To better understand what love is, you should learn the different types of love. The ancient Greeks were sophisticated on how they talked about love. If they were still living today, they’d be shocked by the way we say or whisper “I love you” to our loved ones.
Love has three dimensions. One is intimacy. It characterizes the feelings of closeness and strong emotional bonds. Second is commitment. It’s where you make a vow to stay in that relationship until death do you part. You’ll be willing to work hard to make it last. The third and last one is passion. It reflects your sexual desire to your partner. It’s a form of romantic attachment, sexual attraction and the desire to be with your partner forever.
Sometimes a relationship that ripens will shift from passionate love to companionate love. The passion may still be there and you may still experience consummate love.
To spice things up, you’ll need a strong sexual attraction. However, the two most important aspects of every relationship are commitment and intimacy.
Different Types of Love
Now, let’s discuss the different styles of expressing your love to your partner.
It’s a sensual love between a man and a woman. If it’s within marriage, it’s acceptable. If it’s outside the matrimonial union, it’s considered as sinful. In 1 Corinthians 7:9, Paul told the Corinthians that they should exercise self-control. If not, they should marry for it’s better to marry that person than to burn with passion.
Eros is a kind of love that gets people into serious trouble. It’s where they commit adultery if they couldn’t resist it. If they committed adultery of the heart, it could lead to an addiction for pornography.
This type of love is necessary within marriage. If it’s embraced outside or before marriage, it could be destructive.
Eros is simply a lustful love. It’s the type of love that gives you butterflies in your stomach. This love represent passion and desire.
Another type of love is philia or deep friendship. It can be as intense as the love that God displays. David and Jonathan had this type of love as described in the Bible. They were true friends.
It forms a bond that eros love can’t provide. It’s also the love that we were told to have for our fellow human beings. It’s a type of love for someone that you can lay down your life for the sake of that person.
Philia love is also a kind of love that our parents are showing us – it’s an unselfish love. This is also the type of love that soldiers display while they’re under fire while trying to save a wounded soldier. It’s also shown when a person falls on a grenade just to save the life of other people.
It’s a type of love of which you die or risk your life for someone to protect his/her life.
If eros is vital to friendship, then storge is crucial within family members. This is also the common type of love that you find in the Bible. It’s imperative for the proper functioning of families and extended families.
Storge is the type of love that parents feel for their kids or that love that members of the family have for one another. In some cases, storge love would lead into a romantic relationship. If your relationship is a storge type, you and your partner would become best friends for life.
Storge is also unconditional, just like philia. It accepts flaws and faults. It lets you forgive someone. This is also the kind of love that makes you feel committed and secure, as well as comfortable and safe.
Storge is the type of love that Abraham had for Jacob, his son. It’s the kind of love that Noah had for his family. It also appears within the animal kingdom where the animal parents display how much they love their young.
Storge is actually a Greek word to describe a family love and it’s used for natural affection.
This is considered as the highest love of all but it doesn’t come naturally to human beings. That said, it’s only described as the kind of love that God has for us. It’s a supernatural love and it was shown by Jesus when he died on the cross.
This love is not felt. Rather, it is required to be shown. Since love is a verb, it requires an action, just like what Jesus did when he died for us. This isn’t the kind of love that condemns. For that reason, it’s also called a selfless love.
You can also show this love to all people, family members or strangers. It’s a gift love, as referred by C.S. Lewis. He considered it as the highest form of love amongst Christians. It involves sacrifices. You give something, but you’re not expecting anything in return. Thus, it’s the kind of love that we need in today’s society.
Unfortunately, this type of love is seen in a dangerous decline in various countries. In the U.S. alone, it has declined sharply over the last four decades. That said, we rarely see people showing compassion and care to strangers.
It’s also known as longstanding love. Pragma is a Greek love. This is a type of love developed between couples who have been married for decades.
Hollywood celebrities who got hitched and divorced after a few months should learn how pragma love works. They have to learn how to make compromises in order for the relationship to work over time. This requires a great level of patience and tolerance. We use our energy when we fall in love. But we also learn how to stand in love to make the relationship work forever.
It’s about making an effort to offer your partner love, rather than just receiving it. If the ancient Greeks were still alive, they would surely suggest to couples to bring a large dose of pragma into their relationships. This way, their marriages wouldn’t end in separation or divorce during their first 10 years of being together as a married couple.
There are two types of philautia. One is the unhealthy variety that’s usually associated with narcissism. For example, you’ll become self-obsessed on your fame and fortune. This is the kind of love that some Hollywood celebrities and other famous people have.
The healthier version is a kind of love that enhances your capacity to love someone. With this type of love, you have a clear understanding about yourself. That said, you can have plenty of love to give to your partner.
This is a playful love. It’s a kind of love showed by children or young lovers. We’ve all experienced this kind of love during the early stages of our relationship. We flirt and tease.
When you dance with strangers, you’re showing a playful love. The social norms frown on this type of love as it can cause you to commit adultery and it can be a substitute for sex. However, some experts would agree that a small dose of ludus or playful love could help spice things up in every relationship.
This type of love is dangerous. Mania love is extreme, jealous and obsessive or possessive. A person in love this way is more likely to do something silly or crazy like stalking.
Manic lovers are often codependent, demanding, and utterly possessive. Manic lovers have a strong need to be in control and need to know everything their partner is doing. This type of lovers can be distrustful of partners and have a hard time trusting in romantic relationships.
Manic lovers are easily hurt, obsess over a love interest, and seek validation through relationships.
Check out our other article: Different Types of Kisses.
After learning the different types of love, how would you rate your relationship based on these categories? It’s possible that yours doesn’t fit into just one type.
You don’t need to give up your relationship if it becomes empty. It can still be saved as long as you’re willing to save it and work on it. To make your relationship last a lifetime, it must have intimacy and commitment to make it more satisfactory. Then, don’t forget the passion with your partner.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find a person who can give you all types of love. What you can do is to nurture that love and tap into its various sources. Don’t just look into one type of love. Instead, cultivate it by spending more time with your partner, friends, and family.
Some studies have shown that men were more likely to show the ludic type of love, while women were more likely to be pragmatic or storgic.
Other studies done on couples who were happily married for over 30 years showed that couples who considered their marriages as immensely sufficient, reported their connection in terms which resembled erotic love more than the other five types. You may find it surprising, however strong infatuation/crush type relationships tend to flare out quickly. Nevertheless, many believe that long-term relationships that carry both passion and friendship are better to experience and offer satisfaction to both partners than relationships that are pragmatic and low-key.