What Is Love? Learn Nine Types Of Love To Expand Your Relationship
Earlier this year, Hallmark release a video series for Valentine’s Day, titled Put Your Heart To Paper. They interviewed couples and asked them about their love for one another. They asked them, “How do you say I love you without using the word love.” I thought it was a clever and creative exercise. If you missed it and would like to watch a few videos, you can check it out here.
How do you convey your love without saying “I love you?” This questions asks us to get more specific about what love is and why we love.
What is love?
This may be more of a philosophical question. The nature of love can be complex, especially when you consider all the various forms of relationship (i.e. family, friends, and spouses). Ultimately, how you define love is up for you to decide. However, I will offer some input for you to consider as you contemplate “What is love?”
Learning about the different types of love will hopefully inspire you to expand your definition of love, as well as increase your capacity for love in relationship.
Triangular Theory Of Love – Robert Sternberg
Psychologist Robert Sternberg developed the triangular theory of love many years ago. The triangle is symbolic to represent three main dimensions of love – Intimacy, passion, and commitment.
Here is a good article if you would like to read more or take a short quiz about what kind of love you have.
1. Liking (Intimacy)
2. Companionate Love (Intimacy & Commitment)
3. Empty Love (Commitment)
4. Fatuous Love (Passion & Commitment)
5. Infatuation (Passion)
6. Romantic Love (Intimacy & Passion)
7. Consummate Love (all three)
Ancient Greek Philosophy
Ancient Greek philosophy used many words to describe different types of love for various types of relationships – friends, family, spouses, and strangers. Here are the main types of Ancient Greek words for love :
© Stephen McKay
Agape – love of humanity
Storge – family love
Pragma – love which endures
Philautia – self-respect
Philia – shared experience
Ludus – flirting, playful affection
Eros – romantic and erotic love
If you are interested in learning more about these types of love, here is a good article, by Roman Krznaric, which is based on his recent book How Should We Live?: Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life.
Nine Types Of Love:
1. Fondness: Admiration, really liking. adoring. and appreciating.
2. Play: Creativity, pleasure, flirting, enjoying activities together, fun, and companionship.
3. Romantic: Special connection, loving, passion, tenderness, and affection.
4. Sexual: Passion, desire, physical intimacy, eroticism, and chemistry.
5. Soulful: Emotional intimacy, heart connection, sharing, spiritual connection, motivation, and inspiration.
6. Trust: Reliance, support, belonging (family, friendship), unconditional regard, loyalty, patience and tolerance.
7. Togetherness: Working together, common goals, comradery, teamwork, partnership, and companionship.
8. Altruistic: Selfless love, care and regard for your partner, wishing well, and benevolence.
9. Self-love: Regard for one’s own well-being and happiness, not being self-absorbed, but true regard and care for self.
How might your experience of love and relationship expand by considering these different types of love?
Check out the Nine Types Of Love In Relationship podcast episode, which offers more examples and conversation on theses different types of love.
As we develop and evolve the way we love evolves. If you would like to learn more about the development of intimacy in relationship, check out this article.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Please let me a comment below.
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Thank you. ❤
If you are interested in developing new skills to meet relationship challenges, please consider taking the Empowered Relationship Course or getting somerelationship coaching.