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Some say love makes the world go-'round, but does it? Does it make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, or does it sometimes cause problems in our relationships? Well, the answer is both. We’ve all had our share of relationship issues, especially romantic ones. Some people believe that relationships are complicated, but people make them hard.

Humans are inherently selfish. We all want to “win” and get others to understand our wants. Unfortunately, that typically results in two people who don’t understand each other, and the relationship ultimately deteriorates. One key to healthy relationships is recognizing the different types of love because everyone receives and gives love differently. Additionally, some people are more capable of experiencing specific kinds of love than others.

The ancient Greeks studied love and sorted them into eight different types. They examined everything from the beginning of the universe to public speaking, and they were fascinated with love. Here’s a look at the different types of love so you can better understand your relationships.

Unconditional love.

First, there’s agape, generous, selfless, unconditional love. The Greeks thought it was radical, maybe because so few people could feel it long-term. Some people describe agape as spiritual love. For example, Christians believe Jesus showed this type of love for humanity. He was selfless, sacrificing Himself so that others could expel their sins. He suffered for the happiness of others.

Romantic love.

Eros, or romantic love, is named after the Greek god of fertility and love. Therefore, it’s typically linked with passionate, romantic and physical love, expressing sexual desire and passion. Oddly enough, the Greeks were quite fearful of this love. They thought that because humans have an instinctual impulse to procreate, this love was so powerful, resulting in a loss of control. The Greeks believed this type of love was dangerous, but it’s still the kind that’s associated with sexual, passionate love. Even today, some people think this kind of love burns hot and bright but burns out quickly.

Affectionate love.

The Greeks defined philia as “affectionate love.” In other terms, it’s the love you feel for your friends. Ironically, the Greeks thought this love was better than romantic love because it embodied the love between people who considered themselves equals. While some people link love with romance, Plato always believed that physical attraction wasn’t needed for love hence why there are many different types of love. This kind, in particular, is often called platonic love or love without sexual acts.


Philautia is self-love. In modern times, most people link self-love with being selfish, narcissistic, or stuck on themselves. However, this isn’t what the ancient Greeks meant by self-love. Self-love isn’t unhealthy or harmful in any way. It’s necessary to be able to receive and give love to other people. We can’t give what we don’t have. If we don’t love ourselves, how can we love others? Another way to think about self-love is to think of it as self-compassion. Just like you might show love and affection to another person, you should also show that same love and affection to yourself.

Familiar love.

Storge is defined as familiar love. It may seem like a strange term, but this type of love looks and feels like philia, affectionate love between friends. However, this love is more like the love between a parent and child. Like philia, there’s no sexual or physical attraction. However, there is a strong kinship, bond and familiarity between people.

Enduring love.

The ancient Greeks identify pragma as enduring love. In other terms, it’s the opposite of eros or sexual love. Eros tends to burn out quickly due to its intensity and passion. However, enduring love is a love that’s developed and matured over time. A good example of enduring love is the kind of love that old married couples who’ve been together since their teens and still hold hands have.

Sadly, this kind of love is rare, especially in today’s society. Nowadays, people think the grass is always greener on the other side and don’t have the desire or patience to watch love grow. This kind of love doesn’t require much effort in a relationship. Both people must be good at making compromises and put in equal effort to make their partner happy.

Playful love.

The best way to describe ludus or playful love, is the feeling of infatuation in the early romance stages. You know the feeling if you’ve been in love before. It’s the giddiness you feel when you see your partner walk through the door, the feeling of never wanting to be without them, and the butterflies in your stomach. Studies show that when people experience this love, their brain acts as it would if it were on cocaine. In other words, the brain lights up and is active like someone high on drugs, making you feel alive and excited about life.

Obsessive love.

Obsessive love or mani isn’t necessarily a suitable kind of love because it’s addictive, which can lead someone into jealousy, madness, or even anger. That’s because the balance between sexual love and playful love is off. Many people who experience this love suffer from low self-esteem, fearing losing the object of their love. This fear drives them to do or say some crazy things to keep them. Obsessive love can be very destructive in some cases if not kept under control.

Everyone is different, and that’s okay. Our relationship problems sometimes come from not fully understanding each other, especially in love. Now that you know and understand the different types of love, hopefully, you’ll look at your relationships and make the necessary changes.

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