Love is a fulfilling feeling and is necessary for all of us. No human can remain untouched by love in his/her entire lifetime. It is not limited to romantic partners but parents-children, siblings, friends, etc. It may knock on your doors in one form or another. We love people for who they are, their love for us, or because we belong to one family. There could be various reasons for loving someone.
But what is love? Is it the feeling of having butterflies in your stomach or the happiness of being around your loved ones? If you look at the definition of love, you will find a plethora of them. But do you know not all love is the same? Though each form of love brings equal happiness, satisfaction, and peace to you, it differs significantly. To understand what love is, you must know different types of love. In ancient Greek, there were several words for different types of love.
Greeks studied each type of love and named them accordingly. So let me introduce you to the different kinds of love you may come across in a lifetime.
1. Eros: Eros love is about romance, physical affection, attraction, and passion towards someone. It is about desiring someone’s love and their physical body. People usually show their eros love for someone through hugging, kissing, holding hands, and so on. Eros love forms the base for the beginning of a romantic relationship between two individuals. Hormones play the role of catalysts for eros love between two people.
2. Philia: Philia love is platonic and is usually a brotherly or friendly bond. It is often between family members or people you are close to. You may have a philia love for your friend or your distant cousins. You generally feel Philia for people who share the same beliefs, opinions, and thoughts as you. Separation from these people or breaking ties with them may cause pain as intense as ending a romantic relationship.
3. Pragma: Pragma is the mature love that evolves slowly and gradually. It is practical and understands commitment, dedication, and duty. Pragma love is mostly between people having arranged marriages or long-standing relationships. When you see old couples who have been together for years, it is because they share Pragma. Contrary to ‘falling in love’, Pragma is about ‘standing together in love’.
To experience Pragma, you require commitment, respect, dedication, compassion, and empathy for your partner. Usually, couples evolve to achieve a passionate, compassionate, nurturing, and fulfilling relationship.
4. Storage: Storage love is between family members, family friends, and close childhood friends. It may seem familiar to Philia except for one thing that storage love forms upon emotional connection and acceptance. Examples of storage love are the bond between parents and children, childhood best friends, people, and their pets. Storage love is deeply rooted in our memories and is protective. It grows over time as you create memories.
5. Ludus: Ludus love is the fun and flirtatious love seen between couples during the early stages of their relationship. It is the uncommitted love that involves hanging out together, dancing, teasing, laughing, going on dates, etc. The center of this kind of love is fun and may include no strings attached. You can understand it as the honeymoon phase in an intimate relationship. One’s emotions play the role of catalyst in the type of love.
6. Agape: Have you ever come across people full of selfless love for society, people, nature, and animals? This type of love is known as Agape, and it is the noblest love one can offer to others. Agape love is having compassion and empathy for all. It is universal love and comes to one without any question.
This type of love motivates one to serve humanity, society, nature, etc. You must have seen people adopting children and raising them as their own or giving free service to the poor. Examples of agape love can be Sir Ratan Tata, Late actor Puneeth Rajkumar or soldiers who guard the borders. One’s spirit acts as a catalyst for agape love.
7. Philautia: Philautia is the healthy kind of love that enables one to know himself/herself. It emphasizes self-love and self-compassion and promotes the relationship we have with ourselves. Philautia helps us in acknowledging self-worth, strength, weaknesses, and self-esteem. A person who is not capable of Philautia can never love any other person.
There is also an unhealthy form of Philautia, known as hubris, leading to destruction and chaos. Hubris develops in people who are arrogant and have achieved success through arrogance and unfair means. They tend to cause problems for people around them. One of the best examples of hubris is corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.
8. Mania: Mania is an obsessive love towards someone or something, usually a partner. Mania gives birth to toxicity, jealousy, codependency, and possessiveness. It is caused due to improper balance of emotions and affection from one individual towards the other. Once into mania, it is difficult to trace back your steps. One may hurt his/her partner.
An example of Mania love is Viraj from the famous Hindi TV serial, SauBhagyawati Bhava! Experts believe that the imbalance of eros and Ludus can cause mania in people.
9. Meraki: Meraki love is one of the interesting types of love. It is about doing something with utmost devotion and passion so that you do not get distracted by any means. Meraki love brings spiritual satisfaction and eternal peace in one’s life. If you are wondering who could have ever felt Meraki, you need to know about Meerabai. She was an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna so much so that she drank poison, and it did not affect her.
Several artists and people do things by putting their entire soul, undivided attention, and creativity. Perhaps, Late Singer Lata Mangeshkar too was an example of a person with Meraki Love.
One may feel love in a different manner depending upon the people around them. Still, there are certain combinations of love widely seen among people. These are:
Eros, Pragma, and Ludus for a romantic relationship
Storage and Philia for friendship.
Philia, Agape, and Storage for family members.
Philautia and Agape for self-love and others.
Now that you have known the types of love, which one would you choose and why? Let me know in the comment section.
Prerna loves to write and shower love on animals. She enjoys reading and exploring places. Though sweet in her pictures, at times, she is difficult to understand. Being a strong believer in hard work and karma, she loves solitude and peace. Apart from this, she loves petrichor and harmony and wishes to achieve her one and only ataraxia for a lifetime.