What Are The Different Types Of Love?

By Michael Arangua|Updated July 27, 2022

The words “I love you” can be said to many people, and the meaning varies widely. When we tell someone we love them we might mean it in an entirely different way than we would tell someone else those same words. Being “in love” and “feeling love” or romantic attraction is not the same thing. Many people struggle to define the six types of love. This can be because of childhood abuse, or because their parents did not show love in the normal way. It can also have to do with the person you love; we’re all guilty of sending mixed feelings which is why some people may not be sure that what they’re experiencing is the “right” kind of love for that person.

Romantic Vs. Platonic Love

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What Do People Really Mean When They Say 'I Love You'?

The biggest difference between types of love is that of romantic love vs. platonic friendship love. Romantic love is the feelings you would have for a partner or spouse. While they may not necessarily be sexual, there is a sexual element to them and a physical intimacy that is not usually present in any other type of love. Platonic love does not have sexual feelings. However, there are still plenty of ways to say I love you to a friend. With sexuality being a very open subject these days many people are comfortable having “friends with benefits” situations which can blur this line.

The addition of physical intimacy to platonic feelings does not mean love, it simply means that you continue to have a friendship but scratch a physical itch with that friend rather than using a romantic partner. There could be many reasons why, but it will never progress into romantic love.


We often say that we “love” our best friends but it’s meant in an entirely different way than we would love a romantic partner. Friend love is platonic love. It’s a love that means you care for someone, they are important to you, and you are connected to them emotionally but you do not have romantic feelings for them. Depending on the type of friendship you have you may be physical with each other (celebrating "Share A Hug Day" with hugs, cheek kisses, etc.) but most instances are fully clothed or on areas of the body which do not have a sexual connection.

Friendly love can also be the love experienced with camaraderie or a connection through people at work. This might not be “love” but a shared connection that could blossom into friendship love if it was continued over time.

Familial Love

People who we are related to or who we spend a lot of time with tend to be quite close. If they are close as your family, you may feel family love for them. This type of love is very strong and protective. It is the type of love siblings experience or the love a grandparent has for their little grandchildren. You do not feel romantic feelings for these people, but you do feel a type of connection that is different than people who are simply “friends.” Familial love is very relaxed and comfortable; you may be more open with someone you feel familial love for because there is also a deep amount of trust there. Familial love can be frustrating at times because you may feel familial love but have bad experiences with that person which can make it conflicting.

Familial love is the first type of love we experience and if it is not in a healthy way it can affect how we give and receive love as we get older.

Being “In Love”

When you’re in love, you have strong feelings. Romantic love is powerful and can take over your world. It’s quiet, understanding, caring, protective, and many other adjectives. When you’re in love, you think about your partner a lot and will also spend time with them. You may buy them little gifts, compliment them, and want to plan a future with them. When you’re in love, you’ll also feel strong physical urges towards them. Biologically, romantic love is designed to create a bond that eventually leads to children through the physical act of love.

Physical Love

The physical act of love is biologically hard-wired into us. We are designed for procreation and to mate and produce children. There are many physical expressions of love, but sex is by far the culmination of these. While it is possible to have sex without having feelings for the person that does not love when you love someone sex becomes more about connection than about physical urges.

The 7 Types Of Love

According to the ancient Greeks, there are seven types of recognizable love, however, to be in love you must experience all seven concurrently.

Erotic Love (Eros)

This is physical and passionate love. The closest description is romantic love. Eros or Cupid was a god of love who was blindfolded to indicate that “love is blind.” Eros love is consuming and is considered connected to our life force and part of survival. Erotic love is something we do not have any control over; it controls us. It is needy, dependent, controlling, and powerful. It can be about feeling sexually attractive and sexually attracted; and it is deeply connected to lust because of this.

Brotherly Love (Philia)

This is the love of friendship. Philia is characterized by deep friendship—one that is founded on mutual goodness and understanding. According to Plato, the best type of love is philia because it is trusting and dependable. It may transform into Eros over time but can also exist on its own. Friends who experience philia act as confidants and have a lot of insight about each other. According to University of Utah Health, philia is an “accepting love of good friendship.”

Familiar Love (Storge)

This is a subset of philia which is only for familial relations like parents, children, or siblings. When your parents say they love you, storge is at work. It can feel like a more hard wired love compared to philia or eros. Storage is different because it is related to dependency and familiarity rather than chosen through mutual feeling. We do not choose to experience storge; it’s simply part of our relationship with that person.  

