The 7 Kinds Of Love

Hey everyone,

I feel the need to talk about love and the different kinds of love. I don’t know why but I hope this helps someone. A lot of this is available on Wikipedia but I have just put it all in one place for you!

The ancient Greeks had various words to describe “love” and the various forms it comes in. Let’s have a look at the first one in no particular order:

1), Agápe (ἀγάπη)

Agápe (ἀγάπη) – love: esp. charity; the love of God for man and of man for a good God (Liddell and Scott 2010, p.4). Agape is used in ancient texts to denote feelings for one’s children and the feelings for a spouse. Also, used by Christians to express the unconditional love of God for his children (Romans 5:5; 5:8) (Wikipedia 2019, Greek words for love). In his book The Four Loves (1960), C. S. Lewis describes this as the love that exists regardless of changing circumstances and recognizes this selfless love as the greatest of the four loves and a specifically Christian virtue to achieve (Wikipedia 2019, The Four Loves).

Canadian psychologist John Alan Lee wrote a set of typologies about love (types of things) in his book Colours of Love: An Exploration of the Ways of Loving (1973) and these are Lee’s recognizable traits of a person exhibiting this kind of love:

  • Attracted to several types of people
  • Meets people easily so most likely will begin with a stranger
  • Feels concern and care for each partner they have
  • Is neither jealous nor obsessive
  • Enjoys sex and is willing to improve it (Sternberg 1988, p.48) (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love).

2.) Éros (ἔρως)

Éros (ἔρως) – love, mostly of the sexual passion (Liddell and Scott 2019, ἔρως) The Modern Greek word “erotas” means “intimate love”. In the Symposium (360 B.C.), the most famous ancient work on the subject, Plato has Socrates argue that eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and understanding of spiritual truth, the ideal “Form” of youthful beauty that leads us humans to feel erotic desire, that is, finding its truth, just like finding any truth, leads to transcendence (Plato 1973) (360 B.C.) (Wikipedia 2019, Greek words for love). Lewis saw this love in the sense of “being in love” or “loving” someone, as opposed to raw sexuality (Lewis 1960, pp.108-109). Additionally, Lewis also warned against the modern tendency for Eros to become a god to people, a justification for selfishness and even a phallic religion (Lewis 1960 pp.127-132, 113). After exploring sexual activity he also notes how Eros (or being in love) is in itself an indifferent, neutral force (Lewis 1960, p.124) (Wikipedia 2019, The Four Loves).

Lee’s recognizable traits of a person exhibiting this kind of love:

  • Feels strong physical and emotional connection through the relationship
  • Begins with a partner who is a stranger and evokes immediate excitement
  • May be exclusive but not possessive
  • Seeks early sexual adventure, variety and technique
  • Is ready for love and its risks (Sternberg 1988, p.51) (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love).

3.) Philia (φιλία philía)

Philia (φιλία philía) – affectionate regard, friendship, usually between equals (Liddell and Scott 2019, φιλία). It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle (Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy 2014). In his work on ethics, Nicomachean Ethics (350 B.C.), Philia is expressed variously as loyalty to friends, family and community and requires virtue, equality, and familiarity (Wikipedia 2019, Greek words for love). In the same fashion Lewis saw Philia as the friendship love also and a strong bond existing between people who share common values, interests or activities (Hooper 1996, p.654). Lewis differentiates friendship love from the other loves describing it as “…the least biological, organic, instinctive, gregarious and necessary…the least natural of loves” (Lewis 1960, p.70). He expresses a strong distaste for the way modern society ignores friendship and felt that few people in modern society could value at its worth, as so few actually experienced true friendship (Lewis 1960, pp.77, 84–85, 70) (Wikipedia 2019, The Four Loves).

Storge is also used to describe this kind of love and Lee uses it instead of Philia so does not provide recognizable traits of a person exhibiting this kind of love (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love). See below for Lee’s recognizable traits for a person exhibiting Storge.

4.) Storge (στοργή)

Storge (στοργή storgē) – love, affection and especially of parents and children (Liddell and Scott 2019, στοργή). It is the common or natural empathy, like that felt by parents for offspring (Strong et al 2008, p.228). Rarely used in ancient works and even then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family. It is also known to express putting up with situations, as in “loving” the tyrant. This is also used when referencing the love for one’s country or sports team (Wikipedia 2019, Greek words for love). Lewis has an interesting take on this kind of love, describing it as liking someone through the fondness of familiarity, for example, the natural love and affection of a parent for their child. Lewis describes this as the most natural, emotive and widely diffused of loves. Natural because it is present without coercion, emotive because it is the result of fondness due to familiarity and most widely diffused because it pays the least attention to those characteristics deemed worthy of love and as a result, able to transcend most discriminating factors (Wikipedia 2019, The Four Loves).

