A Transformational Journey to Love Benevolence
There has been various arguments on the subject of Love. Some researchers have argued that there are many forms of Love, whilst other have argued that their is only one core feature of Love which cuts across all major relationships where ‘Love’ is demonstrated. For example, in 1977 using factor analysis of 1500 items related to love, John Lee categorized 6 major types of love:
Eros Love – erotic desire for an idealized other
Ludus Love – playful or game-like love
Storge Love – slowly developing attachment
Mania Love – obsessive and Jealous love
Pragma Love – practical love
Agape Love – altruistic Love (Selfless devotion)
In their own 1984 factor analytic study, Robert Sternberg and Susan Gracek identified one overarching factor, which they termed interpersonal communication, sharing and support (later called intimacy).
Ever since this discovery was made, many have commented, and some have argued that this is incomplete, that this finding omits a platonic love between acquaintances, close friends, business associates, and even best friends.
What this article will therefore aim to do, is to provide a well-rounded and conclusive approach to this finding. Supporting John Lee’s 6 categories, this article will provide greater explanation for these 6 types of Love, and also seek to identify and insert the missing Love that was omitted, in order to provide a blueprint for a conclusive categorization of Love, which in effect, will provide for a thorough study.
What are the 6+1 categories of Love
1. Eros Love.
Eros lovers tend to emphasize romantic relationships, physical beauty, desire, and physical attraction. Relationships based on eros love tend to fizzle quickly, because these types of lovers can’t maintain this high level of passion. An eros lover’s approach to a healthy romantic relationship involves an intense focus on the emotional aspects of love, including finding different ways to express love. Eros alone cannot make for a long lasting, effective relationship. Eventually, the giver will yearn for more substance. A relationship based solely on the gratification of the flesh cannot last, and will sooner or later disintegrate. Unfortunately, in our highly sexed generation, Eros has been the cause of many radical commitments, ie, quick marriages and their subsequent quick divorces. This is because the Love tank (which is the cognitive, inherent storage of Love every human needs to functions properly and appreciate a meaningful and fulfilling relationship) cannot function only on Eros.
2. Pragma Love.
Pragma lovers are rational and practical – and so is their approach to romance and healthy relationships. This type of lover decides to love someone who best fits their requirements and meets their needs. Pragma lovers assess potential partners for appropriate education levels, professions, income, social status, common interests, parent potential, and material possessions. A pragma lover’s approach to a healthy romantic relationship doesn’t focus on the emotional aspects of love. Pragma Love, although boasting its various merits, however, cannot be relied on solely for a fulfilling relationship. Pragma Love, should only be relied on as a door to which one uses to access a world of opportunities and possibilities. Generally speaking, women express this kind of Love in choosing their suitable partner, more than men do. A relationship which begins on Pragma Love must not remain this way, otherwise it could result in a shallow and unsubstantial union. Both parties must seeks and provide more substance to the relationship.
3. Ludus Love.
Ludus lovers tend to be game players in romance. Ludus lovers are addicted to the excitement of forming a romantic relationship, and aren’t as enthralled by building a healthy long-term marriage. A ludus lover’s approach to a healthy romantic relationship involves the thrill of the chase and the thrill of new romance, not the work of building a long-term commitment. Ludus lovers are often very canal in nature, and motivated by the cheap thrill of quick satisfaction and they generally have no respect for the opposite sex. Ludus lovers rely heavily on Eros and therefore offer no real substance in their relationship. Ludus lovers are generally ‘lothario’ in nature, that is, they are seen as Play boys and un-serious in nature.
4. Mania Love.
Remember Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction? She was a manic lover: possessive, dependent, jealous, and controlling. These are signs of an addictive relationships- not healthy romantic love! A manic lover’s approach to a “healthy” romantic relationship focuses on turmoil, extreme reactions, and even obsession. Mania love can involve threats, stalking, or worse. Many do not begin their relationships in this form, however, Mania Love is generally the result of various factors (past failed relationships, past hurt, lack of trust for the other party, over-possessiveness, over-dependency, jealousy, disability to show love, etc). Many people who express Mania Love often have deep-rooted problems that requires a period of healing and counselling. This love is not fitting for a healthy relationship, and it is very selfish, aggressive, uncaring and futile.
5. Storge Love.
In romantic relationships, Storge lovers focus on friendship to build a healthy relationship. This style of love usually begins with a strong friendship, which eventually develops into feelings of romantic love and intimacy. The sexual aspect of storge love tends to be less important than the friendship aspect (making the approach to romance a lower priority). A storge lover’s approach to a healthy romantic relationship focuses on caring, compassion, and heart-to-heart discussions. In a non-romantic relationship, (for example, family, siblings, etc) Storge Love is more glaring and evident. The love a mother has for her child, or that a brother has for his sister, and vice versa. These are evident of Storge Love. As mention in the previous article, the best quote that best encapsulates Storge Love is “Blood is thicker than water”.
6. PHILEO LOVE
This is the missing piece in the puzzle of Love that was categorized by John Lee. Phileo (also known as Philio, or Philia, where the word Philadelphia is derived) is the brotherly love that is often found between close friends or between a group of friends. This is the kind of Love found in the scriptures between David and Jonathan. Phileo love is a deep, sincere love that births trust and dependency between two friends, groups, or an organisation of people. Phileo Love is brotherly love, which is also found in a loving but platonic relationship between a male and a female. Many have argued that a male and a female cannot really develop and maintain an effective platonic relationship, that feelings will always cloud the relationship. This is a wrong. A male and female who can function in a genuine Phileo Love will develop a strong bond based on mutuality of trust, dependency and genuine Love.
7. Agape Love.
Agape lovers are known for their selfless love. Agape love is also know as “divine love” because it’s self-sacrificing and altruistic love. An agape lover’s approach to a healthy relationship focuses on giving without any expectations or strings attached. Agape Love is patient, it is kind, it does not boast, it is not rude, or proud, or jealous, or lustful. It does not demand its own way, neither is it irritable. Agape Love never gives up, never loses faith, it is patient, and it endures through to the end. It is the most rewarding of all Love, and it is selfless in nature and ‘giving’ in approach. Amongst all the different types of Love aforementioned, Agape is the greatest of them all, and this is worth noting.
In summary, Eros, Pragma, Ludus, Mania, Storge, Phileo, and Agape. These are the 7 categories of Love. An effective, fulfilling relationship should have Agape embedded as its foundation, as this is the genesis and the revelation of every other love. Agape is the bedrock of the history of mankind, it is the perfection of affection and the essence of the absoluteness of Love.
(c) aAs 2012