The Four Types of Love – Greek Style

Love is a special and complicated emotion which is quite difficult to understand. Although most people believe that love revolves around the heart, it actually occurs in the brain. Artists, poets and painters all epitomize the heart as the love symbol, but it’s the brain that generates chemical signals to make people understand love. There are different forms and styles of expressing love, and many different definitions of love for every culture. To describe these styles, the Ancient Greeks came up with four terms (Eros, storge, agape and philia) to symbolize their four types of love. Let us look at these four loves in details.

Agape

types of greek loveThis is an unconditional love that sees beyond the outer surface and accepts the recipient for whom he/she is, regardless of their flaws, shortcomings or faults. It’s the type of love that everyone strives to have for their fellow human beings. Although you may not like someone, you decide to love them just as a human being. This kind of love is all about sacrifice as well as giving and expecting nothing in return. The translation of the word agape is love in the verb – form: it is the love demonstrated by your behavior towards another person. It is a committed and chosen love. [More: What is Agape Love?]

Philia

Philia love refers to an affectionate, warm and tender platonic love. It makes you desire friendship with someone. It’s the kind of love which livens up the Agape love. Although you may have an agape love for your enemies, you may not have a philia love for the same people.

READ  The Three Types of Love in the Bible

Storge

It is a kind of family and friendship love. This is the love that parents naturally feel for their children; the love that member of the family have for each other; or the love that friends feel for each other. In some cases, this friendship love may turn into a romantic relationship, and the couple in such a relationship becomes best friends. Storge love is unconditional, accepts flaws or faults and ultimately drives you to forgive. It’s committed, sacrificial and makes you feel secure, comfortable and safe.

Eros

Eros love is a passionate and intense love that arouses romantic feelings; it is the kind that often triggers “high” feelings in a new relationship and makes you say, “I love him/her”. It is simply an emotional and sexual love. Although this romantic love is important in the beginning of a new relationship, it may not last unless it moves a notch higher because it focuses more on self instead of the other person. If the person “in love” does not feel good about their relationship anymore, they will stop loving their partner.

This just offers you a general understanding and description of the four types of love which promotes a good, healthy and progressive relationship. In any relationship, you should have all these four loves working together to enable it survive for a longer time. But in some cases, a relationship may be long-lasting if partners share the same style of love.

74 comments

  1. Brian says:

    it seems too often eros is the beginning of “love” in relationships. and the power of the sexual desire gets in the way of ever moving into the phileo or agape. If a relationship begins at the Storge level and grows into the other senses of love there will be a much stronger basis. Often needy people look for love in a sexual manner first, and the results are usually never long lasting nor healthy as emotional basis will never last. But deliberate intentional acts to serve the other person do last and from those acts one feels fulfilled.

  2. vbac2u says:

    Real everlasting love is Union of all four. But without Agape this will not be possible. Agape is you choice to love the person, so you free will works here. That will help it last beyond your need of it or lust (Eros). Help you goes beyond responsibility and caring (Storge) and way far beyond affection (Phileo).

  3. Austin says:

    In my relationship, eros is definitely showing itself stronger than the others. I know the others are present, I can feel them. But the feeling I get when I’m with her, oh man do I ever love it! I can’t see us breaking up, even though my sister thinks she’s a sl*t

  4. don wonz says:

    How do you know the kind of love you feel for someone and the same kind of love for someone else but you want to marry one of them how do you know the one you love?

  5. Dahiru Murjanatu says:

    Waw, Love is nice I have never been in love but i like seing lovers been in love situation, So i also pray to Almighty Allah to reward me with a pure hart lover

  6. Israel says:

    Having understanding, it takes one forward for good love making. As such it is necessary to identify the type of love intended to be into, because each type of love has its rule, style and fashion.Note! it also has an assigned spirit backing it. I want to add to the above stated views that EROS, knowing that romantically, arousing is in the high side, it is dangerous when it is not in a marital relationship. Thus, I would rather advise that Agape Love canopies, checks, purifies, directs and spirits the action/course of other loves. Don’t forsake the Bible please. Thank you and God bless you.

