There’s more to love than romance. According to Psychology Today, there are seven types of love: Eros, Phila, Storge, Agape, Ludus, Pragma, and Philautia. Quite honestly, I had never heard of many of them. However, after reading the article, These Are the 7 Types of Love, I came to a conclusion.
I’ve decided that all seven types of love are wrapped together in the most perfect love. Eros is the passionate, sexual experience of lovers. It is fiery–inflaming the hearts and minds of those involved. Often the initial attraction we have to someone comes from eros. However, that initial passion often does not and, perhaps, should not last forever. Yes, that flame will burn throughout the years. However, it would be naive to think that it could continue perpetually unabated.
Phila, or friendship, in large part is what holds a loving relationship together. Friends share their joys and sorrows. They’re able to talk for hours on end or sit in comfortable silence. If you can honestly say that you’re married to your best friend, you’re one lucky gal.
The familial, dependent love of storge might seem inappropriate for a loving couple. However, if you had seen the way my mother-in-law cared for her husband of over fifty years when he was stricken with Alzheimer’s disease, you would likely change your mind.
To me, universal, agape, love is akin to unconditional love. It’s a love that understands that sometimes we need to put our self-interest on hold. Altruism is associated with agape love. And although we may think that coming to the aid of someone we might not even know as being altruistic, I believe this is a love needed at the center of every happy home.
Ludus is a playful love. Maybe we forget how much fun it is to flirt with and subsequently seduce the man you’ve been married to for many years. Perhaps it is the teasing fun of young love that so many miss as the months become years. Somehow, it makes me smile to just think about how much fun this type of love can be.
Arranged marriages still happen, though not as often as in the past. And this is the love referred to as pragma. Yet even those couples that start out as strangers often grow to love one another in many other ways. In fact, these types of love stories have been some of my favorites throughout the years.
Of course, without self-love, or philautia, there is no love. I still agree with the old Whitney Houston song … “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.” We can only give out what we have inside.