How do I even begin this post… Well, let’s start with why I decided to write it. When Lydia and I went down south for our 3-day break, we discussed everything that was on our mind and uncovered a lot about our love on the long drive down. One of the topics we discussed was how our relationship is so different to most.
If you guys don’t already know, Lydia and I have been together for nearly a decade now and our relationship is stronger than ever. I love Lydia more now than I did the day I met her. Don’t get me wrong, our relationship isn’t perfect, no one’s is. We have our fair share of disagreements; mostly due to me of course! Usually because of little things I forget to do, like the dishes or exporting our Instagram picture in time for her to upload it!
Lydia had no idea why our love is so strong and different to most. She noted that she’d never seen a love quite as intense as ours. I explained to her that our love isn’t just ‘love’. Now this can be quite confusing (and it was to her – until I explained it) because most people only know love as being ‘love’, but how can one 4 letter word embody and truly reflect all of the different types of emotions and feelings involved with true ‘love’.
The ancient Greeks were very sophisticated and particular in their ways. They had 7 different words for love, each and every one of them carrying a different meaning, 6 of which I think are critical to the success of a relationship. Harnessing the understanding of all of the different types of love and developing your relationship further in the areas of which your relationship is most weak in and finding the right balance can and will lead to a successful long term partnership (yes that ‘fairytale’ love!).
1. Eros Love
Eros is the Greek term for passionate, romantic or sexual love. Now Eros isn’t always a good thing, it can ruin a relationship or person. It is very dangerous and can very easily consume a person. It is only healthy when you’ve got it under control and it is between a partnership. Lydia and I both witness people failing to control this type of love day to day. Be it by people ‘lusting or admiring’ others outside their relationship, by the consumption of lustful content online or by quickly engaging in sexual acts early into a relationship (or when not even in a relationship with someone).
If you are in a committed relationship having Eros love can be a very beautiful connection to have with your partner and should be embraced to fulfill your relationship.
When Eros is embraced by new relationships it tends to blindfold people as they are overwhelmed by the passion they feel for this new person. This boost in emotions and feelings tends to drop off really quickly and then the whole relationship ploughs into the ground because none of the other love types have been developed or have matured. This period of elated emotions is quite often referred to as the ‘honeymoon period’ when couples that are in the early days of their relationship and have only been together for a few months or a couple of years seem so in love and so obsessed with each other.
2. Philia Love
Philia is brotherly or friendship love, it is shared goodwill. Relationships or friendships founded on goodwill can be associated with dependability, companionship and trust. Philia is much more valuable and cherishable than Eros.
In a committed relationship, Eros and Philia feed into each other, forming a much deeper connection between yourself and the other person. Philia love presents itself when people share the same values and morals. It enables someone to be open with another, because they feel comfortable and taken care of.
Lydia and I were actually friends for a long time before our relationship. It took almost a year of us developing our friendship and ‘philia’ love for Lydia to finally say yes to dating me. As a result of this we built a friendship and are comfortable and open with each other. Rather than just being my partner, I consider Lydia as my best friend.
3. Storge Love
Compassionate, faithful, forgiving. Storge love is the love that parents have for their children, however the values behind storge love are crucial for a long term relationship. These qualities make you feel comfortable and safe, and bring you security. It makes you lose all doubt that you could have in the relationship and frees up your mind and energy, allowing you to grow as a couple with deep emotional connections.
As mentioned in our blog why we aren’t married we don’t feel the need to put a ring on each other’s fingers to know that we’ll be with each other forever. The love, trust and loyalty (that comes about from Storge love) in our relationship speaks for itself.
4. Philautia Love
Now to discuss philautia love, which is known as self-love. This can both be healthy and unhealthy just like with Eros. Philautia is vital for any relationship, as humans, we can only give love if we love ourselves and we can only care for others if we care for ourselves. When both people in a relationship have a healthy amount of self love they can come together and support each other as well as support each other in their own individual growth.
The unhealthy type of Philautia is the selfish kind, where love is taken but not given out. This always results in someone feeling bad about themselves, leaving them not feeling good enough to receive love in return. With an unhealthy type of Philautia love a person can be selfish, caring about themselves more than they will ever care about their partner.
We know many relationships where the people involved will always love themselves more and will always put themselves first before their partner. It’s more prevalent than you think.
5. Ludus Love
Ludus is known as child-like love. It’s the flirtatious, butterflies in the stomach, exciting and playful type of love that focuses around flirting, teasing, dancing and having fun together.
Ludus is often lost quite quickly in relationships, particularly once a couple has completed all of the major milestones to be excited about, such as first dates, getting engaged, getting married and having your first child. All of these milestones give a couple something to be excited about and ‘distracts’ from love that may not even be there. Once the ‘new’ excitement and ‘hitting milestones’ excitement has worn down it’s important to maintain playfulness and excitement in your relationship.
This is also why seeking a partner in the wrong places i.e. hook up apps or nightclubs puts you at risk of rushing into a relationship, marriage or life with someone, based on a relationship built on ‘fun’, only for that fun to fade over time. Modern culture engages in Ludus more than ever, focusing on having fun in the moment with no regard for what may happen in the future. And while that may be great at the time, it’s not great for building a long term relationship or family.
6. Pragma Love
Pragma is known as everlasting or enduring love that develops in couples who have been together for a long period of time, not just a couple of years. It’s a very unique harmony that has developed and matured over time. It involves working towards common goals and involves a great deal of duty, respect, admiration, patience and compromise.
Pragma is extremely rare in modern society, with a culture that puts so much emphasis on finding love, not on actually nurturing and maintaining that love. Anyone can fall in love but it takes a great deal of conscious effort from both people within a relationship to stay in love and stick together through the good and bad times.
7. Agape Love
The final type of love is Agape love, we won’t touch on this too much as Apape love does not occur within relationships between two people. Agape is known as universal, selfless love which is the love for humanity, nature or a higher power. While you can’t apply Agape love within your relationship you can use it for inspiration to make the world a better place; helping people you don’t know and engaging in charitable acts without expecting anything in return.
So what does this blog mean for you? Well, it’s important you know about the 7 different types of love so that you can strengthen them and work on any weak areas in your relationship. Additionally, you can use this knowledge to recognise early on that you’re in a relationship that isn’t working.
Usually a relationship won’t work out if it’s dominated by one type of love or is particularly weak in one of the different types of love. The same holds true for couples that are complacent with each other. A clear example of this is couples that come together, driven by Eros or Ludus love. Their love is passionate in its early days and they quickly get married and have children, then over time, the love fades and due to the life the couple have built together they stay together and remain complacent out of ‘ease’.
Anyway, I hope that this blog on the 7 types of love has been informative to you and has changed the way you look at your relationship or your future relationships! I want to encourage you to work on yourself and your own relationship. Feel free to leave any insights you have on how to build and keep a relationship strong and don’t be scared to engage with and message us. Honestly the main reason behind our account and everything we do is to promote love and encourage happy, healthy and strong relationships. The type of love we have is pretty special, and we think everyone should experience it.