The 7 Types Of Love You Need To Understand To Be Happy

The 7 Types Of Love You Need To Understand To Be Happy

Understanding the different types of love will grant you the prudence to distinguish more clearly between the love you are experiencing in the moment, and to properly choose the love to use in a situation. This will result in living your life in a more organized and emotionally stable way.

The 7 types of love are: Perfect love, playful love, practical love, familial love, friendship love, romantic love, and self love.

Most of us seem to be seeking romantic love most of our lives. Actually, thinking about and pursuing romantic love takes up a tremendous part of our lives. The problem with this lies in the fact that few of us realize that romantic love is mostly a modern construct that became prominent around the same epoch as the modern novel.

By preoccupying ourselves with romantic love, we risk neglecting other types of love that are more stable or readily available in our lives, and could, especially in the broader sense of life, prove more healing and fulfilling.

This is a shocker for some and could strike a nerve, yet by the end of this article you will have a full understanding of the types of love. You will be equipped with a roadmap to navigate and appreciate each of them in a separate and healthier way.

The Novel Emerges Presenting a Nonrealistic Form of Love

Why are we talking about the origin of the modern novel? Because it has distorted romantic love like pornography has distorted sex. The novelists’ approach is mainly distorted and not realistic.

Due to it’s impelling construct, the novel took on several genres, one of the most popular being romantic love and romance, where we expect passion, heartache, and happy endings.

While earlier forms of storytelling existed like the Spanish epic novel by Miguel de Cervantes entitled Don Quixote, It was originally published in two parts in the early 17th century and is technically considered the world’s first novel.

The novel as we know it today largely emerged during the 18th and 19th centuries. A novel, by definition, is a work of fiction. Generally, fiction novels sit between 50,000 and 120,000 words depending on the genre.

The modern novel became a popular and influential form of literature in Europe and the Americas. Authors like Daniel Defoe, Charles Dickens, and Jane Austen contributed abundantly to the development of the novel.

Romance Novelists aren’t to be considered bad people, yet it is important to understand how they’ve harmed modern society by distorting the reality of what eros (romantic love) is.

What About Shakespearian Love?

Let’s explore the difference between the concept of eros (one of the 7 types of love known as romantic love) portrayed by William Shakespeare vs. how novelists approach it:

Shakespeare’s Eros:

  • Eros, in Shakespearean literature, is similar to the novelists’ approach by being deeply intertwined with passion, desire, and sensuality, yet not nearly as distorted, and not combining eros with other types of love making them seem the same. It’s based more on companionate love, which we will discuss in this article.
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost, one of Shakespeare’s early plays, portrays a sophisticated Renaissance world where literary education overtly celebrates eros. Courtiers engage in witty wordplay and poetic expressions of love.
  • However, beneath this surface celebration, Shakespeare subtly reveals that mere linguistic expertise in eros does not necessarily lead to genuine relational engagement. The courtiers fail to respond authentically to their own relationships and the world around them.
  • Shakespeare suggests that true eros involves more than semantics; it requires a genuine connection with others and an engagement with the world.

Novelists’ Eros:

  • Novelists, in their works, often explore eros in diverse ways but mainly through compassionate love:
    • Passion and Intensity: Eros represents the passionate and intense aspects of love. It’s not just about physical attraction but also emotional depth and longing. In reality this passion loses intensity. Not realizing this causes people to divorce because they keep trying to get it again and again. It can show itself temporarily but not nearly like it did during the first year of a relationship.
    • Complexity and Celebration: Novels delve into the complexities of eros—its joys, sorrows, and contradictions. Authors celebrate the multifaceted nature of desire and its impact on characters’ lives.
    • Youthful and Mischievous: Eros is sometimes depicted as mischievous and boyish. Greek writers transformed him into a more youthful figure, often scolded by other gods as if he were a child. This playful type of love is not eros, it is ludus, which we will explore later. Again, novelists distorting eros.
    • Exploration of Relationships: Novels explore how eros shapes relationships, whether through romantic love, desire, or longing. They delve into the human experience of connection and vulnerability. The novelists are taking several types of love and projecting them as romantic love. This plants seeds of confusion in a readers mind.

In summary, while Shakespeare’s eros emphasizes linguistic sophistication and its limitations, novelists explore eros in all its dimensions—passion, vulnerability, and the intricate dance of human hearts. Both perspectives contribute to our understanding of love and desire in literature, yet the novelists’ approach is mainly distorted and not realistic.

