The 7 loves you need in your life (and 1 you don't) #30ColoursOfLove

by - February 07, 2021


Ask a dozen people to define love and you will probably get 24 different answers. That's just the way it is - love is a different emotion for everyone, based on how every experience and relationship has been in their lives. From that first momentous kiss to the sight of a crush to even the wag of a puppy dog's tail, the word love can conjure up a different image for even the same person at different points in their life. 

This need to place love in a definable box is not a millennial thing, though. No, we have been trying to label it for centuries and guess what, there's an ancient Greek system that does not just make sense but is also true love goals for all of us. 

Without further adieu, shall we take a look at how the land of Plato and Aristotle chose to classify love? 

A couple sharing a romantic moment in a room



Eros

Human element - Hormones. 

You guessed it - Passionate love. There is a deep physical element here, from sensual touches to kissing and beyond. 

A man and a woman in a bathtub
Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie in Original Sin is a pretty easy example.  Their desire for each other was so intense from the time they first met that even constant emotional betrayals and lies could not undo their passion for one another. 



Philia

Human element - Mind. 

Born of Friendships, rooted in the goodness within a person. The love you have for a true friend, a sense of trust and companionship. 
Your 2 am friend.  

Turk and JD from Scrubs are a classic example of Philia, a friendship based on pure trust and admiration 

When you think of it, Philia leading to Eros which further strengthens Philia makes for a great combination. Think Monica & Chandler from Friends. 



Storge

Human element - Memories. 

The love of family. This tends to be less dependant on personal attributes of the individual. You love them in spite of flaws or mindsets that maybe incompatible because of the familial bond. The bond between a parent and a child comes to mind. 

Actors of a Bollywood film
For example - Rahul's (Shahrukh Khan) love for his parents in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham remains firm and undeterred even when he is thrown out of the house for no fault of his, due to his father's conservative beliefs. 




Agape 

Human element - Spirit. 

Considered to be the best of the lot, agape refers to unconditional love. While the default image that comes to mind when I think of unconditional love is that shown by pet dogs, I think it is worth exploring the concept more. Often, this can be confused with a parent's love for a child, the key factor being the existence of a familial link. Religious text would consider acts of charity as agape. They aren't wrong. 
It is about dedicating yourself to helping others including strangers because you care for all. 
Agape is a love the world could use more of nowadays. 



Ludus

Human element - Emotions. 

Fun, flirty love. The teasing. The conquest. The honeymoon phase. Casual. 

It does however require both parties to be on the same wavelength or else the chance of Ludus turning towards Eros (not necessarily a bad thing) or Mania (a really bad thing) always exists. 

A woman and man sitting in an officd
One of the most iconic TV sitcom couples, Pam Beesely and Jim Halpert from The Office, sum up Ludus nicely. Two genuinely good people whose relationship grew together from flirtatious pranks, jokes and hidden gazes inside an office room into a love that endures




Pragma 

Human element - Subconscious.

Goal oriented love. The stereotypical Indian arranged marriage as described in literature and seen in real life comes to mind. When you get into the relationship based on a common ground agreed upon rather than a mutual attraction. 

But it is more than attraction or goals, really. It is a love that ages well, with both partners working to keep the relationship stable. 

Schitts creek
Johnny and Moira Rose from Schitt's Creek are a beautiful pragma couple in my books. They have gone through so much in life, have evolved over decades and yet the affection and stability in their marriage is rock solid inspite of being two very different personalities 



Philautia

Human element - Soul. 

Self love. This can go two ways depending on where you are in life - a person filled with self doubt finding his or her confidence and believing in herself again is a healthy form of philautia. 

Conversely, there is a version where the self confidence goes to an extreme resulting in an inflated ego and an aura of narcissism. Gabbar Singh, Mogambo - think of most of your  Bollywood villains, I guess. 



A Bollywood movie scene


Think of Geet (Kareena Kapoor) from Jab We Met. While the version of her we met in the first half bordered on narcissism, her heartbreak at the interval changed her and left her unsettled and unsure of herself. Then, conversely it was the turn of Aditya (Shahid Kapoor) to do for her what she had done for him in the first half - build the self esteem back up to a point where they loved themselves once more. 


The 7 loves you need in your life

In addition to the 7 yummy versions of love, there is a bitter candy too, one that you would do well to avoid. 

Mania

Human element - Survival instinct. 

An obsessive love to a person or character. Think of patterns of jealousy or overpossessiveness in your relationships - have you suffered from it (or worse, been accused of it?) 

Man staring at a woman
Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and Patrick Bergin from Sleeping with the Enemy come to mind. 


Did you like the ancient Greek classification of love? Which one of these resonated the most with you in your present phase of life? 

Most importantly, show me that you understood the 8 types of love by giving me at least one movie example of any one of these kinds of love (What can I say? I'm a film buff!) 
I'll add the accurate ones to the post as I get them. 

Author's note:

Petals of love


This blog post is a part of the Petals of Love Blog Hop hosted by Swarnali Nath.





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34 comments

  1. Wow!! Lovely! Insightful!! I can proudly say now that I can categorize love in distinguished brackets. An example of Pragma, Goal oriented love can be the hit Bollywood flick- “Dum laga ke Haisha”. Here both the partners are unattracted and hesitant in the marital knot but pledge to be together for the sake of a stable relationship. Their understanding and companionship gradually grows into a committed bond, blossoming into a love story, long after their married life started.

