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Learn to Love

8 Types of Love – Which One Are You?

8 Types of Love – Which One Are You?

Let’s Talk About The Different Types of Love

Falling in or out of love is one of the strongest emotions that people can experience. Love can be kind. Love can be cruel. Love is everything. Love has been called “one of the most studied and least understood areas in psychology.” Everyone has experienced feelings of love to some extent or another. There are those who found love then lost it, those who found it and kept it and those who are seeking it in odd places. There are also those who don’t know they have it, not realizing it is closer than they think. Let’s talk about love!

8 types of love

The ancient Greeks were sophisticated in the way they talked about love and would be shocked by our modern crudeness in using a single word both to whisper, “I love you” over a romantic candlelight meal and to casually sign an email, “lots of love.

Romantic love, the love that perhaps most naturally springs to mind, has been the inspiration for countless ballads, stories and pieces of art and has captured the imagination of singers, artist, and poets throughout history. However, there are many “flavors of love“, from brotherly love, family love, the love of God and self-love. In English, as with other languages, it has been difficult to distinguish the separate meanings of these words without carefully considering the context in which the words are used.

The question “what is love?” generates a host of issues; some have sought to analyze them; others have preferred to leave them in the realm of the ineffable.  This article, ‘Let’s Talk About Love‘, is my attempt to shed some light on this subject.

1.  Types of Love: Eros or Erotic Love

Eros was the Greek God of Love and fertility, born of Ares (God of War) and Aphrodite (Goddess of Beauty and Eternal Youth). Eros is said to have been the one who blessed the union of Gaia and Uranus after which the Universe came into existence. Gaia was a Greek Goddess; she symbolized the Earth and was the mother of everything. Uranus symbolized the sky. Eros represents the idea of sexual passion and desire.

Eros

The ancient Greeks considered Eros to be dangerous and frightening as it involves a ‘loss of control’ through the primal impulse to procreate. Eros is a passionate and intense form of love that arouses romantic and sexual feelings. Eros is a primal and powerful fire that burns out quickly. Eros is usually depicted as a young boy, with his bow and arrows, ready to either shoot into the hearts of gods or mortals to rouse them to desire. His arrows came in two types; golden with dove feathers to arouse love, or leaden arrows with owl feathers to cause indifference. Eros is known as being bitter-sweet and cruel to his victims. Unscrupulous, and a danger to those around him, Eros would make as much mischief as he could by wounding hearts of all. Without warning, he would select his targets and forcefully strike at their hearts, making them fall in love.

2.  Types of Love: Philia or Affectionate Love or Friendship

The ancient Greeks valued philia far above Eros because it was considered a love between equals. Plato felt that physical attraction was not a necessary part of love, hence the use of the word ‘platonic’ to mean ‘without physical attraction.’

Amongst the different types of love, Philia is a love that is felt among friends who have endured hard times together. Aristotle defined philia as a ‘dispassionate virtuous love’ that is free from the intensity of sexual attraction. Philia often involves the feelings of loyalty among friends, camaraderie among teammates, and a sense of sacrifice for your pack. It is about loyalty and sacrifice for your friends and the sharing of emotions with them.

Philia

Aristotle thought deeply about the concept of human well-being and the virtues necessary to live well; he wrote his findings and conclusions in ‘Ethics.’ Aristotle concluded that to live well, is a proper appreciation of the way in which friendship, pleasure, virtue, honor and wealth fit together as a whole.

3.  Types of Love: Storge or Familial Love

Storge’ closely resembles philia in that it is a love without physical attraction, however, Storge is primarily to do with kinship and family. Storge is the natural form of affection that flows between parents and their children, and children for their parents.

Storge is the bond that a mother develops with her child as it forms inside her womb as the miracle of life is happening. Once born this bond will continue to strengthen as the mother and baby get to know each other through the nurturing and breastfeeding process.

Storge, the bond between dog owners and their dogs

Storge’ can also be found in the unconditional love that dog owners gain from their dog. Dogs are the only species who, like a child, run to their owner when they are frightened, anxious or just pleased to see them. Dogs have a very special capacity to demonstrate unconditional love that is quite refreshing. Studies have shown that being in contact with animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses can lead to lower blood pressure and can combat stress and ease anxiety disorder and depression. Pets can provide friendship to those who are lonely, sick or depressed.

4.  Types of Love: Ludus or Playful Love

Ludus’ has a touch of the erotic Eros in it but is different in that the Greeks thought of Ludus as a playful form of love; the affection between young lovers. Ludus is that feeling we have in the early stages of falling in love, the fluttering heart, flirting, teasing and feelings of euphoria. Playfulness in love is an essential ingredient that is often lost in long-term relationships. Yet, playfulness is one of the secrets to keeping the childlike innocence of your love alive, interesting, and exciting

Ludus, playful love

Aristotle frequently emphasized the importance of pleasure to human life and stated that a happy life must include pleasure. For Aristotle, pleasure is not a process but an unimpeded activity of a natural state. It follows from his conception of pleasure that every instance of pleasure must be good to some extent; how could an unimpeded activity of a natural state be bad?