  7. Micho4love says:

    Let me say that, agape love is reserve exclusively and strictly for our creator, our God. It cannot be shown by human being. It is unconditional in nature. If human can have agape love, the would have been no war and tribal dishamorny, terrorism and war crime. In conclusion, while phileo, storge, and eros is for humans, agape is strictly for God.

    1. New Age ☔️ says:

      I ran into a problem. I carry all these forms of love. I came to the point I thought how cruel it is to place the One above over the One below. I have always been alone in Philsophies. I opted for the Astrial Plain. This takes all the guess work out of the equation. I do love all creation and omnipresence of life.

  8. carol says:

    i have been in love 4 times but my husband was the best but sadly he pass away we were deeply in love with each and were so happy together and had a deep understanding for each other and repect i hope i find love again one day carol

  9. maxwell says:

    all love are nice to have in between the mind, especially the agape love, which significes christain acknowlegement to sacrifies one’s self to another, well “not all that glitters are golds”
    most people prefer eros love to agape due to hypostancy and crucial deduce of its pleasure.
    But i wil odge u as a christ-like to ve the love in agape.

  10. Jennifer says:

    I strongly believe in agape love. An if all Christians will allow the flow of agape love,all the other types of love will be added and not fail. Without agape love the rest will totally fail and will end up causing pains and disappointments.

    1. JJ says:

      Does your comment about Christians should “allow the flow of Agape love” mean that if one is not Christian they do not need to allow the flow of Agape? God’s love (Agape) is not just for Christians. Does this mean that God does not love any of His other children? (Jews, Muslims, or any of the other HUNDREDS religions)? What about, also, the people who choose not to follow any religion but choose to allow the Spirit of Love lead their lives?

  11. Nsikak Akpan says:

    your explanation is understandable, yes love is a special and completed emotion but with the definition the four types of love is good but agape is the best.

  12. sunday adams pam says:

    its expedient that we learn and practice the agape love because it is sacrificial in nature. it means living for others and offering services for others than yourself.i pray for us that the grace to love sacrificially be expressed in our daily living and let it become a living testimony.

  13. Bill McKeen says:

    My take on this subject.

    Conditional Love
    1) Most common. In marriage knowing where not to tread. Respect. Meeting of the minds. Equal distribution. Deviation; domination and infidelity.

    Unconditional Love
    2) Between a dog and its master. Soul mates, children and grandchildren. Deviation; Nothing can deter it. Sometimes can be a problem when pointed in the wrong direction.

    Physical Love
    3) For propagation of species. Orgasmic pleasure and unification. Deviation. Perversions of sexual desires.

    Universal Love

    You are sitting on a bench with your child and a stranger at other end. In universal love you will love both the same. Once out of the body the perpetual parental genes no longer functions. You are and become one with the universe.

  14. Gourdas C says:

    The four types help determine relationships. Some may move up the ladder from eros to agape, but some may start and remain at the same level, such as a parent’s love for his child.
    Agape probably remains aspirational, when others are done, experienced and left behind in the love-evolution, provided one has the “heart” to achieve it.!

  15. Etim J.Mike (Mr.Simle) says:

    Laugh, de world knows de best love, bt they chose de one they like best which is de destructive pleasure of Ero in dis current generation .God help us

  16. Dada Julius says:

    anyway as an human being I prefer d fourth type of luv for d just start couple in order to make dere luv get stronger on time base on d explanation under it u can go back nd read to digest on it

  17. Sir Almighty says:

    I will edge every Christian to have an agape love. Because we are the followers of Jesus Christ who introduced this kind of love for us, when we were sinners. He sacrificed his life for us and now we are call saints. So beloved let’s do same for ourselves. Stay Bless. Ampomah K Bismark (BG COP) (1corinthians13:1)

    1. Gareth says:

      Amen!!!!!!!!!!Gods love for us was and is priceless…His love is the core of love that we should continue having,regardless of any situations that we may find our selves in…i agree wit6h u on a very true basis that we shoulnt forget Huis love amd we should continue to stive and live the way Christ did!!
      Ame times a miilion …God bless u

  18. Oligbo Sandra says:

    The modern generation, no longer practice agape love which is the first type of love because the world is exposed. So, i will go for platonic love.

