Beyond Butterflies: Decoding The Different Types Of Love

Love is a complex and multifaceted concept. Here’s a complete breakdown of the different types of love and ways to show them. 

types of love

Just like food, water, clothing, and air, love is one of the most primal needs of human beings. It is a powerful and multi-dimensional concept that plays out in different ways in our daily lives

When you are in the presence of the person you love, you feel a string of different emotions. You have different thoughts and ideas about the person shaped by your emotions and past experiences in love and relationships. For instance, if you are someone who believes in love at first sight, you’re more likely to experience it in life than someone who doesn’t. 

But, apart from the romantic context, there are different types of love that we experience in our lives. You might love your best friends, partner, job, car, or favorite food. And when you say this, you refer to different types of love for each person or thing. 

If you have struggled to define the different forms of love, this is the perfect place to start. In this post, we will break down the various kinds of love based on different classifications. Let’s dive in. 

Decoding The Various Types Of Love

different types of love

There are numerous classifications for the different types of love that humans feel. In this post, we will look at our favorite – the ancient Greek classification.

Love is a well-discussed topic in Greek philosophy that has interested great thinkers like Plato and Aristotle. The ancient Greek classification of the various kinds of love was probably one of the first attempts to describe the types of love. But believe it or not, it’s pretty relevant even today. 

Greek philosophers in ancient times significantly contributed to understanding the different types of love and exploring them rationally. In this classification, there are eight types of love. Understanding these various kinds of love can give you an insight into the type of love you are experiencing and help you navigate it better. Let’s dive into the eight love types as per Greek philosophy. 

1. Eros

Greek: ἔρως (érōs)

This type of love is described as the highly romantic and fairy-tale type. Physical beauty is a critical part of this type of love. The attraction is instant and intense when two people meet and fall in Eros love. People who indulge in Eros love feel the need to quickly dive into the emotional and physical aspects of the relationship. 

People in this kind of love are monogamists and continue being a part of the relationships until it feels fresh and exciting. 

Signs of Eros love:

  • Intense physical attraction
  • Physical proximity
  • Constantly thinking about your significant other
  • Jealousy and possessiveness
  • Expression of feelings through different romantic gestures

Love catalyst: Physical attraction and appearance. 

Pro-tip: Make the most of this phase of your relationship. These feelings might fade or lessen over time, which is entirely normal. Therefore, enjoy the time you have. 

2. Storge

Greek: στοργή (storgé)

In this one, from the various kinds of love, the feelings are more subtle, and the individuals involved are more stable and committed to each other. These individuals value psychological proximity, trust, and companionship more than anything else in their relationship. For such couples, love might evolve gradually over time through friendship

For people in Storge relationships, the association is usually solid and long-term. 

Here are the signs of Storge love:

  • Familiarity and comfort are given priority
  • Individuals develop feelings rooted in friendship
  • Have natural compatibility with each other
  • Stability and long-term commitment.

Love catalyst: Memories

Pro-tip: Making time for those you feel storge love for is extremely important. While you might have been together for a long time, you must make your significant other feel special. 

3. Ludus

Latin: lūdus

Ludus is another significant type of love from the ancient Greek classification. People indulging in Ludus love often look at the whole process of love and relationships as a game. They play these games with the sole purpose of wanting to win. The association usually lacks commitment, and individuals are emotionally distant

Since people indulging in Ludus love are in it for the shorter haul, they are more invested in the physical aspects of the relationship. People with a propensity toward Ludus love might engage in casual relationships or hookups. 

Here are the signs of Ludus love:

  • Flirtatious and playful interactions
  • Dating without exclusivity or having multiple partners at the same time
  • Preference toward enjoyment over serious commitment
  • Avoiding emotional intimacy
  • Competitive for attention

Love catalyst: Thrill 

Pro-tip: Never underestimate the power of Ludus love, and always be open for emotional investment in people. 

4. Prgama

People in Pragma love have a thing for practicality. They are incredibly realistic in how they approach a relationship. Logic, future prospects, and compatibility are the driving forces for Pragma love. However, practicality does not mean that people in Pragma love are not emotionally invested in the relationships. They do care about their partners but give more importance to whether the needs and goals of the two individuals align

The priorities or needs can be financial or social. People in Pragma love might consider the financial stability of their partners or whether their friends or family will like them. 

