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The Eight Types of Love According to the Ancient Greeks

According to Ancient Greeks, there are eight types of love that we experience. Each are entirely different from the other and every single one of them are beautiful.

The first type of love is Eros. This love is also called “erotic love” and it is named after the Greek god of love and fertility. He is also formally known as Cupid and is the son of Aphrodite. He represents the idea of passion and desire. This kind of love can be fleeting, but very passionate. It is more of an infatuation steeped in the appeal for attractive looks and can be impulsive. The love catalyst for this type of love is the body itself. 

The second kind of Greek love is Philia. It is “affectionate love.” It can be platonic love, the kind you may possess for friends. To the Ancient Greeks, this love was more sought after and valuable than Eros. It is a mutual love and appreciation. It comes from life long friends and is more emotional than physical. The love catalyst for this love is the mind. 

Storge aka “familiar love” is a lot like Philia, where there is no physical attraction that dictates it. It really has to deal with a deep sense of kinship and familiarity. This love usually happens between family members such as children and their parents. It can also be seen between friends who have grown up together and have known one another for a long time. The catalyst for this love is memories or nostalgia. 

Ludus is the fourth type of Greek love. It is often called “playful love.” Briefly connected with Eros, Ludus is flirtatious love. Often felt between young lovers. It is described as the early stages of love. The crushing, butterflies, etc. The catalyst for this love is emotion.

Mania is the fifth type of love; it is also called “obsessive love.” It happens when there is an unbalance in the type of love being felt or displayed. It usually happens when there is no balance between Eros and Ludus. It is also usually felt through someone with poor self esteem. They want love so much and find value in loving someone or being loved. It often causes the person to be obsessive, possessive and overly jealous. Often, this love is not reciprocated. The catalyst for this love is based off survival instinct. 

Pragma is the sixth love; it is “enduring love.” This kind of love matures and ages over the years. It is often seen in older married couples, lifetime friendships, and is not easily found. It is a result of maturity, patience and compromise. The catalyst for this love is unconscious.

Philautia is the next love; it is “self love.” This love stems form the belief that in order to love others, you have to learn how to love and take care of yourself first and foremost. It is self love in the healthiest form since it also means self compassion. The catalyst for this love comes from the soul.

The last kind of Greek love is Agape. Agape is “selfless love.” It is unconditional love and it is the highest and most radical kind. The highest level of love you can reach. It is spiritual love, a sort of boundless empathy and compassion that is hard to come by. It is love for everyone and everything and is rooted in nonjudgement and acceptance.


I am a sophomore at the University of Kentucky with a major in Journalism! My passions are writing and reading poetry, as well as, experiencing new things the world has to offer!
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