  19. Jeff says:

    You have missed the most important element of Agape Love in your definition! Agape Love is sacrifice. Putting God and others needs above one’s own.

    1. Mary says:

      Jeff, I agree with you. When I think of the meaning of the word “Agape”, I think of the type of love God has for us.

    1. Gareth says:

      Agaphe love is best kind of love to show people far and near of his true love….no matter what happens ,Gods love is true and forgiving…question is …coud one love u the way god does and is??

    2. ayo says:

      Yes feyi, as for me. the four types of love given here yet not give me exactly what i want to know about love. What of someone u use her picture as your dp due to some adjustment you want to make you removed her pic for some minutes before u get to know she removed yours on her own dp also. What type of love will you call this

  20. Anonymousfmale says:

    You forgot the one where someone is sexually attracted to one person

    and i wonder what is the word for someone who is attracted to someone of the opposite sex who’s personality and interests are similar to his or hers own and that someone would be a [almost] “perfect”/very smart/very good looking/almost completely compatible person to you. Not to be confused with shallowness (they may seem shallow, but they just. feel attraction to people who are good looking and compatible.

    People like this^^^ just want to be balanced and fulfilled and a soulmate/twin flame can do that, meaning that you are only attracted to the soulmate/s and noone else, but many people can be mistaken for soulmates if they have the compatibility and are attractive to you. But if you are sexually attracted to someone, and if they seem to have the right personality and stuff, you should never assume that the/a person that you don’t have any relationship with is a soulmate/twin flame until you find out about them and then become friends with them. If you only know about what they claimed on their dating profile/s, they may or may not be lier/s, but one should always be careful so they/you won’t get hurt. You should research the person and/or try to converse with the person (unless they have a restraining order) and get to know the person. It is hard to tell who is the soulmate, because a lot of people seem the same and many people look similar (like all those bleach/dye blonds in the media). Nonsoulmates tend to be too different and uncompatible to get along with you or stay in any relationship to you. The nonsoulamates may be mean or rude, ignore you, or/and reject you in anyway and if any of these people are your soulmate they might change and accept you if you change a little about yourself if you have any flaws that’ll keep your soulmate away . But if the soulmate is an ex and they don’t like/want you anymore, then you and the person have screwed it all up and you may have to seek for another soulmate/twin flame and that might be impossible and very difficult to do.) etc.

    Sorry for the long reply..

    1. Ralph says:

      You obviously work too hard at looking into “love”. Dissecting anything requires termination of its’ life. Look into your heart before dissecting a potential lover. He might could have become a friend or even more if he had not been killed by the examination. One step at a time. Slow and easy. Fall in love before you jump into bed. Know Christ!

    2. Roy Ramharrack says:

      Four types of love do you agree? Well, there may be many others but no one takes the time to explore. In English only one word is used – LOVE.

      In the English bible that word has to be broken down and explained from time to time. so the bible uses the Greek explanations. But as I am saying, there may be many other diversions.

      In movie language love is very very trashy. And the world of English people love id not clear at all, at all. Love is understood as eros alone. the love that God is interested in is all the other loves there are.

      Movie love is sex, divorce, and even hatred. Do you believe that God is interested in that kind of love. Even though eros means romantic love it is never mentioned in the English bible.

      However, it makes one statement that puts everything in place. The love between David and Jonathan was greater than the love between man and woman. Only the love between David and Jonathan is greater than the love between man and woman.

