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Four Types of Love: Greek Style


In ancient Greece, philosophers frequently discussed the different types of love. Sometimes, you still read these terms in old books or in discussions of the Greek language or history. The four types of love in Greek are Eros, Phileo, Storge and Agape. Storge roughly translates to family loyalty, while Agape is an unconditional love. Eros is what we typically think of as romantic love. Meanwhile, Phileo means things like fondness, enjoyment and friendship.

1. Phileo

Phileo is basically like the love of the sole. It is the type of affection and love that comes easily for your friends and other people. This type of love often focuses on our preferences, culture and tastes. When surrounded by friends, you get that warm fuzzy feeling of Phileo. You can basically think of it as friendship love. It is the kind of love you feel for people who have similar social interests, hobbies and styles of expressing themselves.

According to the ancient Greeks, Phileo is the type of love that God has for us and for Jesus. In turn, Jesus feels this kind of love for his disciples. In some explanations, this is the kind of love that parents feel for their children and their children feel for their parents.

You could not say that this is a shallow kind of love. It is rich in feeling and has an emotional depth. It is the way your heart beams toward others when you are happy and feeling warmly toward your fellow man. At times though, Phileo can feel shallow and conditional. This is soul love at its best and worst. The strength of this love depends entirely on the strength of your soul. It is a completely platonic love that is based on friendship, affection and warmth. While Agape can exist toward your enemies, Phileo is only for people who are like you. It is a chosen, committed form of love.

2. Storge

This is what you think of as a friendship or familial love. Unlike Phileo, Storge is often based on duty and obligation. It is like how you love that weird aunt or uncle. You don’t exactly like them, but you do love them. It is a natural love, but it can become powerful enough to prevent your spiritual growth. If you are striving to better your spirit, Storge can pull you away from your chosen path.

This is another type of love that you can feel toward your children or your parents. This affectionate, friendly love can transform into a romantic relationship, and it is typically considered unconditional. When you practice Storge love, you accept the person’s faults, forgive their mistakes and are completely committed. This sacrificial love makes you feel safe, comfortable and secure.

3. Eros

This is the type of romantic, passionate love you see in movies. It is often the high of infatuation that you experience in an early relationship. In a sense, it is not true love because it is entirely based on your emotional and sexual response. You say, “I love you” when overwhelmed by Eros, but it is not the true love of a deeper, lasting relationship. Eros may turn into another type of love and continue, but it also might die down once your infatuation stops. If someone says they no longer feel the same way or are no longer “in love”, what they generally mean is that they stopped feeling Eros. Eros always ends when the infatuation stage of the relationship ends, but other types of love often take its place.

This is the emotional high you experience when you fall in love with someone and want to be with them constantly. This kind of love is intensely emotional, but it will not last for long. Basically, you can think of this as the love of infatuation. It is when you are attracted to someone and love them, although it does not always mean that you feel a sexual urge.

4. Agape

Agape is the most pure form of love. Normally, people love one another for a reason. You feel a kinship with your friends, so you love them because of the ways that they are like you. You feel sexually aroused by a cute guy or girl, so you quickly develop Eros for them.

With Agape, you have an unconditional love. It is the type of love that leads parents to risk their own lives for their child. It is the kind of love where you keep helping a friend who is addicted to drugs because you love them more than what they have done. It is an almost sacrificial kind of love. It means that you take pleasure in someone and prize them above all else, but would be completely unwilling to abandon them. Even when loving that person or thing leaves you worse off, you still will not give it up.

This is the kind of love where you love unconditionally. You do not care what they can or cannot do for you. All you want is to love them unconditionally and completely. This is a mature form of love that is often compared to the love a parent has for their child.

Agape is the one form of love that is truly free from humanity’s errors. It is the love that binds you together fast and provides such rich spiritual blessings. Until you have experienced Agape, you have not experienced true, complete love.


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