Knowing The 6 Types Of Love Can Improve Your Relationships
Updated August 29, 2019
Reviewer Lauren Guilbeault
It's not a secret that there is more than one type of love. You can love your family and friends, and of course, we are all aware of romantic love. But the Ancient Greeks identified 6 types of love, and they are all easily recognizable by modern people. Learning the different kinds of love can help you improve relationships across multiple aspects of your life.
What Are The 6 Types Of Love?
Altruistic Love (Agape)
When you give to others, you are displaying selfless or altruistic love called "agape" by the Ancient Greeks. It can be shown in multiple types of relationships, but it is most common between parents and children. Many parents will attempt patience and giving, making sacrifices in order to put their children first. However, you can also show this type of love to a friend or romantic partner. Some people have a tendency to love through patience and giving. They enjoy giving more than receiving.
Infatuated, Playful Love (ludus)
One could argue that this isn't actually a form of love at all. Infatuated love requires no commitment between partners, but the individuals involved have passion and desire for each other. They enjoy activities together, but are not in for a long-term relationship. Of course, it is possible for playful love to evolve into another form of love, even without sacrificing the passion.
Companion Love (Storge)
Many close friendships display this kind of love. It involves a close connection in which two people care about each other and offer emotional support. Friends who also have commitment to one another but has no romantic passion also fall in this type. Sometimes romantic partners experience this type of love that involves caring and commitment but lacks passion.
Romantic Love (Eros)
If you have fallen in love, then, you have experienced romantic love. This is characterized by both intimacy (being emotionally close to each other) and attraction (whether physical, mental, or both). It is the type of love that many people seem to seek out the most. Successful romantic relationships depend on both partners feeling romantic love for each other. This type of love can also combine with commitment to create a stable, long-term relationship.
Obsessive Love (Mania)
Obsessive love is not healthy and often involves jealousy and controlling behavior. The person experiencing this may feel that they truly love the other person, but the object of their love often begins to see the unhealthy quality of this love and rejects them. It is difficult to maintain a stable and happy relationships with obsessive love.
Practical Love (Pragma)
Two people can make a commitment to one another without necessarily having intimacy or passion. In fact, many alternative marriage arrangements involve this kind of family commitment between friends or partners who do not feel romantic towards one another. And sometimes romantic relationships or friendships wind down to this type of predictable commitment.
Relationships Improve Your Life
Note that more than one of the 6 types of love can exist in one relationship, or the same relationship can fluctuate between types of love over time. By recognizing the different flavors of love, you can fill your life with multiple fulfilling relationships, even if you aren't currently in a romantic partnership. If you're having serious trouble with relationships in your life, try speaking with a professional therapist.