I've been thinking a lot lately about what it is to love. And to be in love. I think loving someone is one of the most beautiful feelings. I'm not talking just about loving a boyfriend or a girlfriend, but about loving your friends and family too. I've always categorised love by two definitions: being in love, and just loving, with the idea that if you're in love with someone, then you obviously "just love" them too. Am I making sense? In love = for your significant other. Love = for everyone who you care deeply for.
Then I broke up "just love" into conditional and unconditional. Obviously, you unconditionally love your close family, but then I feel like you build up to unconditional love with other people too, like friends. I think I wrote it in a post a couple of weeks ago, but aside from my family, I only unconditionally love two other people in the world. I think it's amazing that people who I've met, who weren't always in my life, who my parents don't necessarily know, are people that I care about on the same level as I do my family. Is that down to something scientific, or is it because we've just "clicked"? I suppose we'll never know. (What even is it to just click with someone?!)
I was doing some reading today and found that the ancient Greeks divided love into six different types; philia, ludus, pragma, agape, philautia, and eros. I thought it was really interesting, so I'll just write about it a bit more!
Philia: A deep but non-sexual intimacy between two people, like family members or best friends. I think this is pretty much what I'd call unconditional love.
Ludus: Playful affection, or flirting. Just fooling around, really. I'm not sure I'd really class it as luuurve.
Pragma: The mature love between long term couples which shows a high level of commitment. I'd say this is a combination of "just love" and being in love.
Agape: A love for all of humanity. I don't really see that as a type of love, but okay, let's roll with it.
Philautia: Self love. I can really get behind this one! I've become so much happier since I've started appreciating myself and loving me for me (as big headed as it sounds!).
Eros: Sexual passion and desire. I've always thought this is lust, pure and simple.
I hope you've found this as interesting as I do. I've been trying to categorise the types of love I'm feeling for people in my life via these six groupings. I can't say there's much pragma or agape yet, but who knows!
But don't forget a bit of philautia because, without that, it's probably quite hard to love anyone else.