      So the love between man and woman is the great kind of love.

      Movie love touches that kind of love s o m e t i me s. (If you want to continue this topic we can – let us make it a ‘you say, I say,’ Thank you

      1. Dani says:

        Why is the love between David and Jonathan greater than that of a man and woman? Why do you feel the greatest type of love is between man and woman?

        1. rowmel says:

          eros is like the last stage of Love. its the romantic love we desire from other people were we into. infatuation is the desire for physical contact or lust to someone. remember that we are talking about eros kind of love. its the desire for someone emotionally and physically like caring for the person. wanting the best for him/her. supporting him/her being with them in times of happiness and in trouble. although eros also have the desire to have a physical contact its also have the desire to be someone they want to be until the last breath of their life.

  21. Star plus says:

    Know the kind of relationship that you are into and how to relate.also note this;without understanding love can not exist.

  22. JoJo says:

    Learning about the different type of loves is fascinating to me- the different Greek loves. I think you can feel different ones in different stages of different relationships but definitely have the storge love with my husband!

    1. MySoulEmotion says:

      Topic of thought: REAL LOVE?
      Agape is selfless, unconditional love, it is a sacrifice. Storge is a nurturing love, which is also a selfless love. And a sacrifice. So is real love, I mean real love, always unconditional? How could love be selfish?
      Eros is a passion, a primal form of love. A sexual desire, a combination of satisfying physical emotions. A shallow form of love. Is eros love for another? Or is it a just a love for yourself and physical desires? How could love, real love, be only physical? Is eros love at all?
      Phileo is platonic love. An affection or warmth towards another. Is phileo really love? Or could it be empathy and basic human compassion? I feel “love” far surpases a warmth towards another. How is that love?
      PLEASE REPLY. ALL OPINIONS ARE WELCOME AND VALID.

      1. vbac2u says:

        Real everlasting love is Union of all four. But without Agape this will not be possible. Agape is you choice to love the person, so you free will works here. That will help it last beyond your need of it or lust (Eros). Help you goes beyond responsibility and caring (Storge) and way far beyond affection (Phileo).

      2. Abel E. Robbins says:

        This explanation on the ” four types of love ” are very inspiring with awesome guidance. I love them all and I thank you for helping me to have a deeper understanding. This has even brought some convictions in my heart and life which is greatly appreciated with love towards you all. Thank you so much and LORD BLESS you all.

      3. jonnisaks says:

        I think the “real love ” that you’re talking about is a combination of all of them. But what makes “real love” such an idealistic thing that’s so hard to achieve in reality is that to feel that real love, you have to have at least 2 of those types at play simultaneously in the relationship in order to feel it as true love. then, from there, you have to keep that going for such a long time to stay in that true love state. It takes constant and conscious effort and practice to maintain such a level of love for someone, because relationships take maintanence. Love both uses and generates energy, so it’s important to keep the energy balance going. That’s where the effort comes into play.

        I also think that there’s probably some order, like sequential order that the different types of love occur in at different times in the relationship. Probably in a cycling pattern that changes only by how much effort is put in, but that also depends a lot on chemistry and connection with the person. There’s probably different powers that one form of love has over one person versus another, which is another reason live is so complex. That’s why love is valued so high in humanity, because there’s probably an infinite number of factors that have to come together to form a true love scenario. It’s so rare to find someone that “syncs” on the same level for the things that matter specifically and particularly to you. Not necessarily meaning there’s only “ONE” right person for everyone, but that that person is probably few and far between.
        A true love can probably develop over long periods of time too. If certain events align and match between two people, like the people they both spend most their time with and what kind of food they love to eat together, things can spark and grow there too. There’s so many ways for love to happen, and most of it even happens on its own. But there’s one thing that we control within this phenomenon that’s most important and it’s that we maintain it. The work put in is how to continue the time that love lasts.

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