Types of Love and The 5 Love Languages

In an extra special super-duper combo pack of love and romance, today I’m going to be exploring the traditional Greek types of love as well as Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages. Are you ready? Then let’s jump right in!

Types of Love: Ancient Greek Style

The ancient Greeks believed there were eight different kinds of love:

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  • Eros – erotic love
  • Philia – affectionate love
  • Storge – familiar love
  • Ludus – playful love
  • Mania – obsessive love
  • Pragma – enduring love
  • Philautia – self love
  • Agape – selfless love


They seem to have either forgotten or skipped over unrequited love! Perhaps it was considered part of Mania? After all, an unrequited love is often obsessive.

In any case, I find these types quite fascinating. While most modern folks would likely agree that “love” encompasses Eros and Agape, and perhaps even Pragma as the goal for marriage, many people seem to find Philia and Storge to be a waste of time. If our love songs are any indication, we’re all searching for blazing fires of passion, not familiar or affectionate companionship. And that seems like quite a mistake. After all, one cannot burn with the bright blaze of passion forever. Eventually the flame will burn lower, or snuff out entirely – particularly if you don’t continue to fuel your fire with something like affection, playfulness, and familiarity.

Which types of love are most important to you, and have you ever thought about each of these different kinds of love in your relationships?

Love Languages for Modern Times

In keeping with this concept of different types of love, but addressing a more modern audience, Gary Chapman has conceived of five “love languages” that apply to romantic relationships. His five languages are:

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  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch


His book, The 5 Love Languages, explains how each of these languages works, and he is careful to note that your partner may not speak the same love language as you do – which often accounts for arguments and fights between couples. Oftentimes, he explains, people who think they are expressing love are simply not using the right language to address their spouse or significant other. For instance, they might be offering gifts when the other person prefers physical touch or words of affirmation.

After taking an online assessment, I discovered that my “primary” love language is Quality Time. My husband, however, prefers Words of Affirmation. So although I assumed I was expressing my love for him by spending quality time together, he actually feels rather neglected because I haven’t – literally, in this case – been speaking his love language. Time to remedy the situation with some I love yous!

Which of these types of love languages are you most drawn to, and does your partner use the same love language as you do?

Want more love?

If you haven’t joined the Buttontapper Challenge yet, what are you waiting for? Download your own copy of my daily prompts, and write a short response to today’s concept, Types of Love. Don’t forget to include the hashtag #ButtontapperChallenge if you share your work on social media!

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