Unconditional Love (Agape)

This is an ambiguous love and relates more to enjoyment than an actual bond. Agape is often used to describe a person’s relationship with God (often Christian God), or with things they appreciate. It’s altruistic and is a sign of good mental well being. Agape describes the happiness you feel when a song you enjoy comes on the radio or your appreciation of a, particularly beautiful sunset. It is the love we feel for our surroundings, our place in the world, etc. It is unconditional love.

Playful Love (Ludus)

Ludus is about enjoying the moment. It is playful love. It can be confused for eros which is often the case of unrequited love, but it is strictly platonic like philia. Ludus is casual, fun, and can be long lasting like in the case of close, loving friendships. It is a shared experience without the pressure of eros or the physical urges that accompany it. Ludus requires time to grow and mature, it is a following on of philia beyond the initial friendship stage.

Practical Love (Pragma)

This is a type of romantic love where the relationship has transcended the physical need and moved on from the powerful urges that accompany the beginning of a relationship. Pragma is about compatibility and steadiness. It is about shared interests and compatibility that often blooms out of arranged marriages where eros doesn’t exist. Unlike Ludus, pragma is not about fun or enjoyment but connection alone. In pragma relationships, partners understand that there are things they don’t like about the other but choose to ignore them in favor of the things that bring them great joy.

Self Love (Philautia)

This is self-love. It’s something most people struggle with as it can cause hubris and it can also cause deep inner struggle. Doing things for your own self-benefit is a way of expressing philautia. It is connected to confidence and self-esteem, and it draws a parallel to the Buddhist tradition of self-compassion. The idea of self-love has become prominent in western tradition as well, with self-care and empowerment becoming a big part of mental health care recently. People who struggle with philautia tend to have problems with addictions.

  1. What Are The Four Different Types Of Love?

The Greeks thought that there were four different kinds of love, which are love Agape, love Storge, love Philia, and love Eros. Out of these types of love, Agape love is unconditional love. It is the love of God. Storge is found in family. It is the affectionate love shared by parents and children. Philia is friendship love, and can be known as Philia affectionate love as well. Eros is romantic, passionate love. Romantic partners can experience it, and it is based on sexual attraction and sexual passion. These and some other kinds constitute different kinds of love.

Please note that for the different kinds of love, there are different methods of execution. For instance, the Eros deals more with erotic and passionate love, unlike the other types of love. Eros is the Ancient Greeks term for the Greek god of love. A kind of love like the Eros may also be unconditional love. Unconditional love simply implies a love without any form of limitations. To know more, read up this great article. Also check out information on love languages, which can tell you the different ways that you love in a relationship.

  1. What Is The Highest Form Of Love?

The highest form of love is said to be the Agape love of God, which is a spiritual love. It is one of the many types of love, and it is a very hard bar to clear. It is God’s love, and it is that kind of love that is totally selfless. Agape arises from an ancient Greco-Christian term, which means it’s a word that was used by the Ancient Greeks. Agape is unconditional love. Typically, it is used to express selfless love between human beings and God. On most occasions, Agape love could be mixed up with Philia, also called brotherly love, or philautia. Agape love originates from God to mankind. The concept of Agape is normally widely examined in Christianity and other religions. Check out the great article on “What are the different types of love?” to help out. The article explains each kind of love and what it entails.

  1. Is It Love Or A Crush?

You can tell between a love and a crush. There are different types of love; however, love lasts for a long time while crush is temporary. Love is a bit jealous, but crush is obsessive love—the type that can get your blood pressure up. Crush is very short-lived. It’s more of an infatuation for someone. Both might include terms of endearment, like pet names. Most of the time, this infatuation or obsessive love is usually impossible or inappropriate. A crush is normally a very strong feeling of attraction. It springs up due to someone’s appearance or the person’s general posture. However, a crush may lead to healthy romantic relationships, or enduring love, as you get to know someone you are crushing on. On the other hand, a crush may end abruptly and not result in Eros romantic love.

On the other hand, love is a little in the long term. The feeling of love is never inappropriate, unless it is an obsessive love (mania), which would generally mean that both people in a relationship may not feel the same way about each other. Mania can lead to truly awful behaviors and negative mental health outcomes.

It’s also never an infatuation to love someone. Love accepts the feelings of attraction and stays on for a very long time. In other words, love doesn’t have an expiration date. Love is not some form of survival instinct; it deals with physical desires, physical touch, and a lot more. Looking into love languages can tell you whether you are experiencing love or a crush.

  1. Is Love Hard Or Easy?

Love is love, no matter which one it is. It is neither easy nor hard. It can be, however, greatly beneficial in the long run. It is said that people in love have few doctor visits and shorter hospital visits.

