The 8 Types of Love-Everything You Need to Know About Love

Did you knew, that the Greeks have classified the eight types of love a person has?

Photo by Brittani Burns on Unsplash

Love is complex, it’s a hormone. However, if we were to look at it from a practical approach, it is a mix of emotions, beliefs, and behaviors associated with feelings of affection and warmth for other person or oneself.

Love can apply to any person, any object, any value. When it came to love, the Greeks were the best to describe it in all its forms.

There are eight types of love, according to the Greeks.

Now, if you love the psychology of love just as much as I do, by all means, go ahead, and take a look at what these eight might be.

1. Agape — Unconditional Love

Agape is universal love, such as the love for strangers, nature, or God. Unlike Storge, it does not depend on filiation or familiarity.

It is an unselfish, altruistic concern for the welfare of others.

The Greeks believed this love to be radical as there are only a few that can exhibit this kind of love.

Agape helps to build and maintain the psychological, social, and environmental bonds, and enriches our soul. Studies have shown a lot of benefits of agape love.

2. Eros — Romantic Love

Eros is sexual or passionate love. Thus, it’s usually associated with romantic, passionate, and physical love. It is an expression of sexual passion and want. It is most akin to the modern construct of romantic love.

In Greek myths, it’s a madness brought by one of Cupid’s arrows. They thought because human beings have an instinctual impulse to procreate, this love can result to loss of control.

The cupid’s arrow breaches us and we “fall” in love, as did Paris with Helen, leading to the downfall of Troy and most of the Greek army.

3. Philia — Affectionate Love

Philia, or friendship, is the affectionate love. Its hallmark is shared goodwill.

According to Aristotle, a person can bear goodwill to another for one of three reasons: that he is useful, that he is pleasant, that he is good; rational and virtuous.

For Plato, the best friendship is that which lovers have for each other. If Philia and Eros combine in a relationship, the lust and dominance transform into a shared want and understanding of each other, leading us to treat each other as equals.

In friendships, it helps to live a truer, fuller life, and allows us to authenticate ourselves, and set boundaries.

People often refer to this love as ‘platonic love’.

The Greeks too regarded Phillia to be better than Eros.

4. Philautia — Self-love

Philautia is self-love.

The Greeks suspected there were two sides of Philautia, healthy and unhealthy.

Unhealthy self-love was referred as hubris.

In Ancient Greece, people could be accused of hubris if they placed themselves above the gods, or, like numerous modern politicians, above the greater good.

It is presumed that hubris led to destruction, or nemesis.

Today, we call it narcissism, an inflated sense of one’s abilities, status, or accomplishments, often accompanied by arrogance.

Hubris does not accommodate truth, but injustice, conflict, and enmity.

Healthy self-love, on the other hand, is related to self-esteem, our own cognitive.

It promotes the emotional appraisal of one’s own worth. It reflects on how we perceive ourselves, and the world around us.

If we achieve healthy Philautia, we can invest in what we do, and do not fear rejection or failure, as we tried our hardest, and our self-worth isn’t defined by things such as income, status, or accomplishments.

Philautia makes us open to growth experiences and relationships, tolerant of risk, quick to joy and delight, and accepting and forgiving of themselves and others.

5. Storge — Familiar Love

Storge is ‘familiar love’. It is like Philia, but in the context of a parent-children relationship.

Just like philia, there is no physical or sexual attraction. But there is a powerful bond, kinship, and familiarity between people.

6. Pragma — Enduring Love

Pragma is the opposite of Eros. While Eros love burns out quickly, Pragma is more of a matured love, and is developed over a long period.

Pragma is practical. It is more in the favor of personal qualities and compatibilities, shared goals, than sexual love.

7. Ludus — Playful Love

Ludus is playful love. One can describe it as the feeling of infatuation in the early days of relationships or a romance.

It’s the butterflies in your stomach, the giddiness you feel when you see your love walk through the door, and the feeling of never wanting to be without them.

It makes you feel alive and excited about life.

Studies show that the experience of Ludus on the brain is the same as of cocaine.

Ludus is only compatible when both parties are mature and self-sufficient, and understanding of boundaries.

The love can be problematic if a partner is childish, and does not understand you, and somehow, shifts to dominance, which is related to Eros.

In a sentence, Ludus is good only if it is accompanied with phillia, not Eros.

8. Mania — Obsessive Love

Mania isn’t a splendid type of love, as it is obsessive.

It’s the type of love that can lead someone into madness, jealousy, or even anger.

Many people who experience this type of love suffer from low self-esteem.

They fear losing the object of their love, and this fear compels them to say or do some “crazy” things to keep them.

This is the epitome of ‘toxic love’.

This love, if not controlled, can be very destructive.

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