Love is in the air this time of year…
But the kind of love you’re thinking of may not be the kind I’m thinking of!
There are EIGHT different types of love, and not all of them involve kisses and candy hearts.
The ancient Greeks gave special names to each of the eight types, to express the understanding that we can love our family, our friends, and even our enemies.
You may be surprised to discover that not all kinds of love flow straight from the heart. Your memories and even your subconscious can be the catalyst for a unique kind of love.
What is a Love Catalyst?
A love catalyst is the part of yourself that spurs a special feeling of connection with someone.
Have you ever fallen in love with someone’s mind? Have you ever felt fated to be with someone? Then you know that love is a full-bodied experience.
Find Your Special Love
Find out how many types of love are expressed in your life using the visual below. You can also consciously use each type of love to bolster your relationships with romantic partners, friends, and family.
1. Philia — Affectionate Love
Philia is love without romantic attraction. You may feel philia towards a friend or family member. In fact, it’s commonly referred to as “brotherly love.”
The mind is the love catalyst for philia. You know who shares your values and is on your wavelength. With philia, you trust and respect each other.
2. Pragma — Enduring Love
Pragma is a kind of bond that matures over many years. This is the everlasting love that so many of us dream of. But it takes dedication and commitment. Instead of “falling in love,” you are “standing in love” with your partner.
The love catalyst for pragma is the subconscious. This is that feeling of fated love, where you feel like you’ve known this person in another life. You were destined to meet and be together.
3. Storge — Familiar Love
Storge is the natural love of a parent and child, as well the love between childhood friends. It’s unconditional. You accept each other completely, because you’re family or as close as family.
The love catalyst for storge is memories. You’ve been together for as long as you can remember.
4. Eros — Romantic Love
Eros is the passionate love that we all think of when we hear the L-word. It’s expressed in kisses and romance and desire. It’s the longing for union with your beloved.
The love catalyst for eros is the physical body.
5. Ludus — Playful Love
Ludus is a child-like and flirtatious love commonly found in the honeymoon stage of a relationship. You tease one another and have tons of fun. You’re playful and giddy. You’ve never felt so happy.
The love catalyst for ludus is the emotions.
6. Mania — Obsessive Love
Mania is an obsessive love towards a partner. This is the dark side of love. It leads to jealousy or possessiveness. Where there’s mania, there’s often an imbalance of love, where one partner is more interested in the other.
The catalyst for mania is the survival instinct. It’s when you think you desperately need another person to survive.
7. Philautia — Self Love
Philautia isn’t selfishness. It’s a healthy form of love where you recognize your self-worth and honor your needs. Self-love begins with acknowledging that you and only you are responsible for your well-being. You can’t expect others to look after you, but you can look after yourself with self-care and self-compassion.
The catalyst for this kind of love is the soul. Your soul calls to you to honor yourself.
8. Agape — Selfless Love
Agape was the highest level of love for the ancient Greeks. It’s love that is given without any expectations of receiving anything in return. It’s easy to love a family member, but loving a stranger or even an enemy is much more difficult. When you practice agape, you choose to spread love and practice kindness, even where there’s hate.
The catalyst for this kind of love is the spirit, which calls on you to serve a higher purpose.
The Perfect Combo for You
Like a bouquet, different types of love can blend together to create a relationship of beauty. If you’d like to strengthen your relationships, use the combinations below to infuse your connection with a variety of loving feelings.
Today and every day, let love be your guide. Take a lesson from the ancient Greeks and don’t ignore the different kinds of love that are all around you. Love is so much more than chocolates and stolen kisses.