Everyone wants to find the type of love that lasts.
In fact, the Ancient Greeks identified eight different types of love. And, they are as important today as they were 3,000 years ago.
For your relationship to really blossom, you need to understand and practice all eight types of love at different times and for different reasons.
Remember that the importance of these love types is in no particular order.
There’s not one type of love that is more important than others. You need all of it if you want to succeed long term.
Here are the 8 types of love to create a lasting relationship, as identified by the Ancient Greeks.
1. Eros: Sexual Love
Eros is the most obvious form of love. It means showing love through affection, touch, and sex.
The Greeks considered Eros to be dangerous as it meant “a loss of control through the primal urges.” Eros is passionate and intense and arouses both romantic and sexual feelings.
And because it’s unpredictable, Eros is also one of the hardest types of love to maintain. Passion can disappear with time.
In fact, as you increase your familiarity, trust, and deep affection for your partner, the old butterfly feelings tend to fly away.
Cultivating Eros is important work if you want hot, fiery passion in your life. To recapture the Eros you’ve lost, surprise your partner with a romantic date.
Go the extra mile and make the effort to surprise your lover in the bedroom (with their consent), and you’ll see how powerful Eros can be.
2. Storge: Family Love
The truth is, if you’re looking to create a relationship that lasts, you need to see your partner as a part of your family.
Storge is about loyalty, similarity, and trust. Storge can’t be rushed. It’s the slowest kind of love to build, but once it’s created, it can’t be easily broken.
Living with a partner goes a long way towards building Storge. So does spending holidays together, sharing moments of connection, and, believe it or not, having an argument.
Conflict is a big part of the family experience. If you can argue with your partner and still go to bed knowing that you’re as solid as ever, you’ve effectively built Storge into your relationship.
3. Philia: Friendship
In the modern world, friendship and romantic love are inextricably linked. But for the Ancient Greeks, Philia (or friendship) was actually valued above Eros (erotic love).
The ancient Greeks saw Philia as love between equals.
Equality is the keyword here. You can build Philia into your relationship by leveling the playing field. Look for some aspect of your relationship that has a great deal of inequality.
For example, are you letting your partner pick up all the slack when it comes to chores? Maybe you always spend time at their place and never at yours.
Whatever area of your relationship that you choose, eliminate that disparity in your relationship, and you’ll start to create Philia in real-time.
4. Agape: Selfless or Universal Love
Agape does not mean loving everyone every second of the day, no matter what. Agape is more about loving your partner with no strings attached.
The thing that sets Agape apart is that it’s a love given without expecting anything in return.
If you’re putting conditions on your love, or if you’re keeping score, then you’re not practicing Agape.
Remember that Agape is only one out of eight types of love, so don’t overdo it. You don’t always need to prioritize your partner over yourself to your own detriment.
Doing so consistently will only lead to an unequal relationship and create a lot of resentment.
5. Mania: Obsessive Love
Obsession can be damaging to any relationship. It can lead to jealousy, possessiveness, and smothering. So, why should you practice Mania in your own relationship?
Remember, every type of love adds value but only in moderation.
For example, if you get jealous when you see your partner talking to an attractive person, this can actually be a good thing.
In this case, the Mania you feel will prevent you from taking your partner for granted. It will remind you of the powerful feelings you have for this other person and how far you’ll go to protect them and your relationship.
Feel this emotion, take note of it, and don’t act on it.
As long as you keep it in check, Mania will bring you two together. But, if it overwhelms you and causes you to act out, you’ll see firsthand that Mania can really be the love that ends all loves.
6. Pragma: Enduring Love
Love that endures is what a relationship is all about. Pragma is the soft light that warms your relationship like the sun warms the earth. But this is a sun that never fully sets.
Building Pragma means showing your partner love and affection, no matter what.
Would you only love your partner if they looked a certain way, behaved in a certain way, or did the things you asked of them?
If so, you need to change up your attitude.
7. Philautia: Self-love
Many people see self-love as something that’s completely separate from your romantic life. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
As RuPaul says, “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”
It’s actually a lack of Philautia that creates a problem in so many relationships. For example, if you don’t love yourself, it’s often because you don’t think you’re attractive, a good person, or worthy of love.
So, what does it say about your partner that they love you? It could mean that they have bad taste, are desperate, or are lying and don’t really love you at all.
While this may sound harsh, this is all happening at a subconscious level. Even though you’re not aware of it, this can really affect your relationship in a big way.
Building Philautia is something you can do on your own. It’s all about self-improvement. So, set goals for yourself and creating a plan to achieve them.
8. Ludus: Playful Love
Whenever you tease the one you love, you’re engaging in Ludus. Ludus is the love of young lovers and represents the jolt of excitement and pleasure you feel when you’re together.
Don’t be afraid to be silly and joke around with your partner.
If you can rediscover the playful side of your love, it will unlock a brand new dynamic that you never knew you could have. Joking around, playing, and teasing can actually help you open doors that you didn’t know were closed.
Just don’t mix up teasing with bullying, being cruel or trivializing feelings. The role of Ludus is to keep things light and fun. It has no place in serious discussions.
Emily Baker is a dating coach and commitment expert from Vancouver, Canada. She has helped over 850 women (and counting) find the man of their dreams and create relationships that they can be proud of. You can find her videos over on LoveLearnings’ Youtube channel.