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7 Kinds of Love We Often Experience In Life

In love psychology, the types of love we experience in life can be divided into seven categories as follows.

What love have you yet experienced?

When talking about love in modern times, we often think of the pretty general concept of romantic love. Perhaps because the fields of great spiritual influence are literature, music, and cinema, which often focus on exploiting this kind of love. 

We meet many people in our lives, obviously going through many different types of love. According to the view of the ancient Greeks, the love that we often experience in life is divided into 7 categories as follows.

1. Eros - Passionate love

Eros is passionate love, or sexually appealing attachment. This type of love is closest to the modern concept of romantic love. The name Eros is derived from the name of the cupid in Greek mythology (similar to Cupid in Roman mythology). Eros's motives are similar to the philosopher Schopenhauer's view of the will: the world stems from an unconscious instinct to exist and maintain the human race.

Eros is often mistaken for a sexual element. However, it is just a physical factor that increases the passion between the two parties and completely not romantic attraction.. This is why a person who is asexual (like myself) can still experience Eros love.

2. Philia - Friendship Love

Philia is friendship, and the foundation of this love is shared goodwill. The philosopher Aristotle holds that you are willing to be friends with someone for one of three reasons:

a. That person brings positive contribution to you, your life and your mental health (benefits that they would bring to you)

b. That person gives you emotional fulfillment (spiritual value).

c. Above all, they are a good person for you (the sum of the 2 above)

Among them, friendship for the ultimate reason is of the highest value and attachment in this kind of Philian love. When this relationship has stability and is healthy, common interests such as work, finances, relationships, etc. will prosper and grow. 

In addition, Philia is also the glue that reinforces and fosters Eros' love more sustainably. Friendship reduces the desire to own each other to satisfy ego and transforms into a desire to be understood by each side and the world around it on a deeper level.

3. Storge - Family Love 

Storge is family affection - a kind of Philia, but in family relationships (usually parents, children, siblings, pets). Unlike Eros or Philia, Storge does not depend too much on the individual qualities of each person to start or maintain. More broadly, family love is an affection built up from the familiarity and protection of one another. Therefore, family love is not necessarily between people by bloodline. 

This is also a development in the love of Eros couples. When the complementary and nurturing of the affection between the two parties reaches a mature level, the love will gradually turn into intimacy. That is also the foundation of a long lasting relationship.

4. Agape - Selfless Love

Forgiving yourself, thinking about the people involved in the action, and contributing to the growth of your community, all are the manifestations of Agape that you may have experienced.

Agape is a love for all things, specifically more macroscopic concepts such as love of people, country, nature, or gods. Unlike Storge, Agape is not based on a blood or family relationship, although the two types of love have similar expressions of expression. 

What makes Agape different from Storge love is altruism. Altruism is a love that is paramount in enhancing our quality of life because it nourishes our personal, social and environmental awareness. Especially in the context of today's disturbing perception of society, all we need sometimes is just forgiveness.

5. Ludus - Playful (Uncommitted) Love 

One-night stands or friends with benefits are the prime examples of Ludus love. This kind of love without any ties and merely "fun is the main.” Also, the softer forms of Ludus are when you're joking around, dancing together and giving each other spontaneous affirmations. The heart of this sentiment is always joy.

Ludus is a simple love that doesn't have requirements and is just pure sexual attraction. This kind of love will take place most smoothly when both sides are mature and have good control over their own emotions. The problems that arise around Ludus are usually when one side wants to switch from Ludus to Eros (bonded love), while Ludus is more compatible with Philia (friendship love).

6. Pragma - Practical Love

Pragma is based on practicality. In this love, all about romance, sex is just a secondary element because Pragma focuses on achieving her stated goals. Pragma relationships that can last for a long time are often one party accepting "turning a blind eye" or having sympathy for the actions of the other.

In the past, Pragma's "where parents place their children" marriages made Pragma extremely popular in old-fashioned society. However, in modern times, Pragma's love still exists in large numbers, especially in some Asian societies (depending on ethnicity, nationality, region of Asia) that always attach great importance to the status and expectations of others. Some of the benefits of Pragma couples can be mentioned as pleasing parents, for the future of their children, finance, reputation, business, etc. 

7. Philautia - Self Love (my favorite love) 

Loving yourself - or Philautia - is your self-compassion as well as your self-esteem. More than that, Philautia is like an emotional system that reflects your thoughts, feelings and actions about yourself and your surroundings. 

The downside of Philautia is that when you are negated, you become egotistical (Hubris). Prejudice is to desire for status, abilities, and achievements, leading to deceiving yourself that you have that (similar to narcissism). Since it is accompanied by delusions, prejudice promotes injustice, conflict and hostility. This is why it is important to practice healthy Philautia love as you will be more resilient to events and be more open to new experiences and learning. This is also a form of fostering altruism to yourself and this society. 

In Conclusion

Love is a strange and complex kind of emotion, but also very nice; and of all the good things about love, the best, the most beautiful and the most reliable experiences are the truth and wisdom that love brings to us. Don’t be afraid to love and to be loved!  


Jeanne double major in Health Studies and Biology, and minor in Global Health. She enjoys doing photography, stargazing, hiking, snowboarding, cooking, eating and making memes during her free time. Her goal is to become a doctor without border focusing on women health, reproductive health and community health because she is passionate in serving the underrepresented communities around the world and advocating for their needs by creating effective intervention and provide affordable health services.
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