“Put Jamie Oliver on! I love him!” you might say. But you don’t love love him, right? There are all types of love we feel and it might surprise you to know how many different kinds of love you’ve felt in your life. There’s your friend’s dog, who you definitely love. There’s family, friends and then, of course, your partner.
To simply say you love all of them, wouldn’t really be accurate. There are different kinds of love you experience for each, and each form of love brings with it a unique set of ways to show them.
While trying to make up with a friend, you’re not going to surprise them with a bed with satin sheets, strewn with rose petals on it, right? That’d just be weird. So how exactly do these loves differ and how can you get better at expressing them?
What Are The Types Of Love?
Depending on the many different relationships you have with people and the various things you feel towards them, you’re naturally going to have different kinds of love within you. You want to smush that puppy’s face and pet it all day, but that’s not how you’re going to show affection to your mom. (Or so we hope. Please don’t do that to your mom.)
Love in itself is a very complex emotion. The Bible says, “Love never fails” but it seems to when your significant other very conveniently forgets your birthday. When that happens, love is the last thing on your mind. But is holding a grudge what you should be doing in these situations? Or should you forgive your partner promptly? How exactly does love work and what should you do to nourish it?
Thankfully, the ancient Greeks studied the types of love so we can understand it better. Thank god for the Greeks because when you’ve pissed off your friend and you don’t even know why these might just help show you what you should do next. Did you know that not all types of love are healthy and that there are some you should even avoid? Here, we list out the different types of love relationships you’ll have in your life.
Related reading: 8 Types Of Intimacy In A Relationship
1. Eros – the love we call love
“I’m in love!” can only really mean one thing, right? That you’ve found a person you really like, you’re in a romantic, sexual relationship with them. Well, that’s Eros love for you. named after the Greek god of love and fertility. But ironically, the Greeks were scared of this type of love (ask anyone who couldn’t shake off a bad breakup and they’ll say the same thing!).
The Greeks thought this sort of love results in a loss of control due to our primal instinct to create new life. That’s a pretty grim way of looking at the love you have for your bae, we’d say.
What does the “Eros” type of love mean for you?
Called “romantic love”, it’s what you feel when you kiss, hug or touch your partner. This love thrives on physical touch, the kind where you would literally drop anything if you had the chance to cuddle up with your partner.
If you’re wondering how to best feel/express this type of love, look no further than your partner’s physical self. Tell them you admire their appearance and make them feel special. Remember the warm fuzzy feeling in your chest when your partner surprise hugs you? That’s what we’re talking about.
2. Storge – the familiar love
Storge is the love that naturally flows between parents and the children and your extended family. This type of love can also exist between childhood friends since a form of familiarity exists in those relationships too.
Storge brings with it a fondness and dependency on these people because you’ve trusted them since forever and we know how important trust is in a relationship. Since your earliest memories feature your family members, you instinctively develop love towards them.
What does the “storge” type of love mean for you?
The “storge” type of love really shines through during those “remember when” conversations. Reliving old memories with your loved ones always makes for a pleasant evening, and it’s the language of the storge love.
If you’ve ever randomly bumped into a childhood friend somewhere, you’re definitely going to remember how happy that made you. Your day was instantly made, you’re going to tell a few people about it too. From the different kinds of love, storge makes you feel the most secure.
3. Agape – love that transcends singular relationships
Agape is a universal, selfless love. It doesn’t pertain to individual relationships in your life. Agape is a love you experience towards the greater good, an unconditional love towards the belief of universal harmony.
The type of love best described by how Christians believe Jesus Christ gave his life for our sins. Agape a righteous love, one that stems from wanting to do good for others, as you wish they’d do to you. You know, like when you lent your morning newspaper to your neighbor.
What does the “Agape” type of love mean for you?
Agape is the type of love you feel after you do a charitable act. Helping those in need, giving back to society. Doing your part makes you feel a sense of fulfillment that’s hard to match. It’s the purest kind of love since you truly don’t expect anything in return (unlike the time when you expected a one-month anniversary gift from your partner).
