The 8 Ancient Greek Words for Love
Love and All Its Many Forms
These are the different Ancient Greek words for love, and their meanings. I feel that these words of love are important to know, so that you can examine the different ways that love can manifest. More than one of some of these loves can be felt for a single construct, and some of these loves can also transform into each other.
Eros is an erotic love. This love is connected to sexual passion, and is seen as a strong physical and/or emotional attraction. Eros is the love that is based and desire, and the examen meant of beauty. This love is only focus on the individual’s satisfaction, and manifests as emotional involvement only based on certain factors, and characteristics of the individual of the love. If these characteristics, or factors disappear the love would be broken. This love only wants to receive what the other can supply.
Philia, also written Phileō
Philia is described as a companionable love. This love is connected to loves that are based in deep friendship, brotherlyness, and sisterlyness. Philia is seen as loyalty to friends, family, and the community. It is the love, and happiness shared between two things, and it is sent out as much as it is received. It also speaks of connections of affection, fondness, or liking. It is seen to be a higher love than eros, because eros is focus on the individual, while philia focuses on the relationship between the two, and both of their happinesses simultaneously. This is also connected to the shared goodwill between people. This is a more mutual understanding between people that is authentic, open, articulate, and insightful for all parties involved. Philia is born from a bond between people, that are familiar, pleasant, good, or useful.
Ludus is a playful, and uncommitted love. That is casual, and based on fun. This love manifests as flirting, and is greatly associated with young love. This love is more like a playful game, and it’s not meant to be serious, much like the concept of a one night stand. Ludus does have the potential to turn into pragma under the right circumstances, but can also easily become mania.
Storgē is a love that comes from natural obligation, and affection. It is the natural affection, and obligation you feel for family, or anyone that you feel to be family. It is the subtle feeling that people place upon the people that they are close to. Storage is not based on any personal characteristics like eros, and philia, and it is born out of dependability, and familiarity, and is a friendship built love that is built over time.
Agapē, also written Agapaō
This love is connected to a more unconditional love, and selfless love. It is a very gentle, and caring form of love. It has been used in Christianity to explain the love of God for man, and the love of man for God. It is a very noble word for love, and is love that is based around the natural essence of the person being loved, and is not a based upon their worth, or merit. This love cannot be broken no matter what happens, or what tries to break it. This love desires good for only the one who is loved, and because of this can be one-sided. It is also sometimes been referred to as charity, and has also been connected to altruism.
Pragma is known to be a long-standing love. This also usually associated with long-established couples, or older couples. This has more of a focus on compatibility, and personal qualities between the people who share the love. It mostly has nothing to do with physical attraction, and is more focused on the pragmatism, and practicality of that love, and is mutually beneficial.
Philautia is known to be self love, or love of the self, and this can manifest in two ways as healthy, or unhealthy. In the unhealthy version it can lead to an overbearing amount of self-importance, while healthy philautia tends to be more connected to self esteem, and empowers the individual.
Mania is an obsessive love, and is seen to be an overwhelming obsessive desire of love for another person. It can manifest as being very possessive, and overbearing on the person being loved. Mania is also connected to addictive behaviors, and dependency.