In our effort to be better partners and lovers, it's important that we all understand there are different types of love that make humans tick.
Relationship experts have identified eight different types of love that individuals are usually embody. While there are eight types, it is quite common for us all to embody a mixture of them.
The secret for success here is to identify the varying types that you and/or your partner exhibit and then work with each other on strengthening your connection.
Types of Love
#1 - Philia (Affectionate Love)
Philia love is concerned with love that goes beyond romantic attraction. It can be between family members, friends, and lovers. The core of Philia is shared values and respect for one another against all odds.
Having said this, the mind is the most important part of the equation. The mind tells you who you can trust and who you want to spend time with.
For some lovers, they can't have a romantic connection until Philia is at their relationship's heart.
When they feel there's love, respect, friendship, and trust, they open up to each other and the flame grows into more.
How to Show Philia:
- Engage in deep conversations.
- Be trustworthy and open.
- Be there when things get tough.
- Write letters and send cards in the mail.
#2 - Pragma (Enduring Love)
Pragma is love that grows over the years and never dies. It's an everlasting connection that sees a couple put equal effort into their relationship and thrive together. Pragma requires pure commitment and dedication.
Those who gravitate toward Pragma see love as something spiritual that can't be avoided. It's fate.
How to Show Pragma
- Be open to each other and reveal your deepest selves.
- Be committed to constant growth together.
- Choose to unconditionally love your partner.
#3 - Storge (Familiar Love)
Storge is a natural love that is rooted in parents, children, and best friends. It's built on emotional connection and pure acceptance. It tends to come easily and immediately, especially in parent and children bonds.
This type of connection is forged on memories, some from the past and the knowledge that you're creating memories for the future. As you experience more things together, the value of your relationship grows.
How to Show Storge:
- Spend quality time together to create new memories.
- Don't hold on to frustrations and/or anger.
- Listen to each other even when you don't like what you hear.
- Tell your loved one you love them so!
#4 - Eros (Passionate Love)
Eros is the love you feel when you fall head over heals for someone. It usually comes naturally and is expressed through holding hands, kissing, and making love.
The catalyst for Eros is physical in nature and largely driven by the hormones. Depending on your connection, you may have more Eros with one partner than another.
Also, for some individuals, Eros occurs in the beginning of the relationship and can die if there isn't mental stimulation or Philia in the equation.
How to Show Eros:
- Physical touch.
- Romantic affection.
- Random kisses throughout the day.
- Verbalizing that you're attracted to your partner.
#5 - Ludus (Playful Love)
Ludus is that flirtations and fun sort of love that is present in the beginning stages of most relationships.
It's also known as the honeymoon stage. Not to say it goes away for every couple, but sometimes when life gets "real" it can fade away.
Playful love is a choice. It's about making time for fun together and daring not to take life too seriously.
How to Show Ludus:
- Flirt with each other.
- Put aside time to go on a silly and/or fun date.
- Give yourselves permission to laugh and giggle like kids.
#6 - Mania (Obsessive Love)
Mania is obsessive love towards a partner or object of affection. It usually leads to jealously and possessiveness (aka codependency).
A relationship that struggles with Mania is usually the result of one partner being more committed than the other. It can also be present in both partners, as they developed an unhealthy obsession in the beginning of the relationship.
The secret to moving beyond Mania is to have more fun with each other, and if things get out of control, come to the conclusion that the relationship is too much to handle.
Mania is often deeply rooted in a survival instinct. Depending on what occurred in a partner's childhood or recent past, one or both partners assume they need the other for their sense of value.
How to Avoid Mania
- Try individual and couple's therapy.
- Recognize there is a problem.
- Build your friendships outside the relationship.
- Practicing the act of trusting.
- Consider daily meditation.
#7 - Philautia (Self Love)
Philautia is a wonderful, healthy form of love in which a person recognizes their own self-worth and doesn't ignore what they need most in life to thrive. Of course, this doesn't mean that he or she is ego-driven or self-absorbed.
A person with a solid sense of self knows that it is impossible to love healthily without being happy with their core.
If you attempt to have a love relationship, but lack Philautia, it is possible that your love will lead to Mania in some form or will fizzle out sooner than anyone had hoped.
How to Show Philautia:
- Meditate and pray.
- Find ways to nurture yourself (as a mother would for her child).
- Invest your time into people who want the best for you.
- Schedule time in for activities you love.
#8 - Agape (Selfless Love)
Agape is the very highest form of love anyone can offer another human and the world. It is offered without expectation for anything in return.
It is never tied to physical acts, but is all about the soul and the well-being of every human being.
How to Show Agape:
- Dedicate yourself to making the world a better place to live.
- Know that every act you take can either negatively or positively impact others.
- Give freely to charities with a purpose.
- Regularly engage in random acts of kindness for others.