Helping others instills a sense of joy and love, which is why some even devote their lives to charitable acts. We’ve got an agape joke for you: What did the Buddhist monk say to the hot-dog vendor? “Make me one with everything”. Get it? One with every… Never mind.
4. Ludus – when your inner child falls in love
Ludus is called playful love, common between young couples who flirt any chance they get (puppy love, perhaps?). It’s the start of a budding relationship, the “honeymoon phase” when all seems perfect. If you’ve ever been through the honeymoon phase, you know just how good it can be and. (If you haven’t been through it, it’s over-rated. We swear.)
Related reading: Everything You Need To Know About The 7 Types Of Affairs That Exist
What does the “Ludus” type of love mean for you?
The giddy-feeling you get when you’re flirting with your partner at the start of a relationship. Never being able to end a phone call because you’re both trying to decide who hangs up first. There are all kinds of love in this world, but Ludus might be the most fun one.
It’s the type of love your friends hate. Where you call your partner “honey bun” in public. Your friends can’t stand the obnoxious yet cute antics you two are up to. You cease to become a singular person, your friends now know wherever you’re invited, your “honey bun” is tagging along too.
5. Mania – the love you shouldn’t have
Mania is obsessive love, better described as co-dependency. It’s when there is an imbalance of love in the relationship. It often leads to jealousy, possessiveness and an overall toxic relationship. The ancient Greeks called this obsessive love mania, while millennials nowadays just call them stalkers or even stans (stalker fans).
What does the “Mania” type of love mean for you?
If you think you’re involved in a “mania” relationship, you should try to get out of it. A co-dependent lover can also turn into an extremely hard to deal with an obsessive partner.
If he/she likes a photo of yours from 4 years ago while you’re just getting to know each other, maybe ask them how their previous relationships went before you jump into one with them.
6. Philautia – putting yourself first
Philautia is an appropriate kind of self-love everyone should practice. In today’s society, we’re bombarded with images of what you “should” look like and ways to “better” yourself, as if there’s one ideal type for everyone.
From all the different kinds of love, we’d argue that Philautia is the most important. Accept yourself as you are and do not have resentful feelings towards yourself. Your mental health will flourish and you’ll get to know yourself better. As a result, all the other types of love relationships you’ll have will thrive. Loving yourself is the first step toward finding true love.
What does the “Philautia” type of love mean for you
Accepting the way you are, rather than running away from it will be the healthiest thing you can do. It is often said that you can’t be in a loving relationship until you learn to truly love yourself. Only after you appreciate yourself do you have the capability to share a healthy mutually beneficial relationship with someone.
Related reading: 12 Clear Signs You Are Infatuated And Not In Love
7. Pragma – the enduring love
Pragma is the sign of a long and healthy relationship. It’s the type of love you see between couples who’ve been together for years, decades even. It matures over time, a love that has been maintained through equal effort and consideration from both partners, love that lasts forever.
What does the “Pragma” type of love mean for you?
Remember that one time you saw an old couple and went all “aww!”? That’s the kind of love pragma is. Once the honeymoon phase ends and takes with it the flirting and the playfulness, once the romance has been blossoming for long enough, then comes the type of love we know as Pragma.
It’s a bond that seems like it will never break. The type of love everyone wants to achieve. To “grow old together”. What could be better?
8. Philia – the love you have for your friends
Philia is known as affectionate love, it’s the strong, platonic love that you feel towards your friends. A friendship, once it proves that it can withstand the sands of time, is a very important part of everyone’s life.
What does the “Philia” type of love mean for you?
That call you get when your friend is in trouble? That’s philia. When trust and affection flow both ways, a friendship flourishes. You feel as though you have a safety net if anything were to go wrong. But it’s not just limited to bad times, philia love truly shines when you’re spending time together because you connect so well.
Those one-on-one drinking sessions that turn into all-night conversations, the time you traveled together, the time one of you got that nickname you’re still known by. Truly, friendship love is a wonderful thing.
There are all kinds of love in this world, and no matter which one you feel, the important thing to remember is to cherish it and live in the moment. Except if you’re feeling mania, though. Please don’t stalk the people you love from behind the bushes. You don’t want your love to end up as a news story.