The ancient Greeks were the world’s masters at scrutinizing various kind of love. They had over ten words to distinguish different types

“The ancient Greeks were the world’s masters at scrutinizing various kind of love. They had over ten words to distinguish different types. Psychologist John Alan Lee reduces these overlapping categories into six. But to my mind, each appears to be a different blend of the three basic mating circuits in the brain: lust, romantic love, and attachment.

The most celebrated is eros, or passionate, sexual, erotic, joyful, high-energy love for a special partner. I think eros is a combination of lust and romantic love.

Mania is obsessive, jealous, irrational, possessive, dependent love. Most people are exceedingly obsessive, illogical, and possessive when they are passionately in love.

Ludus (rhymes with Brutus) is the Latin word for game or play. This is playful, unserious, uncommitted, detached love. These lovers can love more than one person at a time. For them, love is theatre, an art form. Ludus appears to be a variation of mild lust coupled with fun and frivolity.

Storge (rhymes with ‘more gay’) is an affectionate companionate, brotherly, sisterly, friendly kind of love, a deep and special friendship that lacks a display of emotion. These people prefer to talk about their interests rather than their feelings. This is ‘love without fever or folly,’ as Proudhon put it. To me, storge is a form of attachment.

Agape is a gentle, unselfish, dutiful, all-giving, altruistic, often spiritual love — another form of attachment. These lovers regard their sentiments as a duty, not a passion. Some are even willing to give up the relationship when it is best for the beloved; hence they will surrender willingly to a rival.

Last is pragma, love based on compatibility and common sense: pragmatic love. This is ‘shopping list’ love. Pragmatic lovers keep score; they look for perks of the relationship as well as its flaws. These men and women are not moved to excessive sacrifice or emotion. For them, friendship is a core of the relationship. I don’t regard pragma as love at all.”

Helen Fisher, Why we Love, the Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love P. 94

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