It should be filled with fun, understanding, mutual, kind, and altogether beautiful. Relationships, though, are hard work. It can take a lot of time and energy to get the kind of love that you want out of a relationship. However, love should come easy. It’s important that you know love is a sacrifice that is way beyond sexual desires. You may want to look into love languages, to determine what your love language is. This is simply the way that you give and receive love.

In the early stages of a relationship, romantic partners may find it easy to love in the early stages of love. There are complications sometimes. On some occasions, people may fall out of love. For relationships, there are usually some ups and downs. So, love is meant to come easy, but relationships may need a little work to keep the fire burning. If you have some issues, don’t hesitate to find a therapist. There are so many unseen advantages that come when you find a therapist. When you find a therapist, you can talk things through and explain how you really feel. You can also talk to a professional about any relationship problems that you may be experiencing or have them talk to you about love languages.

  1. What Is Selfless Love?

The word love means a strong feeling of affection. Selfless love means loving other people, not minding your personal needs. There is no ulterior motive in selfless love. It is true love and the kind of love that many people would like to experience. So, selfless love goes beyond sexual desire. It involves far much more than the physical body. Selfless love is a type of enduring love that is unconditional. There’s no sort of survival instinct when dealing with selfless love. In a selfless love, you don’t have any weird expectation; you are free of obsession. Overall selfless love is a perfect example of what unconditional love really means. You are in a state where you can do anything for that person. At this point, you can give the person anything he or she requires. This may be the type of love felt between spouses, or between a mother and child. Think about how you avoid things that your husband hates, or how you buy a special food for your child. These are examples of selfless love.

  1. What Is The Purest Form Of Love?

The purest form of love is sacrifice. It is the expression of selflessness, and it is far may more than anything related to the physical body. Sacrifice goes beyond what most people imagine. In a selfless love, there can be times where you experience an overwhelming type of love. Unlike other kinds of love, selflessness doesn’t care about what it gains or whether it is worth it. For instance, a partner may sacrifice his entire time for you to make you feel better. Selfless love is not a form of obsessive love. It is one of the truest and purest forms of love. Lovers with selfless love often say affirmative words for love. If you are being selfless in your relationship, you likely want to understand your partner better and are striving for a deep emotional connection. Sacrifice can also be experienced by people that have had a loving relationship for a long period of time.

  1. What Is God’s Love Called?

Love modeled on God’s love is called Agape love. It is the unconditional love of God. It reaches out to everyone in the world because it is universal love. According to Christianity, Greeks thought God’s love is the only kind of love that doesn’t fail or falter. The word Agape arises from the Ancient Greeks and refers to Agape unconditional love. It’s a Greco-Christian term that implies the love of God for all of mankind. Agape is widely considered and examined by both Christianity and all other religions. This means everyone has Agape unconditional love.

  1. What Are The 7 Greek Love Words?

The ancient Greeks studied love and came up with several words meant to cover almost all possible expressions of love. The 7 Greek words for love are Eros, Ludus, Philia, Storge, Philautia, Pragma, and Agape. Each form of love has its own positive consequences and even more positive emotions attached to it. Eros is romantic love, while Ludus is playful love. Philia is a Greek word that is most often translated as “brotherly love,” though it can also be used to describe sisterly love, while love Storge is a subset of Philia. Philia affectionate love can also be describing loving kindness in a friendship. Storge is affectionate love among family members. Philautia refers to self-love. Pragma is everlasting love, and Agape is the unconditional love of God. All of these terms were used by the Ancient Greeks to describe love.

  1. How Do I Uncrush My Crush?

Here are some helpful tips to uncrush your crush. A crush sometimes means a loss of control, in the fact that you don’t know why you are crushing on someone, so you will need to take control back. To do this, talk about it, let it out, feel the pain, and let it go. You may be surprised at how much less pain you experience.

Another tip is to cut yourself off all communication media. This means doing everything short of going to the postal service and blocking mail from them. Spending more time doing what you enjoy will also make you forget about them. A beautiful tip again is to meet new people. With time, you will get over your crush. If it seems to be difficult, you might need to find a therapist, when you’re ready. A crush is like a hot-wired car without brakes: It can be fun for a bit, but if you hang on to it too long, it may cause trouble.

  1. How Do I Know If Am In Love?

You know you are in love when your feelings are influenced by the feelings of your partner. Depending on your love language, you may begin to act differently towards someone. You might engage in physical touch or expect to receive love back from them. You feel so high and so many emotions at the thought or mention of their name. You also may not be able to stop looking at them. You say sweet things to them in ways you cannot explain. You might not be able to explain the love you feel for them. These are telltale signs that you are in love.