Lee’s recognizable traits of a person exhibiting this kind of love:

  • Is not looking for love but is ready if encountered
  • Quietly possessive but not overly jealous
  • Believes love comes from friendship but not a goal of life
  • Only has sexual desires after commitment is declared (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love).

5.) Ludus

Ludus – “game” in Latin (hence the name of the game Ludo, remember that? Old Schooool! Totally showing my age!!! lol). Lee uses the term to describe those who see love as a desiring to want to have fun with each other, to do activities, tease, indulge and play harmless pranks on each other (like me lol). The acquisition of love and attention itself may be part of the game (Lee 1973, p.16) (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love).

Lee’s recognizable traits of a person exhibiting this kind of love:

  • Ludic lovers want to have as much fun as possible.
  • When they are not seeking a stable relationship, they rarely or never become overly involved with one partner and often can have more than one partner at a time.
  • They don’t reveal their true thoughts and feelings to their partner, especially if they think they can gain some kind of advantage over their partner. The expectation may also be that the partner is also similarly minded.
  • If a relationship materializes it would be about having fun and indulging in activities together.
  • This love style carries the likelihood of infidelity.
  • In its most extreme form, Ludic love can become sexual addiction (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love).

6.) Mania

Mania – from the Latin for “mental disorder”, from which we get the term “manic” or mainiac! Lee defines manic love as flowing out of a desire to hold one’s partner in high esteem and wanting to love and be loved in this way. This type of love leads a partner into a type of madness and obsession. It is a mix between Ludus and Eros.

Manic lovers speak of their partners in possessives and feel they “need” their partners. Love is a means of rescue or a reinforcement of value. Manic lovers value finding a partner through chance without prior knowledge of financial, educational, or personality dispositions.

Insufficient expression of the love of mania by one’s partner can cause one to perceive the partner as aloof, materialistic and detached. Lewis doesn’t go into this in the book, probably because Mania isn’t love at all.

Lee’s recognizable traits of a person exhibiting this kind of love:

  • Anxious about falling in love and has expectations of pain
  • Quickly becomes overwhelmed by thoughts of their partner
  • Forces partner into showing affection and emotion
  • Is easily frustrated and does not enjoy sexual intimacy
  • Is very possessive and jealous (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love).

7.) Pragma

Pragma – from a Greek term meaning “businesslike”. Lee defines Pragma as the most practical type of love and not necessarily derived out of true romantic love, rather, Pragma is a convenient type of love.

Pragmatic lovers have a notion of being of service, which they perceive to be rational and realistic. This also translates to having expectations of a partner and of the relationship. They tend to select and reject partners based on what they perceive as desirable, compatible traits. Pragmatic lovers want to find value in their partners, and ultimately want to work with their partner to reach a common goal. The practicality and realism of pragmatic love often aides longevity of the relationship, as long as common goals and values remain shared for the duration.

In a culture where arranged marriage is practiced, pragmatic love is very common at the time of mate selection. Values are likely to be shared by a couple in developing countries, where survival and wealth building are often prioritized over other life pursuits.

Lee’s recognizable traits:

  • Certain of their preferable “types”
  • Begins a relationship with an already familiar person
  • Believes a loving relationship is desirable for a happy life
  • Expects reciprocation of feelings
  • Believes sexual compatibility can be worked out (Sternberg 1988, p.51).

Further Theories On Love By C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis distinguishes between three main kinds of love Need/Gift Love, Pleasure and Appreciation Love.

Need- Love and Gift- Love
Need-Love – as the love of a child for its mother. However, a child’s need for parental comfort is a necessity, not a selfish indulgence. Gift-Love – epitomized by God’s love for humanity to the disparagement of the former (Lewis 1960, pp.9-12).

Pleasure and Appreciation Love
Lewis distinguishes Need-Pleasures e.g. such as water for the thirsty from Pleasures of Appreciation, such as the love of nature (Lewis 1960, pp.20; 27) from the latter. He developed what he called “a third element in love … Appreciative love” (Lewis 1960, p.26) to go along with Need-love and Gift-love (Wikipedia 2019, The Four Loves).

