Understanding Types Of Love And How To Love Your Partner

By Stephanie Kirby

Updated July 12, 2019

When it comes to love, seven different types greatly affect the way that we live our lives and the way that we relate to the significant people in our lives. While we generally only think of one kind of love, the love we have for a significant other, more types are just as important in our lives. If you don't have all of them, it can lead to deficiencies in your life, but there is something you can do about it.

When you have a better understanding of the types of love, it will help you to spot areas in your relationship that could use a little work. The happiest and most successful of relationships are where they are because they know that love is not just a one-size fit all thing. "True love" is made up of many different kinds of love, and when they are working together, relationships benefit greatly. Understanding these types of love will help you to see areas that you are doing well as a couple and areas that could use a little work.

Understanding Types Of Love

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Self-Love-Philautia

This is, quite possibly, the most important type of love that is out there. If you don't love yourself and have self-esteem, self-confidence, and belief in yourself, then it's nearly impossible to truly love someone else. This is your starting place, and it's extremely important for your overall health and your wellbeing.

It involves having a healthy sense of your importance, capabilities, status, and more. It means that you believe in yourself and your ability to accomplish things, but don't think of yourself as being above anyone else or better than anyone.

If you are struggling with self-love, it causes you to have low self-esteem. This means that you think negatively about yourself, which causes you to think that others are thinking negatively about you as well. This makes it difficult to be in a relationship with someone else because you will continue to put your negative thoughts about yourself on to them. For example, if you don't like the way you look, you may constantly feel that they don't like the way you look either even though that might be completely untrue.

Practical Love-Pragma

This word probably makes you think of 'pragmatic,' and there's a reason for that. It's actually about practical love. Love that develops or occurs because it is comfortable. You may feel a Pragma form of love for someone that you've been around a lot and who shares your same goals, has similar or preferential qualities or who is very compatible with you.

It's a type of love that frequently exists in arranged marriages where the couples would come to care for one another but not necessarily fall into what we would consider an 'average' type of love.

This is an important type of love that helps couples to make it through difficult times. Many times you may hear couples say that they 'just don't love each other anymore.' In reality, many of these couples don't have anything in common with each other anymore because they haven't worked to keep that present in their marriage. They have allowed themselves to grow apart.

Uncommitted Love-Ludus

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With this type of love, you're engaging in a little more fun. It's about just getting out there and enjoying yourself with a partner rather than looking for anything too serious. You might flirt, seduce, or anything else in a non-committal way. You're looking to just spend a little while with someone, which could be a one night stand or it could be a short-term relationship that you don't expect to last. It's going to be entirely up to you, but it's important that both parties understand what you're getting into here.

This can turn into more, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it will. This can be problematic if one person has feelings that continue to develop, and the other does not.

Universal Love-Agape

The love you have for the world around you, your god, or just the people who exist (the ones you don't know) is considered a universal love. It's not the same as what you feel for your friends and family. It's not even the same as what you feel for those short-term relationships we just talked about. Instead, it's an altruistic type of love that leads you to do things for other people for no reason other than just to help those people. It's about doing something nice and just enjoying what you can do for others.

Familial Love-Storge

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The love that you feel for your family is an important part of your overall psyche as well. It's a type of love that is based only on being familiar with the person or being dependent on them. It has absolutely nothing to do with their traits (good or bad), their overall personality or anything else about them. You simply feel the way that you feel because they are there. This is a type of love that is extremely important to receive as well, and it happens instinctively. We feel it by instinct without ever having to try for it at all.

However, you want to make sure that you don't allow your relationship to get to the point where this is the only type of love you are surviving on.

Friendly Love-Philia

This may have you thinking about Philadelphia and right so. It's the city of "Brotherly Love."

The love you feel for your friends is important to you as well. You have people that you are close to and care about. The type of love that goes along with this is very important and shows you have a level of companionship and trust with this person. It's a sign of goodwill and a sign that you care for this person greatly. Not just any friend will be the recipient of this type of love, but friends that you are close to and share common ground with you in many ways. It's also an important aspect of long-term relationships.

Many people don't realize how important this type of love is in a marriage or long-term relationship. However, when you see couples that have been together for years and are still very close, this is one of the areas they are likely strong in. Couples that enjoy doing hobbies and activities together and enjoy being friends, as well as lovers, are setting themselves up for the long haul.

Passionate Love-Eros

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Though we generally think of passion as being sexual, this type of love is not solely about sex. It's about feeling a strong type of love toward another person that does have a sexual component, but that's not all there is to it. This type of love can be blind, it can be overwhelming, and it can be without judgment. Someone who experiences passionate love may be entirely uncaring about their partner's faults, but it can also be a very important type of love for your life.

If you aren't careful and follow this type of love, it can get you into relationships that you might not want to be in. Passionate love is important for the success of long-term relationships; however, a relationship cannot be based on passion alone.

Strong Relationships Need A Mix

Relationships that can stand the test of time can do it because they have a mix of the different types of love. Happy couples don't have relationships that are just built on passion or practicality or friendship. Instead, couples that are happy together can tap into multiple different types of love to stay together. There are some times when one may be a little stronger than the others.

When you see elderly couples that have been married for decades upon decades, it isn't because they have the perfect marriage. It's because they realized that marriage and relationships aren't easy, but they weren't going to give up. And, you will find that they have things in common, things they enjoy doing together and that they support each other in the other areas as well.

Struggling With Love

If you struggle with experiencing love with any type of partner, whether sexual or otherwise, you should seek out the help of mental health professional. They will be able to help you work through anything that you might be experiencing, from difficulty with a mental disorder (such as anxiety or depression) or anything that you might be wondering about. Learning about love, how to show it, and how to accept it, is an important part of your life, and it's something that you should seek help with if you find yourself struggling.

And, if you find yourself in a relationship that is struggling, it doesn't mean that it's time to call it quits. No relationship is perfect, and to stand the test of time, you have to learn how to move and grow through the different stages of love.

One way that you can find the mental health help that you're looking for is with ReGain. This online service will allow you to connect with a professional from absolutely anywhere with an internet connection. You log on and set up your account, and you can choose the professional that you want to talk with, finding someone that you'll be most comfortable with no matter where they may be located.

That's going to make you feel better and more likely to open up. Even better, you'll have no problem getting in touch with them no matter what the weather is, where you are, or anything else. Your appointments can always continue.


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