same if you recognize your obsession with your partner and reduce it by focusing more on yourself.
You feel different types of love during your lifetime, depending on the phase you go through. As youngsters, you would feel Philia for your friends. When you begin a relationship, you might experience Ludus. It may lead to attraction towards your partner in the form of Eros. As the relationship strengthens, you may feel Pragma for the same partner. Then when you have a child, you would experience Storge. But to feel all this, you need to have Philautia and Agape.