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The Eight Types of LOVE Happiness and maturity come from different kinds of loving relationships

Nov 30, 2021 10:05AM ● By Jorelle Baker
The word love written on foggy glass

Love is one of the most powerful emotions you can experience. It can make you feel invincible when you have it, shatter your world when you lose it, and drive you mad when you’re looking for it. Movies and shows would have us believe that love begins and ends with family or a romantic partner. But it really involves so much more.

The ancient Greeks identified eight types of love. For this holiday season, let’s discuss each one and how we can express it to others.

Philautia, or self-love, means tending to your personal needs and desires. Giving yourself the compassion you deserve invigorates your soul, bringing you inner peace and joy. Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake. Treat yourself to a nice dinner, or impulse-buy that thing you always wanted. Be kind to yourself, because at the end of the day, you’ll always be stuck with you.

Storge, or familial love, refers to the natural affection between parent and child. This love is built upon acceptance and connection, the knowledge that no matter what, you’ll always care for your family and close friends. Show your love for them by sharing cherished memories of times you’ve spent together.

Eros, or passionate love, refers to the instinctive physical pleasures of love. It is primal, powerful and very quick to override our rational sense of logic. It can be as simple as a warm hug, a romantic kiss, or a sensual massage to feel the rush of love flow through you.

Ludus, or playful love, refers to the “honeymoon phase” of relationships, the time when new couples want to talk all day and night, teasing one another and forming a bond. Typically seen as a childish form of love, it stimulates our inner child and emotions to just have fun with someone, without complications.

Pragma, or enduring love, develops over time. It is a mature love, spanning years of built-up trust, commitment and dedication to one another. When you and your partner have this deep mutual sense of understanding, it stimulates the subconscious—a feeling that you love them so much that they already know.

Agape, or unconditional love, refers to selfless love for everyone. It stems from feelings of empathy for someone else; you are giving them love with no expectation of receiving any in return. While selfless love can be difficult to achieve, it can also be the most powerful type of love, since a small act of kindness can improve someone’s entire day. Showing agape love can be as simple as letting someone vent when they’re stressed, providing a safe space for a someone who’s struggling, or sending a text saying, “I hope you have a good day.”

Philia, meaning “deep bond,” refers to love without romance, typically between friends. It stimulates the mind through trust, companionship and support rather than romantic gestures or physical attraction. Not all love involves romantic feelings; it is normal to feel admiration and gratitude for your friends. Show them you care by being supportive when they need it, having stimulating conversations, or writing a letter saying you appreciate their company.

Mania, “obsessive love,” is the dangerous side of the emotion, invoking feelings of jealousy, possessiveness and codependency. Not entirely negative, it is a survival instinct brought on by possibly unresolved past trauma and fear. It’s very difficult to break without professional help, but by focusing on yourself in a healthier mindset and trusting the relationship, it can be overcome and bloom into something better.

It’s important to balance all these forms of love to maintain a healthy spirit and emotionally maturing connections. One person should not be your whole world. Instead, let each form of love be its own world, while you keep your soul open to a universe of loving relationships.

Jorelle Baker is the social media manager, content creator and webmaster for Holistic Pet Care. He has always loved writing, sharing stories and personal growth with the goal of continually refining his craft and spreading awareness about mental health. He aims to help open minds and further the spread of knowledge. To connect with Jorelle, email [email protected].

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