However, there are still two sides to it. When you’re in love with someone, you will start to see more in the person. Sometimes you may start to observe an extension of yourself in that person. So, when they are excited, you may also become so excited. When they feel great sorrow, you also aren’t happy. So, at the end of the day, you try your best to comfort them even when you feel just the way they feel. If you have any issues, don’t hesitate to find a therapist that can help. A therapist may be able to help you understand your partner better, prevent emotional blackmail, and help you navigate modern love through all the stages of a relationship. Check out sites on love languages too, which can show you additional information about falling in love and how you may express it.

  1. How Long Does A Man’s Crush Last?

Some studies show that it lasts for as long as it takes for him to find another person to crush on. Most times, it takes an average of four months for a man to keep a crush. After that period of four months, a man typically assumes that the relationship is love. A crush is a strong combination of infatuation and idealization, sometimes related to a woman’s physical body. If a crush lasts for up to two years, the brain chemicals can cause some serious damages, and, in some cases, it may give complete satisfaction depending on how you see it. If your crush lasts for over two years, it’s best to find a therapist. When you find a therapist, you will find some help. If you feel like you are experiencing a crush and not love, and it gives you social anxiety, or sometimes leads to emotional blackmail, consider working with a therapist as soon as possible, so you can find a more familiar love or a healthier relationship.

12. What True Love Feels Like?

What Do People Really Mean When They Say 'I Love You'?

Great thinkers, poets, authors, and now neuroscientists have tried to figure out what love feels like. Love languages may determine what true love feels like for you. You may want to engage in physical touch or buy them little gifts. You have strong feelings for them and may feel like you want to spend every little moment with them. In fact, you may want to spend all your time and energy on them. You feel so safe and free when you have true love. It is possible to experience this different type of love. True love is very similar to selfless love; you would want anything and everything for your partner. The great thing about true love is the assurance of the way the other party sees you. True love is a familiar type of love that should last for a long period of time. There will be a specific type of love catalyst flying around—like a thought message sent into the night—when there’s that kind of love.

A catalyst is anything that speeds up action. A love catalyst is an element that speeds up the feeling of love. When a love catalyst acts, there is a part of oneself that builds your experience with a type of love. So, once there is that part of you created by the love catalyst, you will tend to keep falling in love with that person. In no way is true love affiliated to obsessive love. For example, a love catalyst acts on self-love through the soul. As for affectionate love, the love catalyst works through the mind.

  1. Can True Love Fade Away?

True love is usually not one of those fleeting, transient behaviors. True love cannot fade away easily. It lasts long and remains for almost forever. It is the central foundation for a strong relationship. Agape love, which is unconditional love is an example of true love. True love is long term and does not vanish. It is one of the forms of love that stands the test of time. In essence, true love is a very strong and long-lasting feeling that develops between couples or lovers. On most occasions, those relationships are usually happy, fulfilling, and passionate. So, it’s a myth that true love fades away.

Most times, the case may be that you were never really in love with that person. For example, if you approach Valentine’s Day or your anniversary with dread, or if you find your husband hates everything you do, or can’t be bothered anymore to show you that he loves you, you might want to rethink if you are experiencing true love—or if you just need to work on your love language with each other. You can never fall in deep and unconditional love with a person unless there is a level of familiarity. If you feel you need to find a therapist to help, please don’t hesitate to take a step. When you find a therapist, they can help you through it all and help you work on love languages in your relationship.

  1. Is Love A Choice?

Love is beyond feelings. It may begin with feelings or physical attraction, but it is a choice you have to make every day of life. You may love pizza effortlessly, but loving a person can take work. Sometimes a love catalyst may be of help. A love catalyst simply fastens the process of love; sometimes, a love catalyst improves the state of love in lovers or couples. You may not have that feeling of falling in love every day, but you need to stand by your choice to love your partner each day. Remember that a relationship could start off on Eros and Ludus but may end up revolving into Pragma. Yet, it is yours to choose. The Ancient Greeks were able to put love into various categories, which may be harder to do in real life. This is why you might want to do some research into love languages, and the Ancient Greeks when you are trying to learn more about all the types of love.

Love is a choice. Unlike feelings, you have to decide and choose to love someone for the rest of your life, especially if you are married to that person. On most occasions, a love catalyst may help in developing your love for your partner. For you to keep love alive, you have to work to make that happen. The Greeks thought that they had love figured out, so you may want to start doing the same.

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