What is Love? — There are 8 Different Types of Love… Maybe More…
What different types of love are you currently experiencing and how are they impacting your life?
There are a number of things in life that it is difficult to define though we have likely, attempted to do so since the beginning of recorded history. These things are God, culture, art, truth, and more than anything ‘love’.
1. “Eros” or Erotic Love
The first kind of love is Eros, which is named after the Greek god of love and fertility. Eros represents the idea of sexual passion and desire.
2. “Philia” or Affectionate Love
The ancient Greeks valued philia far above eros because it was considered a love between equals.
Plato felt that physical attraction was not a necessary part of love, hence the use of the word platonic to mean, “without physical attraction.” Philia is a type of love that is felt among friends, or even marriage partners who’ve endured the ups and downs of life together.
3. “Storge” or Familiar Love
Although storge closely resembles philia in that it is a love without physical attraction, storge is primarily to do with familiarity and kinship and familiarity; the natural form of affection that often flows between parents and their children, and vice versa and adult friends.
4. “Ludus” or Playful Love
This has a bit of erotic love in it but is much more than that. For the Greeks Ludus was a playful form of love, as would be found between teenage lovers — e.g. flirting the fluttering heart, feelings of euphoria, teasing, etc.
5. “Mania” or Obsessive Love
Mania love is a type of love that leads a partner into a type of madness and obsessiveness. It occurs when there is an imbalance between eros and Ludus. Thinking of stalkers, co-dependency, etc. It often includes suffering and reflects imbalance. They often become possessive and jealous lovers, sure that they desperately “need” their partners.
6. “Pragma” or Enduring Love
Pragma is a love that has aged, matured, and developed over time. It is beyond the physical, it has transcended the casual, and it is a unique harmony that has formed over time. Many think this is the purest love, the type in found married couples who’ve been together for a long time, or in friendships that have endured through ups and downs over decades. Unlike the other types of love, pragma is the result of an effort by all participants in the relationship. It requires patience and tolerance to make it grow.
7. “Philautia” or Self Love
In order to care for others, we must care for ourselves. This form is not vanity, narcissism, or self-obsession. It is not concerned with gain, personal fame, or fortune. Philautia is self-love in its healthiest form. It shares the Buddhist concept of “self-compassion” which is the deep understanding that only when you have self-love will you be able to provide love to others.
8. “Agape” or Selfless Love
This is unconditional and deeply spiritual love. It is not sentimental and has nothing to do with the condition-based type of love that our sex-obsessed culture confuses with deep and profound love. It is reflected in boundless compassion and infinite empathy. Some believe it is the purest form of love because it is free from expectations and desires and is shared regardless of the flaws and shortcomings of others.
Agape is the love that accepts, forgives, and seeks love for our greater good.
When we understand the different types of love out there, we can become conscious of how deep our connection is with ourselves and the other people in our lives.
Are you having a hard time loving in these times? Learn to love through my series of short stories on “Love!”
Here is the Introduction to the series…
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About the Author: Lewis Harrison, is a student of love, a Results-Oriented Life Coach, speaker, and strategist specializing in Self Improvement, Personal Development, and Happiness.
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