There’s more than one type of love.
Most of us know of someone who has lost love due to death.
Some of us will feel we’ve lost love at the end of a long relationship – when it’s too late to turn back the hands of time to fix.
Many of us will have loved and had our love rejected.
Then there’s love for children, or pets, or a favourite place…
Sometimes, knowing there is more than one type of love can help when we’re grieving.
One type of love might be gone. But that doesn’t erase them all.
We can thank the Greeks for developing the classical ‘seven types of love’:
Romantic love is Eros. This is sexual passion and desire, named after the Greek god of fertility. It’s that magical ingredient we call chemistry that helps ignite the beginning of a relationship and may keep the fires burning.
You know that feeling that gives you butterflies in your tummy? Or that innocent playful love? That one is called Ludus. It can be present with a romantic partner, but can also be a playful love you have with a friend.
Speaking of friends, there’s a special deep friendship kind of love called Philia. You may have friends who you feel are soul mates, where time can pass and then you talk and pick back up where you left off. This is it. A deep love with a deep bond. Yes, you may have this with your romantic partner too.
One love that many deeply desire, yet don’t always realise it, is Pragma — a longstanding love; a love that lasts. Parents and children are typical of this along with many fortunate marriages and friendships.
Even deeper is Storge — the unconditional family love that may encompass dependency needs and unconditional family bonds, regardless of our personal qualities.
Then there is Agape, the universal love for everyone. This is what the 1960s’ songs were about when they called for uniting in love over war.
Finally, there’s Philautia, love of oneself — not selfish nor a narcissistic type of love steeped in ego-gratification. This is the love of self that listens to, and honours, your feelings and inner guidance. It refrains from self-attack.
So, for those of us who have been hurt by losing one type of love, it’s sometimes just a little comforting to know that we still have others.