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    1. Absolutely right. Dum Laga Ke Haisha is a good example of pragma. We would see many such example in Bollywood movies, ideally, since most movies focus on family and stability.

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  2. Wow!! What a great post... I read it then re-read it. It is surely a treat for readers...

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  3. These were new.. I didn't know even other cultures have so many definition for love..this was amazing.. I liked the definition of Philausia more though

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  4. Love your examples love defining love!
    I realized I could spend quality time with bae watching these movies. ��

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  5. I am extraordinarily affected beside your writing talents, Thanks for this nice share.

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  6. Such a detailed classification is super awesome. Can't think of a movie but Wuthering Heights came to my mind. I believe it would be philia moving to euros. I am saving this and will definitely be re reading it.
    Deepika Sharma

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  7. Loved the Greek version of classification of love and you have beautifully explained it with a movie for each kind. For Mania, the best movie I can think of is 50 shades of grey. You have given me a lovely list to watch it with my bae this Valentine. Though I have watched a few.

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  8. This was interesting...I could think of Darr movie for Mania

    Ruchi Nasa @https://thevagabond.me

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  9. It was a beautiful read, Dr. Roshan. At first, I was awestruck seeing the innovative way you have chosen to describe different shades of love. I came to know such a great collection of beautiful Greek words that describe love in so many ways. I thought about your question, and I found only two movies that could tell my own story, Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani and Wake Up Sid. My personal favourite movie in romance genre is Madharasapattinam. I just love the story. It was a great read on the second day of the event. Thank you so much for joining us in the blog hop. I am grateful to you. Best wishes. πŸ’πŸ’


    - Swarnali Nath

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  10. It was a treat to read your blog post . I learnt so many variations of love and the feelings that accompany it. Well : the movie Tamasha can be an example of Philautia and for Mania it can be Pyar tune kya Kiya !

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  11. This post seems to be well classified and so many movies that talk about the variety of love a post with it's dose of uniqueness. Yeh jawani hey dewani is an example of ludus rightπŸ˜€ I can get a few examples some movies seems to be combination of these tooπŸ€ͺπŸ˜‚

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  12. Lovely post Roshan. I enjoyed your take on love. Of course I'm going back richer with all the knowledge. I would say all Sooraj Barjatya films are examples of storge.

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  13. Quite an interesting take on the prompt. I guess I've felt every one of these forms of love, even the obsessive one (as a silly teenager). We have a movie for every one of these. How cool is that!

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  14. Wow got to learn some new terminologies and also learnt the name of two movies I haven't watched yet. What a great takeaway from this piece. And what is the love hate kind of relationship called like that between Tom and Jerry types :)

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  15. Wow! Interesting take on prompt and super interesting way to show the different colors of love, though some have negative shades and most of are positives, but yes ultimately variations of one root i.e.love. Certainly, Bollywood has numerous examples of each category.

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  16. This is really interesting to know the Greek classification of love and really like the movie examples you had shared in post. Jab we met is my all time favorite movie and it is great to know more about lead character's love in greek way.

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  17. You're right, these categories make great sense. I think sometimes when one falls into any particular group among these they wonder if what they have is really love. But all of this is love, just different kinds of it. I especially love the pragma love, because it seems to be so common, and hence realistic I guess. Wonderful post, Dr.Roshan, really enjoyed the read.

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  18. This is new for me. But the classifications make sense. For storge, the best example would be Lorelai Gilmore and her parents. Especially her mother. She says the most atrocious of things and still Lorelai goes back to them because they're family. I loved that about the show! You can have your differences, accept people for what they are and work around it.

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  19. Wow!! Really enjoyed this Greek classification of different shades of love. As you said, we often experience all of these shades at some point of our lives depending upon which phase of life we are going through. Could relate to most of them.

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  20. The ancient Greeks have gifted us with some timeless wisdom and concepts. I love how you related all these forms of love with characters from famous sitcoms and movies!

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  21. A good one sir.πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ

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  22. I am rewatching "The Vampire Diaries" these days.Damon and Elena are definitely Eros.
    I loved the classification.Wonderful post.Seeing the example of Monica and Chandler made me so happy.

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  23. I enjoyed reading. I was wondering and classifying my own love relationships throughout the read. Ludus, mania. Eros.. Nice take on the prompt.

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  24. Can't think of any other examples at the moment. But this could be one of the useful posts at the current time. Good one indeed.

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  25. What a comprehensive post on Love! The Greeks had such clarity on this topic. Very well-researched, analyzed and written, Dr. Roshan! I can think of Shahrukh Khan in Darr for the Mania category of Love.

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  26. Thank you for bringing out the terminology for Types of Love Dr. Roshan. Luckily I got to post my bog after you so I have mentioned n tagged your post in mine for detailed information.

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  27. Such an interesting and insightful read! I had no idea that love was classified into so many varied definitions too. Loved reading it and i will be thinking about it for a long time to come.

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  28. Wow, I never thought that love could be classified in such detailed ways. The Greeks indeed have a very detailed understanding about this emotion called Love.
    For Mania, I could think of Urmila Matondkar from Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya!eros - The movie Murder, Storage/Agape - Bhagbaan!

    I hope my understanding is correct

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  29. That's a fun post, Doc!! Thanks for enlightening us on the 8 kinds of love, replete with examples and all. Really enjoyed it.
    P.S. I don't think I have enough examples to share although I'd have loved to. :))

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Let me know what you think.