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 7 Kinds of Love According to the Ancient Greeks

7 Kinds of Love According to the Ancient Greeks

The ancient Greeks may have lived thousands of years ago, but they may still have a thing or two to teach modern society. For instance, the Ancient Greeks had seven different words for love. While, in the modern-day US, the word ‘love’ often evokes the notion of romantic love, we are aware, at least in part, that love comes in many forms.

Eros: Eros is used to denote the romantic, passionate love that we are used to seeing between partners. It is this type of love that is highlighted around Valentine’s Day. Eros was the ancient Greek god who was associated with passion and desire. As we grow older and seek long term commitment, eros may take second or third place to other kinds of love.

Ludus: This word is associated more with flirtation and casual infatuation with a potential partner. This type of love is meant to be fun and playful.

Philia: This type of love represents intimacy and friendship. Unlike eros, which is usually shared by romantic partners, philia can be shared by close friends. In fact, philia can often lead to long, enduring friendships that last well into older age.

Storge: This is the love that happens between family members. It is based on kinship and deeply rooted bonds. This is also the word to describe loving someone who may not consciously be able to love back at this time. For instance, storge is the love that a mother has for her baby before the child is aware enough to understand love. Conversely, storge can also be used to describe a loved one has for a parent or a partner with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Philautia: While self-care seems like a modern concept, the ancient Greeks were well aware of its importance. In fact, it was so important, that they had an entire word that was devoted to describing the love and care for one’s self. If you’re a caregiver, self-care is extremely important not only for your own well-being but also for the well-being of those under your care.

Pragma: This is a committed, compassionate love that often grows as two partners continue to cherish and care for each other. This type of love is associated with being together for a long time. In some cases, the passion of eros can grow into pragma over time, this forging a lasting bond.

Agápe: This a universal love that can extend to others, not within your family or friends’ group. This may be a love of animals, the desire to help strangers, or even devotion to spiritual beliefs. This may also describe the care and devotion of healthcare professionals to their patients.

Caring for a senior loved one is often rooted in storge. However, if you’re caring for a partner who requires extra help, your feelings may be rooted in pragma. Whatever the case, you should also be thinking about philautia, as you’ll need to take care of yourself as well.


If you need help caring for a loved one in the New York area, call Allure Home Care today.


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