This is what has caused so much suffering in modern day romantic relationships through eros love. Passionate love is short lived & practical and companionate love is long term, they are not the same love. They can coexist yet often dangerously try to merge. It’s very important to recognize each type of love separately although most of them can coexist.

One of the most intriguing ways to explore the somewhat complex concept of love is by examining the seven types of love that experts in the field have identified, and go all the way back to the days of Plato and Aristotle.

The 7 Types of Love

Each of the seven types of love is distinct and unique, representing a different aspect of the human experience of love.

Lets explore these more in depth using a historical perspective, allowing us to better understand them. The Ancient Greeks had several words for love that we should all glean from and use as a foundation for our lives.

By delving deeper into the complexities of love and relationships, you can gain a greater appreciation for the beauty and richness of the human experience, help you advance your career or business, and understand people at a much deeper level. Also note that by knowing these separate aspects of love you will better understand why people fall into strange acts, mainly caused by not setting boundaries between or recognizing the differing types of love. Keep in mind that some of these loves can coexist, while trying to coexist others is falling into the spirit of perversion.

Agape

Agape is the purest form of love that exists. It is often referred to as divine love, and it is the love that God has for humanity. This love is selfless, unconditional, and sacrificial, and it is not based on any kind of personal gain or benefit. It is known as perfect love that humans can give to a limit and only God can wholly deliver.

Agape, in the New Testament is the fatherly love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God.

Agape love is characterized by a deep and abiding commitment to the well-being of others, even if it means sacrificing your own needs and desires. It is an unselfish love that seeks to give rather than to receive, and it is often associated with acts of kindness, compassion, and charity.

Ludus

Ludus is a type of love that is playful and flirtatious. It is often characterized by the excitement and thrill of a new relationship, but it can also be present in long-term relationships. People who exhibit Ludus tend to enjoy the chase and the game of love, and may have multiple partners at once.

While Ludus can be fun and exciting, it can also be emotionally shallow and lacking in commitment. People who prioritize Ludus may struggle with forming deep emotional connections and may be more focused on the physical aspects of a relationship.

Some signs that someone may exhibit Ludus love include:

  • Enjoying the thrill of the chase and the excitement of a new relationship.
  • Having multiple partners at once or being more interested in casual dating than committed relationships.
  • Valuing physical attraction and chemistry over rational connection. Strong chemistry is likened to a state of euphoria. Strong chemistry between two people is an exhilarating rush of powerlessness to control your feelings as you start to know the person better and feel more attracted to them as time passes. The intensity will eventually leave as the newness wears out.

It’s important to note that Ludus love is not inherently good or bad – it simply represents one way that people experience and express love. However, it’s important for individuals to understand their own love styles and the love styles of their partners in order to build healthy, fulfilling relationships.

Pragma

Pragma is the type of love that is based on practicality and reason. It is a companionate love. In personal relationships it’s a mature and long-lasting love that develops over time, as couples work together to build a life and a future.

Pragma is also the type of love someone exudes when they create a business that succeeds long term. If you’ve ever heard successful business people speak about their secret of success, then the words “I just love what I do” likely came out of their mouth. Doing something out a sense of duty is pragma love.

A direct example of Pragma love is here with writing this blog post. I’m writing it through the spirit of Pragma love to share valuable information and help people achieve their goals..

Pragma is often seen in long-term marriages, where couples have grown together and developed a deep understanding of each other. It’s often called companionate love, and is different from passionate love (eros).

Pragma is not based on passion or romance, but rather on shared goals, values, and interests. Couples who value pragma prioritize compatibility and practicality in their relationships, and are willing to work through challenges together. They may not have the intense emotional highs of other types of love, but they have a strong foundation that allows them to weather the ups and downs of life.

Some common characteristics of pragma include:

  • Shared values and goals
  • Companionate love
  • Open communication and honesty
  • Mutual respect and trust
  • Commitment to the relationship, personal or business related
  • Willingness to compromise and work through challenges

Couples who prioritize pragma may not have the same level of passion or excitement as those in other types of love, but they have a deep and abiding connection that can last a lifetime.

