It’s too easy for the single set to feel sorry for themselves (ourselves) as relationship tributes flood social media today.
It may help to focus on the fact that love exists in your life in other ways than romantic ways, and those are equally worthy of your gratefulness. Romantic love isn’t the only love and, in fact, it’s only one type of seven identified by the Greeks. If you’re not in a romantic relationship, these are the six OTHER types of love you can celebrate today.
Eros has to do with that whole undeniable chemistry thing you find with some people in romantic situations. It encompasses sexual passion and desire and is aptly named after the Greek god of fertility. Associated with beauty and lust, it’s also where we get the term “erotica.”
Phila refers to those friendships that run deeper than most family bonds – a friendship akin to being soul mates. Sometimes you have this with your romantic partner, and sometimes it’s reserved solely for your best friend. It’s often been called “the love of the mind.”
In a piece for Psychology Today, Kimberly Key describes Ludus as that feeling of butterflies you get when you see your crush. While it usually involves a romantic partner, it can also be that goofy, youthful and playful love with a friend.
Pragma is the stuff that storybooks and promises of “happily ever after” are made of. It refers to a commitment and longstanding love that lasts. Aside from romantic situations, this also involves the relationship between parents and children. Pragma was though to be the highest form of love among the Greeks.
Taking it a step further than pragma is storge, which refers to the deep, unconditional bonds and dependency needs we share with our family, regardless of personal qualities (in all of their sometimes annoying glory). It’s the type of love that makes you feel comfortable and safe.
Agape refers to the universal love and respect for humanity and is often called the closest thing to unconditional love. It’s the type of love that characterizes meditation and yoga classes and, frankly, the type of love we need a lot more of in today’s climate.
Finally – and something that can’t be forgotten – is philautia, or the love of the self. This doesn’t mean an obnoxious, narcissistic, ego-driven love. For many people, this one is often the hardest. For it to be possible, one must honour their feelings and inner guidance.
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