8 words for Love explained
The word love is very loaded. At some point in our lives, we ask ourselves questions about why do we fall in and out of love. We usually view love in the facet of romance. However, if we really think about it the love we share with our friends and family is just as important and intense. I am sure this has made you pause and think about the love you share with others. As you read this article I hope you are able to identify which types of love that you have experienced. The ancient Greeks helped to compartmentalize the 8 different types of love.
As you can imagine the ancient Greeks must have been on a serious pursuit of self-understanding and wisdom. In order to be mentally healthy in our relationships, we need to understand the different types of love. This will help us be mindful and conscious of the depth of connection within ourselves and those in our lives.
Let us get into it, below are the 8 different types of love according to the Ancient Greeks.
1. “Eros” or Erotic Love
The Eros, this love is named after the Greek god of love and fertility. This word stems from the English word erotic. This form of love can be enjoyed and experienced in a marriage or loving relationship. The only challenge with eros love is it focuses on gratifying the individual. When compared with the other types of love it comes across as very selfish and does not strengthen relationships with others.
Love Activator: Physical body
2. “Philia” or Affectionate Love
This form of love can be shared between equals. This can be between friends. Physical attraction is not necessarily the basis of a loving relationship. Philia is a type of love that can be experienced between friends who have stuck together in some difficult times.
This form of love is free of sexual attraction. It is more about loyalty, team spirit, and some loving sacrifices we make for our friends.
Love Activator: The mind
3. “Storge” or Familiar Love
This type of love is quite similar to Philia, in the sense that it is love without physical attraction. This love is usual shared in families and relatives. It flows between parents and their children and vice versa.
This love is very powerful when shared within families. It does however have its cons. Some of these include lack of support from close family which can cause further misalignments in our journey spiritually.
Love Activator: Memories
4. “Ludus” or Playful Love
The affection shared by young lovers is usually expressed in a playful manner. The Greeks dubbed this kind of love Ludus. This form of love is usually experienced in the ‘honeymoon phase’ in a relationship. When your heart feels like it’s skipping a beat when as a couple you are flirtatious in your communication.
The reality is most couples let go of the playful aspect of their relationship too soon. We should be embracing Ludus because that is the secret to long-lasting love. Holding to this kind of affection keeps the childlike innocence of your love and keeps it exciting.
Love Activator: Astral (Emotion)
5. “Mania” or Obsessive Love
It is very possible to experience imbalances (eros & ludus) in love and its expression. The result is usually manifested as Mania love, whereby one partner becomes obsessed.
This type of love when expressed is somehow a cry for help. In most instances, the person is suffering from low self-esteem. They figure by giving ‘too much love in the negative sense, addresses their true need for validation and self-love. If it so happens that their partners are unable to reciprocate the same mania love. This can be very frustrating and lead to very serious attachment issues and jealousy.
Love Activator: Survival instinct
6. “Pragma” or Enduring Love
This love is truly special. It is also a love I pray to experience. This love matures and develops with time. It has surpassed the physical stages and is harmonious.
This kind of love is scarce. Usually found in married couples that have been married for quite some time or in friendships that have been over decades. The reality of many people is we spend so much energy trying to find love and neglect learning how to maintain love.
This kind of love requires maintenance and this can be achieved by both sides putting in the effort. Pragma manifests when the people have learned to make compromises, are patient with themselves and each other, and their tolerance levels indicate that they respect and appreciate their relationship.
Love Activator: Etheric (Unconscious)
7. “Philautia” or Self Love
Self-love is more about first learning to care for ourselves in order to care for others. It is in no way supposed to be unhealthy and narcissistic.
Philautia is the most healthy. There is a Buddhist philosophy of self-compassion which holds the very deep understanding that once you have the strength to love yourself holistically, then only will you be able to love others.
You cannot pour from an empty cup. If you are unable to love yourself that simply means you cannot love others. Learn to love yourself with all your ‘unlovable/flawed’ parts you will then understand the true meaning of unconditional love.
Love Activator: Soul
8. “Agape” or Selfless Love
Agape is selfless unconditional love. The highest form of love.
Love in our society is often perceived as sentimental and outpouring. This love does not have anything to do with conditions or physical attractions.
This love is bigger than our very existence. Some people regard it as spiritual love that knows no boundaries and highly empathetic. It is pure love and is not attached to expectations and desires. The love looks beyond flaws and what others may lack.
Agape is the love that is felt for that which we intuitively know as the divine truth: the love that accepts forgives and believes for our greater good.
1 Corinthians 13 is the true definition of this divine love.
Love Activator: Spirit
The Greeks have really helped us compartmentalize the different types of love. As described above we now know that to enjoy Eros we must understand Philia and nurture Ludus. Mania should be avoided as much as possible and as our relationships mature we’ll get to experience Pragma.
We cannot deny the power of Philautia and Agape because they show us our capacity to deeply love. The more we give the love that we love ourselves with. The more we will live in harmony with others.
While you’re at it. Read more about what love is not here: https://www.healthline.com/health/relationships/unconditional-love#what-it-is