8 Different Types Of Love (According To Ancient Greeks)
The Ancient Greeks studied love and identified eight different kinds of love that existed in people’s lives. Encompassing romantic partners, family, friendships, and more, the Greeks’ eight kinds of love include:
affectionate love or friendship
familiar or family love
playful and flirtatious love
selfless love for everyone
The 4 Categories Of Relationships
Read on to learn how you can implement the Ancient Greeks’ varying forms of love in your own life and show all your loved ones how much you care.
1. Romantic Love
The most obvious kind of love during Valentine’s Day, romantic love, crosses three categories of Greek love: ludus, eros, and pragma.
Ludus, or playful and flirtatious love, occurs in the beginning stages of relationships. To cultivate ludus, plan a date that allows you to talk and laugh with your significant other. Let them know that you appreciate the excitement of a new relationship and are looking forward to moving through other kinds of romantic love.
Eros, or romantic love, is built off mutual physical attraction and passion. To show this kind of love, plan a romantic getaway or dinner. Let you partner know how much you appreciate them and take time to be near each other.
Pragma is the last stage of romantic love which stands for enduring love. Built off of years of commitment and dedication, pragma is comfortable and lasting. To celebrate the life and love that you’ve built together, take your significant other to their favorite place in your city or share your favorite moments together.
Family are the people who have been there for you since the beginning. By celebrating all that they’ve done for you and that you’ve done for them, you can deepen your connections and make even more memories together. The three kinds of love that encompass familial love are storge, philia, and agape.
Storge is a familiar love that comes from a deep and long-lasting connection. Built off mutual respect and shared values, this love is often seen in parent-child relationships. To further storge, take time to have a deeper conversation and remember what brought the two of you to this place. Reminisce on old memories and enjoy taking time out of your day to spend time together.
Philia, often known as brotherly love, is an affectionate love. To cultivate this with your family, focus on being open and honest with those closest to you. Let your siblings, cousins, or parents know that you love them and make an effort to be present and a trustworthy person in their lives.
Agape is the last stage of love that Greeks identify as a selfless love. This kind of love comes from a place of empathy and requires you to take the world for what it is. To cultivate agape, find a volunteer opportunity for you and your family or offer to help with a project that’s been put off around the house.
Similar to family relationships, the 3 kinds of love agape, philia, and storge can be seen in close friends too. Friendships can be some of the most important relationships in your life, so to show your appreciation for your friends, think about what your relationship might be and try out some of these Valentine’s themed ideas.
For close friends, throw a Galentine’s or Palentine’s Day party. You can use pink plates and cups, eat heart-shaped candy, and deepen your philia and storge love by talking about old memories and what you enjoy about each other.
If you want something more laid back, buy or make each of your friends a Valentine card like you did when you were in Elementary school. A small gesture of appreciation and thoughtfulness can be a great way to celebrate what people mean to you.
Sometimes it can be easy to be so focused on all the other people in your life that you forget to take care of your relationship with yourself. The Greek concept of philautia, or self-love, creates the idea that you need to fill your own cup before being able to create deep love in other relationships.
This Valentine’s Day, take a moment to love yourself. Buy your favorite heart-themed candy, use the nice bath bomb you’ve been saving, or take a moment to watch a romcom just for you. Any cheesy Valentine’s Day activities can be enjoyed by yourself, so indulge in any parts that bring you joy.
Understanding the different kinds of love can help you be a more connected and conscientious friend, partner, and family member. Take the time this Valentine’s season to cultivate all the important relationships in your life and share the love you have for everyone around you.
This article was written exclusively for Love What Matters by Anna Steingruber. Join the Love What Matters family and subscribe to our newsletter.
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