6 different loves, according to the ancient Greeks
Love: it’s an interesting topic about which the most divergent opinions exist. Maybe you believe in the one, or that several people suit you. However, besides different views, there are also other forms of love. The ancient Greeks looked at the meaning of love more broadly.
The Greeks distinguished 6 forms of love, not all of which are romantic. According to them, the different kinds of love were aimed at different types of people, family and friends, and yourself. You may have more love in your life than you think.
Six different loves
Love doesn’t always have to be aimed at a partner with whom you are in a romantic relationship. There are many different kinds of love.
Eros, or s*xual passion
The first form of love was Eros, named after the Greek god of fertility, and it reflected the idea of sexual passion and desire. But the Greeks did not always see it as something positive, as we do today. Eros was seen as a threatening, fiery and irrational form of love that could be seized.
Eros caused a loss of control, which frightened the Greeks. This is strange because losing control is exactly what many people are looking for in relationships these days. Don’t we hope to “madly” fall in love?
Philia, or deep friendship
As mentioned, love is not always about a partner. Love for your friends is just as important as romantic love. That’s why there’s Philia: deep friendship or comradeship. Philia is sincere and spiritual, the kind of love you feel for a close friend.
To the Greeks, this was more valuable than Eros. Loyalty, equality, and honesty are aspects that are typical for Philia.
Ludus, or playful love
Ludus is playful love, able to escape from daily worries. Young people in love are a typical example of Ludus, but you can also think of going out and flirting in the pub, laughing together, and above all: playfulness.
Precisely Ludus can be important for your well-being, according to psychologists. Every day we are expected to adhere to social norms, but specifically, because Ludus, and playful behavior, goes against this, it can be good for you. People who are playful and happy have a contagious effect.
Agape, or love for all
Love for all, that’s what Agape is. Agape is unconditional. You can also feel love for people you don’t know, in addition to the people in your immediate environment. Do you ever do something for someone else without expecting anything in return, something completely selfless? Then you have just experienced Agape!
C.S. Lewis called this “the gift of love,” the highest form of Christian love. But this also manifests itself in other religious traditions, such as the idea of metta or “universal loving-kindness” in Theravada Buddhism.
It is an all-encompassing love based on human solidarity. We are all here together, after all.
Pragma, or old love
This might well be the opposite of Ludus. Have you been married for a long time, or have you been in a relationship with someone for a long time? Then there is a good chance that you have already developed this form of love with your partner. It is an adult form of love. You give, and you take; you work together as a team to overcome the daily obstacles.
Pragma requires investment. Certain things are necessary to build a stable home situation. Think patience, compromise, and tolerance. This is all part of Pragma and a mature relationship.
Philautia, or self-love
This should, of course, not be forgotten! Philautia is all about yourself and about self-love. Is that selfish? No, not at all. Self-love makes for a good life. By having respect for yourself, you ensure that you can grow personally.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle had also discovered a positive form. Feelings of affection, he said, stemmed from loving feelings for oneself. This form of love is therefore also important for the above species!
Now that you know these 6 types of love, you may know that you have more love in your life than you think! That love is not always romantic; friends and even strangers are just as important.