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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Her Campus! 

Whether you’re having a romantic dinner with your partner or chilling in the bathtub with a facemask on and a glass of wine, today is about LOVE. But, not just romantic love. Today is about appreciating the variety of love in the world, all the shapes and colors it takes. And thanks to the Ancient Greeks, we know that there are 8 different types of love. 

So, grab your box of chocolates and your reading glasses. Here’s a little lesson in the varieties of love:

  1. Eros ( sexual passion)
  2. Philia (deep friendship) 
  3. Ludus (playful love) 
  4. Agape (love for everyone)
  5. Pragma (long standing love)
  6. Philautia (love of the self)
  7. Storge (family love)
  8. Mania (obsessive love)
  1. EROS (Sexual Passion)

The first kind of love is Eros, associated with sexual passion and romantic love. The word is named for the Greek God of love and desire, Eros whose Roman counterpart is Cupid.

  1. PHILIA (Deep Friendship)

Philia is the love between friends. It is the soulful bound between two individuals without physical attraction. Otherwise known as platonic love, an idea coined by Plato in his Symposium. The love between two friends can be just as powerful as a romantic connection. 

  1. LUDUS (Playful Love)

The Greeks thought of Ludus as a playful form of love. Ludus is the love and excitement you experience around a new crush or the beginning of a new relationship. 

  1. AGAPE (Love for Everyone)

The fourth love is Agape. Agape is a selfless love, such as love for strangers or a higher power. Agape is unconditional and infinite; a love that is made of compassion and empathy for something greater than yourself. 

  1. PRAGMA (Long Standing Love) 

Pragma means long-lasting love. It is a love that has grown over time with commitment and compromise. Pragma is about staying in love versus falling in love. 

  1. PHILAUTIA (love of the self)

Self love is not as modern an idea as one may think. The ancient Greeks believed learning to love oneself was a key step in a person’s growth and development and that loving yourself means you have a greater capacity for loving others. Philautia refers to self love, compassion and understanding. 

  1. STORGE (family love)

Storge references the love between family members. It is the love found between siblings, parents and children or a friend that feels like family. Another meaning of Storge is the feeling of allegiance, whether it’s for your favorite sports team or coffee shop. 

  1. MANIA (obsessive love) 

The last type of love is Mania. Mania is a jealous, obsessive and unhealthy type of love. It can involve feelings of codependency and a belief your partner will be the missing puzzle piece in your life. Mania can be found in unhealthy or toxic relationships. 


So, no matter if you are taken or single today, having an understanding of these 8 types of love can help you go forward in your everyday life. Next time you say, “I love you”,  whether to a family member, partner or a dog on the street, you can think of the ancient Greeks and recall the depths of the love you’re expressing.

Sydney Epstein

New School '22

Sydney Epstein is an artist and writer from Boston, MA. She is in her final year at The New School. Sydney is double majoring in photography and creative wiring with a minor in screenwriting. When she's not creating, she'll have her head buried in a good book, at the gym, or FaceTiming her dog. Follow her on Instagram @sydeps.jpg for dog pics, poems, and more!
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