Here are the signs of pragma love:

  • Preference for practicality over emotions
  • Choosing stability and security in relationships
  • Approaching relationships and love with a rational mindset
  • Mutual respect for the partner.

Love catalyst: The mind

Pro-tip: For lasting relationships, it’s important to have effort from both sides. Therefore, give each the required time and attention to advance your relationship. 

5. Mania

Greek: μανία (manía)

Mania is one of the most unhealthy kinds of love. It is deemed as an obsessive form of affection. People indulging in this category of love want constant reassurance from their partner and are emotionally dependent on them. People in this type of relationship often carry the burden of each other’s emotional highs and lows

Because of the obsessive love style, unhealthy jealousy usually becomes a part of the relationship.

The signs of Mania love are:

  • Intense and obsessive feelings for your partner
  • Strong possessiveness and jealousy
  • Fear of abandonment or rejection
  • Constantly seeking reassurance or validation from your partner
  • Unhealthy expression of love

Love catalyst: Survival instinct

Pro-tip: Keep a check if your partner showcases obsessive tendencies. While these might feel like signs of true love, it’s critical that you draw a line when it gets toxic

6. Agape

Greek: ἀγάπη (agápē)

People who indulge in Agapic type of relationships always give preference to their partner’s needs and wants. This is one of the most selfless and caring forms of love you can feel. If you have such a partner, they will never want to change anything about you. They will love you for truly who you are as a person. They are also appreciative of the smallest gestures you do for them in love. 

Still, agapic relationships are considered an unhealthy form of love. This is because, in agapic relationships, one of the partners might always put their needs on the back burner. This way, their well-being might be affected in the long run. 

The signs of Agape love are:

Love catalyst: Selflessness 

Pro-tip: Give yourself and your needs as much importance as your partner. It’s vital for your well-being in the long run. 

7. Philia

Greek: ϕιλία (philía)

If you have ever wondered what kind of love you feel toward your friends, Philia is your answer. Philia is one of the most affectionate forms among the various types of love. It is the love that you feel for your best friends. However, it isn’t necessarily limited to that. 

One of the greatest Greek philosophers, Plato, believed Philia was one of the strongest kinds of love. It was even stronger than Eros. Friendships can often lead to the strongest romantic relationships. Plato’s theory eventually led to the definition of the term platonic. 

The signs of Philia are:

  • Trust and loyalty toward each other
  • Highly supportive relationships
  • Based on shared interests, beliefs, and values
  • Respecting each other’s boundaries

Love catalyst: Affinity 

Pro-tip: Honesty is the strength of your relationship, and that’s why you need to be open about everything that occurs in your connection. 

8. Philautia

Greek: ϕιλαυτία (philautía)

Philautia is the most important form of love. In simple terms, Philautia is defined as the love you have for yourself. It is described as the affection you have for yourself and your own body and mind. 

You can equate Philautia with high self-esteem and self-respect. People who feel these emotions take pride in who they are and have a positive image of themselves. However, there’s also a dark side to Philautia, just like all the different types of love we have seen above. The flip side of Philautia includes extreme obsession with one’s self and borderline narcissistic tendencies

The signs of Philautia love are:

Love catalyst: Soul 

Pro-tip: Self-love is necessary for all the different types of love we have seen above. Therefore, it’s important that you cultivate the required self-respect for yourself and never let yourself or others make you feel like you aren’t enough. 


Love is one of the most complex forms of human emotions. The questions about what love is and the different types of love have puzzled philosophers since ages. The ancient Greek philosophers have classified love into eight different types, and the division is relevant even today!

While understanding the various types of love, knowing that the love you feel for your partner might change over time is imperative. You might even experience multiple types of love simultaneously, and it’s completely normal. If you are in a healthy relationship, you will eventually figure things out. 

Wondering whether your relationship is healthy or not? Here are some red flags that might mean your relationship needs urgent help.

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