Aristotle did not mean that every pleasure should be chosen. Simply put, although some pleasures may be good, they are not worth choosing when they interfere with superior activities. We must choose our pleasures by determining which ones are better. The standard we should use in making comparisons between rival options is virtuous activity because virtuous activity has been shown to be identical to happiness.

5.  Types of Love: Mania or obsessive love

Mania,’ or obsessive love, is a type of love that leads a partner into a kind of madness and obsessiveness. To those who experience mania, love itself is a means of rescuing themselves; a reinforcement of their own value, as they suffer from poor self-esteem. Because of this, they can become possessive and jealous lovers, feeling as though they desperately “need” their partners.

Henry VIII – George IV – Louis XV, Examples of Mania Love

6.  Types of Love: Pragma or enduring love

Pragma’ is an enduring love that has aged, matured and developed. Pragma is beyond the physical, it has transcended casual love, and has formed a unique harmony over time. You can find pragma in couples who have been together for a long time, or in friendships that have endured for decades.

Unfortunately, pragma is a type of love that is not easily found as we often spend so much time and energy trying to find love but so little time in learning how to maintain it. Pragma is the result of effort on both sides. It is the love between people who have learned to make compromises, who have demonstrated patience, and tolerance to make their relationship work.

Pragma or Enduring Love

7.  Types of Love: Philautia or self-Love

Philautia,’ or self-love, is about caring for ourselves. The Greeks understood that self-care is necessary before we can care for others. Philautia is not unhealthy vanity nor self-obsession focused on personal fame, gain and fortune as is the case with narcissism. Instead, Philautia is self-love in its healthiest form. It shares the Buddhist philosophy of “self-compassion” which is the deep understanding that only once you have the strength to love yourself and feel comfortable in your own skin that you will be able to care and demonstrate love for others.

Aristotle described “all friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man’s feelings for himself.” You cannot share what you do not have. If you do not love yourself, you cannot love anyone else either. The only way to truly be happy is to find unconditional love for yourself.

Philautia, or Self Love

Buddhism also promotes self-love as vital for health and happiness. Buddha, “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Loving ourselves unconditionally in exactly the same way we love our children and pets is what we are striving for. Instead, we love ourselves with conditions. We only expect to be happy with ourselves when we get the job we want, or after losing weight. Then and only then do we feel worthy of self-compassion.

Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail or feel inadequate. Self-compassionate people recognize that being imperfect, failing and experiencing life difficulties is inevitable; they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with painful experiences rather than getting angry when life falls short of set ideals.

Self-compassion requires taking a balanced approach to our negative emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated. Balance requires putting ourselves through a process of relating personal experiences to experiences of others who are also suffering, thus putting our own situation into a larger perspective. Balance also stems from a willingness to observe our negative thoughts and emotions with openness and clarity.

8.  Types of Love: Agape

Agape,‘ or selfless love, is the highest and most radical type of love according to the Greeks. Agape is what some call spiritual love, it is an unconditional love, bigger than ourselves, a boundless compassion, an infinite empathy. Agape is the purest form of love, free from desires and expectations is given regardless of the flaws and shortcomings in others. Agape love is altruistic love, love that is given for its own sake, without expecting anything in return.

Agape, Divine Love

Agape is the love that is felt for that which we intuitively know something as being the divine truth; a love that accepts forgives and believes for our greater good. Aristotle makes the point in several of his works that the happiest human life resembles the life of a divine being.

8 Different Types of Love

We are often hankering over romantic love, but the message from the Greeks is that there are many types of love. A better understanding of love and a larger vocabulary helps. It helps to recognize how we feel, and it helps to recognize feelings being bestowed upon us.

We are all students of love and can thank the Ancient Greeks as our esteemed teachers. We have learned that there are many types of love, that it’s good to talk about love, and when loving:

  • Stay away from ‘Mania.’
  • Don’t just seek ‘Eros’ – it usually ends badly.
  • Cultivate ‘Philia’ by spending more time with your friends, family.
  • Add some frivolity into your life from time to time with ‘Ludic’ activities.
  • Seek ‘Pragma’ for a long-lasting relationship.
  • Indulge in ‘Storge,’ let your maternal and paternal instincts out. For any lonely souls, get yourself a dog!
  • Practice ‘Philautia’ to stay away from stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • And for the most advanced students, seek ‘Agape.’

And this, my dear companion, is your Quest.


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

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Be Happy

Activate Your Own Fountain of Youth

The Fountain of Youth Legend

For centuries the Quest for eternal youth, immortality, or ‘just’ a prolonged life has been a topic of various myths, legends, and quests. The Fountain of Youth is a spring that supposedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters.

Alexander the Great searched for the Fountain in the 5th century AD and was said to have found a healing “River of Paradise.” In Japan, in ancient times and today, stories of hot springs that could heal wounds and restore youth are common. Similar stories were prominent among Caribbean people during the early 16th century, who spoke of the restorative powers of the water in the mythical land of Bimini.