Storge

Storge is a type of love that is often associated with relationships relating to or occurring in a family, or its members (familial) . It is a natural, effortless kind of love that develops over time and is built on a foundation of familiarity and shared experiences. This type of love is often seen between parents and children or between siblings, like brotherly love.

Storge is characterized by a deep sense of commitment and loyalty. It is a love that is unconditional, and it is not based on any particular qualities or traits of the loved one. Instead, it is a love that is based on a sense of duty and responsibility towards the other person.

Storge is a love that is often taken for granted, as it is so natural and effortless. However, it is an important type of love that provides a sense of security and stability in our lives. Without this kind of love, we may feel lost and disconnected from the people who are closest to us.

Eros

Eros is the type of love that is often portrayed in popular culture as passionate and romantic. This type of love is characterized by intense physical attraction and sexual desire. This type of love is often associated with the Greek god of love, Eros, who was known for his beauty and desire.

People who experience Eros love may feel a strong physical attraction to someone and may find themselves constantly thinking about that person. They may also experience intense feelings of jealousy and possessiveness.

Eros love can be exciting and exhilarating, but it is also fleeting. It is often described as a “honeymoon” phase of a relationship that may not last forever. However, it can also serve as a foundation for other types of love, such as Pragma love, which is based on practicality, a companionate love, and with long-term compatibility.

Many couples think that because the passionate love didn’t last, which is only normal, that the relationship was a mistake and they choose divorce. This is a terrible problem in modern society in most parts of the world. Healthy relationships realize eros (romantic love and passion) is only mixed in from time to time as the romantic relationship seasons and matures. There are also sexless marriages where companionate love or Pragma is the basis and these couples are extremely happy.

Philautia

Philautia is the love of the self, which can be either healthy or unhealthy.

Healthy philautia involves self-care, self-respect, and self-esteem. It is important to love oneself in order to be able to love others. People with healthy philautia are confident, self-aware, and have a positive self-image. They are able to set boundaries and take care of their own needs without feeling guilty.

Unhealthy philautia, on the other hand, is narcissistic and selfish. It involves excessive self-love and self-obsession, to the point where the person is unable to love others properly. People with unhealthy philautia are often insecure and have a negative self-image. They may seek validation and attention from others, but are unable to form deep and meaningful relationships.

It is important to strike a balance between healthy and unhealthy philautia. Self-love and self-care are important, but they should not come at the expense of others.

Some ways to practice healthy philautia include:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat well
  • Get enough sleep
  • Practice mindfulness and meditation
  • Set boundaries
  • Forgive oneself for mistakes
  • Take time for oneself

Philia

Philia is the type of love that is often referred to as friendship love. It is the love that exists between friends who have a deep and mutual understanding with each other. This type of love is based on a strong bond of trust, respect, and shared experiences.

Philia is often seen as the most noble type of love because it is not based on physical attraction or romantic feelings. Instead, it is based on a deep appreciation of the other person’s character and personality. Friends who share philia love often have a strong emotional connection that is built on a foundation of mutual respect and loyalty.

We can see philia in many different types of relationships, from childhood friends who have known each other for years to colleagues who have worked together for a long time. This type of love is often seen as the glue that holds friendships together, as it is based on a deep understanding of the other person’s values and beliefs.

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Frequently asked questions

How can I tell which love type I have?

Knowing what type of love you’re experiencing is usually about some level of self-awareness of your feelings toward a person.

Be honest with yourself and deeply look into identifying if the love is romantic, selfless, friendly, or playful? Another way to tell which kind of love you’re experiencing is to consider how long you’ve known the person.

When we feel a strong, positive connection to another person and find ourselves caring about their security and future while supporting them through our actions, this is compassionate love, and likely involving elements the Greeks would label as philia, ludus, and pragma.

Can I feel a combination of different loves for different people?

The answer to that is definitely yes. Some common combos are:

  • Eros and pragma
  • Ludus and eros
  • Philia and agape
  • Philautia and agape
  • Pragma and philia

One thing to consider here is to be aware of using eros or sexual love with the wrong person. Falling into the spirit of perversion is the worst thing one can do. Do not use sexual love found in eros in an inappropriate way.

Understanding the types of love helps us understand each other and serve one another better in a sometimes complex society. Giving and receiving love is one of life’s greatest joys, and understanding what we’re feeling for the people in our lives can help us nurture our relationships to be the most fulfilling possible.

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Created by Martin Hamilton