How Do the Different Types Of Love Affect Everyday Relationships?

Updated March 19, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

When you think of love, you probably think of someone specific and the way you feel about them. You may think about the love you have for a child or the love you have for your partner. You may, however, not think about the many different ways that we love the people around us. It’s not all about the type of relationship we have with someone. It can also be about a great deal more than that. So, what are the various types of love that are out there?

Want to cultivate all the types of love in your relationship?

Types of love

There are eight different kinds of love we'll look at below. These were the types of love the ancient Greeks observed and recorded. Consider the relationships you have in your life and where those fit in with these kinds of love.

Eros – sexual love

When it comes to the love that we have with our partner, it’s comprised partially of sexual love. In ancient mythology, sexual love was a type of madness that Cupid, the god of love, caused people to feel. In fact, in many instances, Cupid is depicted as making people fall in love even against their will, yet the love is so powerful and passionate that there is nothing they can do about it. With this type of love, there’s often a romantic aspect to it alongside the sexual aspect. This type of love can often burn out if it isn't complemented by another type of love.

Philia – friendship love

That feeling you have for your friends where you care about them and enjoy having them around is another type of love. It’s a familial love that’s a little different from what you feel for a brother or sister, but closer to that than the sexual love we just discussed. It comes from a foundation of trust, companionship, and even dependability. We have a connection with our friends and we care for them, while they care for us. This type of love can also coexist with eros and in all healthy and strong relationships.

Storge – familial love

This is the love that you feel for your children, for example. This type of love is based on simply being there and being familiar. It has nothing to do with specific qualities, interactions, or even a sense of someone being good in general. This is a love that exists simply because the person is there. This means that no matter what a person you feel storge love for may do, you will feel love toward them. That love does not change based on actions or inactions from the individual. You can also feel this type of love with close friends or other members of your family.

Agape – universal love

If you have a religion or if you have a strong bond with nature or specific charities or organizations, you feel a sense of love toward them in a way that has nothing to do with familiarity, characteristics, or anything else. You feel the love in a general sense, and therefore, it is considered a separate type of love compared to everything else we’ve discussed. With this type of love, you feel a sense of altruism, and that altruism can lead you to feel important, helpful, and better about yourself in general.

Ludus – uncommitted love

When you feel a sense of fun in your relationship rather than a sense of longevity or purposefulness, it’s a ludus type of love. This is the love that you experience when you’re simply having fun with someone and not necessarily attempting to form a long-term relationship with them. When you’re flirting and having some fun, even in a romantic way, this is the type of love you experience. Many might not even consider it a type of love at all, but it plays a role in your life and makes things more interesting, as long as both parties feel the same way.

Pragma – practical love

One way to think about pragma love is to compare it to the days of arranged marriages when couples would often not even meet before they were married. It is not an overly romantic style of love, but it is comfortable. Those who have been married for a long time may also experience this type of love.

Philautia – self-love

Want to cultivate all the types of love in your relationship?

This is a crucial part of your ability to live a healthy and happy life. Being able to love yourself, no matter what may be happening in your life, will always be important to properly enjoy your life. Being too full of yourself is not a healthy type of love, but neither is putting yourself down too much. It’s important to have a sense of belief in yourself and your abilities, status, and accomplishments that is balanced. Finding this balance can sometimes be difficult, but it relates to self-esteem, self-confidence, and overall physical health.

Mania – obsessive love

This type of love is characterized by an imbalance between parties. One person may want constant attention from another or be forcing too much (unwanted) attention on another person. In a relationship, mania love can lead to jealousy or possessiveness. This kind of love is not healthy.

Online therapy for restoring relationship health

If you struggle with self-love or any other type of love, you may want to seek professional help to work towards a healthier future for yourself. Getting professional help can allow you to express your thoughts and feelings comfortably and healthily and allow you to start a healthy and happy future. Whether you are currently in a relationship, just getting out of one, looking for something, or just focusing on your wellbeing, it’s important to speak with a professional to find out more about the types of love and how they affect you.

Regain is one way that you can reach out to a professional that you can feel comfortable with. With this service, you can get online and connect with a therapist located anywhere in the country without regard to their physical location (or yours). Then, you just set up your appointment and sign in to your online account when it’s time. Just like that, you’re connected, and you can have your session without ever having to leave your home.

Online therapy can be very beneficial for those seeking help with their mental health. Working with a therapist online can be just as effective as working with one in person. An online therapist can help you manage anxiety or depression—or any other condition that may be affecting your relationships with those you love.

Love can be hard to find and hard to keep. Sometimes you have to work on your relationship, even if there's love there. Know that you don't have to do that work alone.

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