Explorers and adventurers have long looked for the elusive Fountain of Youth or at least some remedy to aging. Has science found the map? It seems that this dream could be at least partly obtainable! Put on your explorer hat and follow me on this epic expedition to your own Fountain of Youth!

I have found the Fountain Of Youth!

First, a stop-over in the world of science to understand the aging process

Growth and Repair; Even after you are fully grown, your body is constantly working to replace or repair itself. The body replaces itself on average every 7 years or so but not every cell’s lifespan is the same. For example, the cells that line your stomach can renew as fast as every two days, since they’re often in contact with digestive acid. Cells that make up your skin are replaced every two to three weeks, your fat cells live a fairly long time — an average age of 10 years roughly the same as your bones which also regenerate about every 10 years. Brain cells don’t regenerate as you age, tooth enamel is never replaced, and the lenses of your eyes are also with you for life.

Enzymes are biological catalysts that speed up chemical reactions in cells. Enzymes play a huge part in the day to day running of the human body and are vital for the proper functioning of all human systems, e.g. the digestive system, the nervous system, etc. Some enzymes help break large molecules into smaller pieces, such as complex carbohydrates into smaller molecules such as glucose so that the body can use them as fuel. Other enzymes help bind two molecules together to produce a new molecule. Enzymes are highly selective catalysts, meaning that each enzyme only speeds up a specific reaction.

DNA; Every cell in our body contains DNA; DNA is the genetic material that makes each of us who we are. Each time a cell divides – for growth or repair, its DNA needs to be copied. Enzymes help in this process by unwinding the DNA coils and copying the information. Telomeres, from the Greek telos (end) and meros (part), are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protects our chromosomes. Telomeres, like the aglet at the end of shoelaces, can become frayed until they can no longer do their job. Telomeres are shortened as we age, but can also be shortened by stress, anxiety, smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, poor diet and lack of purpose. When telomeres get too short, our cells can no longer reproduce, which causes our tissues to degenerate and eventually die.

Each one of us has a Fountain of Youth within us!

There have been many experiments which have shown to increase the maximum life span of laboratory animals. Science has found that it is possible to extend telomeres to help you live a longer and healthier life and discovered that there are 6 key triggers that can positively influence your telomere length. These triggers are:

  1. Good nutrition
  2. Exercise
  3. Happiness and gratitude
  4. Positive outlook
  5. Self-love and love
  6. Being in service.

Good Nutrition & Exercise

We all know that good nutrition and exercise is vitally important, but knowing without doing is like not knowing at all. Hippocrates[1] also known as the “Father of Modern Medicine” is credited with being the first person to believe that disease was not a punishment from the Gods, but rather the product of environmental factors, diet and living habits. He noticed that bodies grow relaxed and sluggish through sedentary lives which led to various illnesses. Those who walked more stayed well longer, so, he often prescribed exercise. Hippocrates’ medicine was humble and passive; his therapeutic approach was based on the “healing power of nature.” According to Hippocrates’ doctrine, the body contains within itself the power to re-balance and heal itself. Hippocrates is known for saying: “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”

Gratitude & Positive Outlook

Be grateful and wake up happy every day, happy to be given another day, to be, to strive, to create. Be grateful for your family, your loved ones and the people around you. Be grateful for who you are and what you can do. Keep a positive outlook on life. Change the things you can change and stop worrying about things you can’t.

Love yourself and love others

Philautia[1], the Greek word for self-love. Self-love is in its healthiest form (not focused on personal fame, gain, and fortune as is the case with narcissism). It shares the Buddhist philosophy of “Self-Compassion,” which is a deep understanding of one’s own self, such that you feel comfortable in your own skin. Self-love is important, as Aristotle described: “All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man’s feelings for himself.” You cannot share what you do not have, if you do not love yourself, you cannot love anyone else either. The only way to be truly happy is to first find unconditional love for yourself.

Being of Service

Being of service is critically important. Not having a purpose, waking up each morning with nothing to do or nowhere to go creates stress and shortens our lifespan. Conversely, studies have shown people who report a greater sense of purpose and direction in life are more likely to outlive their peers.  Older age, or retirement, is a time when we start aging very quickly and when disease and depression are more likely to set in. Having a purpose gives meaning to life, it doesn’t have to be saving the world or anything extraordinary or amazing, every person great or small has important work to do. It can be something very small indeed. Each one of us has our own path to walk and our own mission in life. Small things and big things are big in themselves.

Conclusion

The ‘secret’ path that will lead you to your own Fountain of Youth can be found within you. The ‘magic triggers’ that will show you the way is to eat well, exercise regularly, express gratitude, love yourself, love others, and be of service. Activate your own Fountain of Youth!

This, my Dear Companion, is Your Quest!


If you liked this post you can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook, or you may also like:

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.


[1] For more information, please see my book “This Is Your Quest,” Chapter 19, Page 214


[1] For more information, please see my book “This Is Your Quest,” Chapter 21, Page 228 :