What Is Love? Learn Nine Types Of Love To Expand Your Relationship

By Posted in - Blog & Relationships June 19th, 2015 2 Comments

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.

Triangular_Theory_of_Love_2_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

© 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. FondnessAdmiration, really liking. adoring. and appreciating.

Types Of Love2. 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.

sunset-801933_1280 copyHow 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.

Thank you for taking the time to learn and contemplate new ways of relating to improve the quality of your relationship. Please Click Here to Subscribe, if you would like to be up-to-date on the latest posts.

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.

(2) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Eric - Reply

    May 2, 2016 at 1:25 am

    love is most big gift amang all,

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