Are there different types of love? What do we mean when we use the word “love,” after all?
The word “love” abounds in social networks, and people can be referring to pets, friends, places, landscapes, situations, and even food.
In its deepest sense, however, love is that intense feeling you develop for another person and that you want to feel in return.
This is the most difficult type of love to achieve. Loving someone and having them love you back involves a lot of circumstances that make this type of love very complex.
Deep within each person there is a desire to love and be loved. Falling in love forever is a natural desire for most of us.
Sometimes, however, the world seems determined to prove that such an eternal love doesn’t exist. You see relationships – partners, marriages – between people that are becoming less durable.
The types of love, according to the GreeksIn terms of love, the Greeks were the experts. Based on their own culture, they developed some definitions that clarify the different ways love can appear.
This is a type of love that is short-lived and corresponds to sexual attraction, to desire.
- It’s that love that shows itself at the beginning of a relationship, where passion and sexual experience play a crucial role.
- This love is like the start of an adventure that could become something deeper eventually. However, in the beginning, it’s idealized and carnal.
In Greek culture, this love is represented by Eros, the god of love.
This love is what people feel for their families, friends, and companions.
It’s a loyal type of love that implies commitment and deep knowledge of the person, and it usually takes time to develop. It’s also the love that we feel for our pets.
The Greeks called it storge love.
This type of love may be for an individual person or a group, and inspires noble causes.
- It’s the feeling that leads you to fight for the greater good and forge cooperation among others.
- It brings solidarity. Thus, it’s the type of love that inspires you to be kind and work as a team to achieve a common goal.
Social love is very closely linked to social psychology.
By “open” love, the Greeks meant the broadest definition of love that a human can experience.
This would be the love of nature itself, or for a god, or for all of humanity. It’s the type of love that has perhaps become most deteriorated in today’s world where people’s individualistic and egocentric feelings tend to prevail.
Read also: Passionate love versus stable love
What is the ideal type of love?
All four kinds of love we’ve described are ideal in the grand scheme of things.
The person who manages to experience them all will be the most complete when it comes to love, because they will hold the noblest feelings for happiness and well being in the world.
The ideal type of love includes all of the different kinds of love, across languages and many different ways of being. The problem for most people lies in keeping them strong so that they do not fade.
People speak very different love languages, and those differences can lead to misunderstandings and even conflict. In order for people to stay together and be happy, therefore, they have to learn the love language of the person that they love.
It’s a reciprocal learning process and it’s just as important for couples as it is for friends and family members. It’s critical for any social group in which love is an important bond.
See also: The 10 door personality test
The language of love
Dr. Gary Chapman, who specializes in family issues, recognizes that there are five languages of love. Knowing them is key to achieving lasting feelings.
- There are words of affirmation, praise, verbal compliments, words of encouragement, kind words. These stimulate others and make people feel valued and loved.
- Love requires shared, quality time, that’s really dedicated to the other person.
- Gifts for your loved one can be humble, and show the other person that you love them.
- Acts of service are simple and supportive actions that alleviate the other’s tasks: cooking, caring for children, for example.
- Physical contact such as holding hands, kisses, hugs, and having sex in the case of a couple, are all expressions of love towards each other.
Attending to these languages that express love helps satisfy other people’s emotional needs. Thus, it will make your love endure and enhance it.
Love is present in everyone’s lives, but we need to learn to express it. All you have to do is decide how.