The 8 Types Of Love You Can Experience In A Lifetime According To The Ancient Greeks
Love does move the world, and feeling love for others, yourself, and existence is a vital emotion for living a fulfilled, passion-driven and successful life. There are many ways to experience love, but in English language there is just one word for it—Love. A better way to understand the type of love you are experiencing and the role it plays in your life is by using the eight words for love that the Ancient Greeks used. They are: Eros, Philia, Storge, Philautia, Ludus, Mania, Pragma, Agape
Eros – Erotic Love
Probably the most known word on this list is Eros or erotic love. Named after the Greek god of love and fertility this love expresses our human desire for passion. This love is born from and is felt by the physical body.
The Greeks considered this love to be somewhat dangerous as it is very instinctual, almost animalistic, where a person can completely lose their mind and control while following their sexual urges and arousals.
However, for the spiritually mature and enlightened eros can be represented as sacred sex and tantric energy, making this passionate love a Spiritual Experience.
Philia – Deep Friendship or Affectionate Love
Philia is platonic, non-physical love that comes from the mind and is often felt between close friends and those who have gone through hard times together. Philia is a feeling of teamwork and being equals.
It is free of sexual attraction, instead it is full of loyalty and kindness. It is usually experienced among friends.
Storge – Familiar Love
Storge is also free of sexual attraction, but unlike Philia, it is experience mostly among family members. It can also be felt for people who you consider to be family even when not related by blood such as long time childhood friends. Storge is born out of good memories.
Feeling Storge does have one downfall. If your family and community do not align with your beliefs and inspirations in life, this love can become a source of pain and confusion as you will have to make a choice between making your family happy and following your heart.
Philautia – Self-Love
When asking yourself what path to take in this life, Philautia comes into play. This is self-love, and it is important to learn to love and take care of yourself. Philautia is a healthy form of self-love, and has nothing to do with narcissism.
Philautia reminds you that you can help others only when you have already helped yourself, and you can only truly love another when you have learned to love yourself.
Ludus – Playful Love
Ludus is one type of romantic love, which is playful in nature. This love often happens between young lovers. It is expressed through flirting, teasing, and feeling the pure bliss when first falling in love.
Ludus is also what long-term couples may start to miss from their relationship. Anyone who has been together for a long time where the connection has started to become repetitive and stagnant needs to revive playfulness and excitement in the relationship.
Mania – Obsessive Love
Mania represents a more negative side to love. Like Eros it also comes from our instinctual urges, but this one leads to pure obsession. A person experiencing Mania will often disregard their own self-esteem and needs in order to get someone to love them.
It is a love that is needy and unhealthy in many ways. Mania is perceived dependency on another and only gets worse if the other person does not have or express any romantic feelings back to the person feeling Mania.
Pragma – Lasting Love
Pragma is a type of love that old couples who are still in love with one another have. It no longer has to be passionate or playful (although it still may be), instead it is the type of live that is born out of kindness, caring for one another, trust, and knowing that one’s partner chose to spend a long time if not a lifetime with you. It is a mature love that has endured a lot, required effort and work to keep it going, and now having survived it all, it arrives at a new level of understanding and caring for one another.
Agape – Selfless-Love
The highest form of love is Agape or unconditional, selfless-love for the world and others. It is the spiritual love that the Buddhists call “universal loving kindness.” It is the love every religion and school of thought agrees on—in the Bible, when it says “Love is patient, Love is kind… Love never fails,” that is Agape love.