These Are the 7 Types of Love (According to Ancient Greek Philosophy)

As you've moved through life, you've probably realized that love is a complex and multifaceted thing.

The love you have for your parents and siblings is different from the love you have for your best friends, and all of those are very different from the love you have for a person you're dating. It might be easy to say "I love you" to your mom or your bestie, but nearly impossible to say it to your S.O. What's that all about?

Well, the ancient Greeks actually divided love up into seven distinct categories, all with their own unique names, and situations in which they apply. What kind of love do you hold for your loved ones? Keep reading to find out about each one.

1. Eros

Out of all of the ancient Greek concepts of love, eros might be closest to our modern definition of romantic love. It's love based on the physical, which encompasses both attraction and falling in love with people based on their looks, and the urge to be with people physically. It's often a fiery and passionate kind of love most indicative of the early, honeymoon stages of a relationship. When relationships are based entirely on eros, they have a tendency to not last. However, eros often does evolve into other types of more enduring love.

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2. Philia

If you've ever heard the city of Philadelphia referred to as "the city of brotherly love," then you've almost heard of the concept of philia. This is a type of non-romantic love that you feel for your family members and closest friends. It's built on shared experiences, togetherness and trust in one another. It's a platonic, selfless kind of love, which the ancient Greeks believed to be more valuable than eros.


3. Storge

Storge is another form of familial love. While it's been described as the unconditional love that parents have for their children, it can also more broadly describe any strong family bond, the commitment a person has to their nations, or even teams and groups they're members of. Storge is all amount community and kinship, and it's what allows children to grow and thrive in a secure, encouraging environment.

Shutterstock: Portrait of young sisters hugging and kissing outdoors in a park.

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4. Agape

Agape is a love for the universe and all of its creations, and it might be one of the most beautiful forms of love on this list. It also means different things for different people. While some might cherish the gifts of nature, others might find love in spirituality or religion, or the mere existence of life on earth. It's being in awe of existence, and not expecting anything in return for this love. Those who practice agape are said to be very selfless and generous.


5. Ludus

Ludus is an interesting form of love, because under modern terms, we probably wouldn't call it love at all. It's the flirty, playful early stage of meeting someone new, and it's not expected to develop into anything further than that. It includes flings and hook-ups, without any pressure to keep the relationship going beyond that, and is characterized by excitement and freedom.


6. Pragma

Of all of the forms of love we share with others, pragma is the one that's most long-lasting. It's the name given to couples who've been together for a very long time, whether they're married or just in a long-lived relationship. This is the most developed of the types of love, since it's always growing, and only thrives if both parties foster and nourish it. Pragma is often built on a combination of philia and eros. After all, these types of love are not at all exclusive.


7. Philautia

Last, but definitely not least, is philautia, or the love for the self. Of all the types of love, it might actually be the most important, because no matter what goes on in your life, you'll always have your self. A healthy amount of philautia will bring confidence and a sense of self-esteem, while too much of it can lead to narcissistic behavior. Even so, learning to love yourself is essential to personal happiness, and cherishing what you love about yourself will allow you to lead your best life.

Shutterstock: Young beautiful chinese woman wearing casual sweater over isolated white background Hugging oneself happy and positive, smiling confident. Self love and self care

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How do you connect with your crush? Click HERE to find out how to effectively speak your crush's love languages.