Types of Love Explained
Did you know there are different types of love? There sure are! This point may seem silly but according to researchers, it’s absolutely true. Much of what we know about the affairs of the heart, commonly referred to as “Love Types” comes to us from the ancient Greeks. This makes sense when you consider that Greek philosophers made it their business to study the construct of love through the lens of observation.
This post will explore six different types of love based on researched offered by John Lee, a scientist who formulated his theories on love from Greek teachings and words. We will walk you through each of these in detail and provide key traits and characteristics. By knowing your love style (or your mate’s), you may be able to gain greater insight about how approach love, romance and relationships.
Bear in mind that as you read through these types of love (aka: “Love Typologies”) that you may possess stronger characteristics in some areas more than others. This is normal. The idea is to identify your predominant love style. What can be fun is to compare your love style to different kinds of compatibility, including fun stuff like horoscopes! Be sure to vote in our poll at the end of the post to share your love style.
OK are you ready? Let’s jump right in!
Types of Love: 6 Styles
1. Eros [Physical Love]
This love type means you are attracted to people who are physically attractive. Typically, you are eager to develop intense, passionate relationships and like to experience fairly intense emotional highs. It should be noted that emotional lows are part of this dynamic as well after a relationship ends.
Eros Type lovers:
- Feel most intense During initial stages of relationship
- Can often get “hooked on the look” of another
- Can become addicted to the “newness” of a relationship but lose interest quickly
2. Ludus [Game Playing Love]
Ludus type lovers see relationships as fun, playful and casual. In many ways, if you are a Ludus lover, you view relationships as games to be played. This particular type of love style avoids commitments and prefers to play the field. Those who are attached to Ludus lovers have legitimate concerns about cheating and infidelity.
Ludus Type Lovers:
- Are highly self-sufficient
- Share little personal information about themselves
- Can have narcissistic qualities
3. Mania [Possessive Love]
Manic lovers are often demanding, codependent and outright possessive. If you are a manic lover, you likely have a strong need to be in control and are aware of everything your partner is doing. In the book, Confusing Love with Obsession, manic lovers are explored in detail through the Obsessive Love Wheel. Manic lovers can be distrustful of partners and have difficulty trusting in romantic relationships.
Mania Type Lovers:
- Obsess over a love interest
- Are easily hurt
- Seek validation through relationships
4. Agape (Unselfish Love)
Agape lovers are considered to be “unselfish” lovers. If you have the agape love style, you are likely more focused on giving than receiving. Chances are you are also concerned a great deal about your partner’s well-being. While this love style may seem somewhat ideal, there can be issues regarding codependency (see checklist).
Agape Type Lovers:
- Have unconditional love for a mate
- Have a high degree of passion for a lover
- Will put partner’s needs ahead of personal needs
5. Pragma [Practical Love]
Pragma love types commonly search for someone who fits a particular image. If you are looking for someone based on their age, financial status, physical characteristics and/or cultural and spiritual background, you are considered to be a pragma type lover. Many people who use dating aps or frequently visit Internet dating sites are pragma lovers.
Pragma Type Lovers:
- Are highly rational
- Use empirical knowledge for dating and love
- Weigh options carefully before seriously dating someone
6. Storge [Companionate Love]
Storge love types (storgic lovers) have relationships based on friendship, shared values, goals and compatibility. They are somewhat of a mixture of the pragma type lover and the agape type. If you are this kind of lover, a person’s physical attractiveness does not rank high on your priority list. Couples who have been together for a long time often see their love transform into companionate type love. Think of your parents or grandparents.
Storge Type Lovers:
- Are stable and dependable
- Do not seek out lots of excitement (drama-free)
- Have a high degree of trust with a partner
Types of Love Resource
One of the things we encourage people to remember at the Couples Counseling Center is to not pigeonhole yourself into a particular love style. The truth is, the way you approach love has a lot to do with the person you are interested in, the unique relational dynamic and of course, your background.
Types of Love Summary
Having knowledge of the different types of love can be useful on a number of fronts, including who you might be compatible with. Sometimes, people find that their love style can be a roadblock to relationships. In these cases, we encourage folks to consider individual counseling. Working with someone trained in relationships can be one of the healthiest things you ever do for yourself so think of it in the positive!
Be sure to vote in our poll below and share which love type you think best describes you.