In my mind I rationalise it like this – Need/Gift Love is “I need you”. Need-Pleasure Love is “I want you” and Pleasure/Appreciation Love is “I want you because I need you”.

Catherine’s Thoughts On The Matter

I think I personally am a mixture of a couple of those loves, they show what I have said for ages. Love is an emotion that comes from being physically around someone. Real loves is bourne out of real life situations. Sometimes what you are feeling is not love at all it’s Maaaanniiiiaaa! Simple Ludus or Pure unadulterated Eros!

So back to my point that I keep on going on and on and on about…

You cannot fall in love with someone purely based on your interaction with them online. If you have not met them in person and do not have a real life physical rapport with them, it’s not love. You are in love with the idea of them, as without meeting them in real life, you cannot possibly know who or what they actually are. Your relationship is with your computer or smartphone via WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook or even WordPress!

Do you find that when you see those little notifications from that person you have been stalking online ahem *cough* I mean that person you chat to online… that you begin to get a bit turned on? It’s not because you are truly in love with that person. You just enjoy the rush of interacting with them or stalking them online and you have conditioned your brain to receive pleasure from that kind of interaction, instead of interaction with a human face to face.

It’s not my place to judge why people do these things, I am just pointing out the flaws in such interaction. I’m just saying, God made humans as two naked people. Naked to show the intimacy and transparency that comes from real friendships.

Genesis 2:21-25 [NLT]
“So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. [22] Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. [23] “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'” [24] This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. [25] Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.”

God didn’t make Adam and a computer screen with Eve sitting in some other part of the Garden of Eden. Humans are supposed to be relational and together, face to face, more often than not. Online interaction is not a substitute for real life relationships.

Follow this link to read my previous blog post on this issue, it’s important > Can you fall in #love with someone #online? #onlinedating #communication #internet #relationships

Catherine x (do not misinterpret that as a kiss…)

Bibliography

Books

Hooper, W. 1996. C. S. Lewis: A Companion & Guide. United Kingdom: Harper Collins Pub Ltd

Lee, J. A. 1973. Colours of Love: An Exploration of the Ways of Loving. Toronto: New Press.

Lewis, C. S. 1960. The Four Loves. London: Geoffrey Bles

Liddell, H. G. and R. Scott. 2010. An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon: Founded Upon The Seventh Edition Of Liddell And Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon. United Kingdom: Benediction Classics.

Plato. 1973. The Symposium. W. Hamilton Trans. 1973. Repr. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Sternberg, R. J. 1988. Triangulating Love. In The Psychology Of Love, R. J. Sternberg & M. Barnes eds, pp.119–138. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Strong B, W., L. Yarber, B. W. Sayad and C. Devault. 2008. Human sexuality: diversity in contemporary America. 6th edn. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Websites

Aristotle. 350 B.C. ‘Nicomachean Ethics. Trans W. D. Ross’ The Internet Classics Archive Web site, at: <http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.8.viii.html&gt; 02 May 2019

Internet Encyclopaedia Of Philosophy. 2014. ‘b. Philia’ Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy Web site, at: <https://www.iep.utm.edu/love/#SH1b&gt; 24 August 2014.

Liddell, H. G. and R. Scott. 2019. ‘ἔρως’ Perseus Web site, at: <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3De)%2Frws> 02 May 2019

Liddell H. G. and R. Scott. 2019. ‘στοργή’ Perseus Web site, at: <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Dfili%2Fa&gt; 02 May 2019

Liddell H. G. and R. Scott. 2019. ‘φιλία’ Perseus Web site, at: <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Dfili%2Fa&gt; 02 May 2019

Plato. 360 B.C. ‘Symposium. Trans. B. Jowett.’, The Internet Classics Archive Web site, at: <http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/symposium.html&gt; 02 May 2019

Wikipedia. 2019. ‘Color wheel theory of love’, Wikipedia Web site, at: <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_wheel_theory_of_love&gt; 01 May 2019

Wikipedia. 2019. ‘Greek word for love’, Wikipedia Web site, at: <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_words_for_love&gt; 1 May 2019

Wikipedia. 2019. ‘The Four Loves’ Wikipedia Web site, at: <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Four_Loves&gt; 01 May 2019

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