Love in its many forms

In the world, there exists many different kinds of love. The source of these types hails from the Ancient Greek era. Cosmopolitan explores the eight different types of love, which focus on how we relate with friends, family members, lovers and the rest of our fellow humans.

As love is heated with passion, Eros strikes in at number one. Named after the mischievous Greek god Eros, this type of love defines sensual pleasure, highlighting how lovers express euphoria. Eros was the handsome companion of Aphrodite, the goddess of pleasure.

Developed in the heart, Philia comes in at number two. Love isn’t just about romance. It is also the way we love our friends platonically. Betterhelp portrays friendship as a source of comfort to human beings. Hallmarks of friendship, such as trust, equality and empathy, allow us to put fear of judgment aside and find the comfort of companionship.

Games can also be a form of love. The third type of love, Ludus, explores a “playful love” that is viewed as a game. The positive side of Ludic love is that it can be casual, uncomplicated and undemanding. Unfortunately, the “game” can become toxic depending on the people playing. The downside of Ludic love is the potential for one individual to love the other person on a deeper level, which exposes them to pain if the other person only wants a casual relationship.

Everyone wants love, and Agape love provides that. Agape love is commonly known as “brotherly love,” a type of “international” love that applies to all human beings. According to Judeo-Christian beliefs, this is the type of love that God has for all of humanity, the type of love we should all strive to have towards one another.

Sometimes, love never goes away. Pragma love is known as the “love that endures.” It is the kind of love that can stand the test of time. This could refer to a serious or longstanding relationship. The pragmatic approach to love involves expectations between the parties involved. Taking a pragmatic approach can be seen as wise because it is good to have standards in love to ensure it will last. However, a potential downside is that the quality of your relationship may solely come to depend on how well your partner is meeting your expectations. In this way, a pragmatic relationship can become like a transaction or a business partnership.

Self-love is important too. This is where Philautia love comes in as a form of self-care. In the words of Hailee Steinfeld, “gonna love myself because I don’t need anybody else.” This kind of love allows you to embrace yourself and to remember that you don’t have to be in a relationship to experience love. Self-love even protects you from toxic relationships. If you love yourself, you are less likely to accept unhealthy relationships. Connecting with yourself is an important part of figuring out which people are good for you and which ones are not.

A lot of people love their families. Storge focuses on the love we have for our families. Mothers and daughters, fathers and sons–the list goes on. Familial love is most similar to Agape love in that it is unconditional and based on loyalty. Parents and children are bonded through blood. This is not a fleeting type of love, but a bond that cannot be broken. This is not to say that all familial relationships live up to this ideal, but children do rely on their parents for their survival when they are helpless infants. It is this love that keeps babies and young children alive and taken care of.

Mania love comes in last. This type of love does not know when to stop. Rather, manic love is characterized by an idealization of your relationship with another person, putting this relationship before everything else, including your own sanity. The Netflix show You is a brilliant example of this where we have a man who is always willing to fight or kill for his latest love obsession. This is the type of love that is capable of driving someone mad–the addiction that ruins you.

The concept of love is an inescapable part of the human experience, one that has been pondered since the beginning of time. We may not all experience love in the same forms or prefer the same types of love, but we all love and are loved.

Victoria Fatiregun and Hannah Valencia