Love is a complex emotion felt by almost everyone, but it holds different meanings for different people. While we mostly associate the idea of love with romantic relationships, it manifests in more ways than one. And to understand its kind, you need to judge the circumstances, test the bond, and measure the compatibility between two individuals.
To make this exercise simple for you, we have laid down 10 broad types of love (or love-like emotions) that you may feel. Scroll down to understand if a relationship you are in is romantic, selfless, infatuated, or something else.
In This Article
Types Of Love + Their Indicators
Passion, intimacy, and commitment are the three cornerstones of love. The interaction and equation between these components determine the kind of love you feel. Here are some broad categories of love and signs that you are feeling it:
Infatuation is a short-term burst of intense attraction and passion towards a person. Ill-informed and imaginary projections about the other person and where your relationship will be down the line are usually the basis of infatuation. Infatuated feelings make you feel dreamy about a person and paint a perfect image of them. Good examples of infatuation are the early phases of a new relationship, sexual connections (no-strings-attached relationships), and crushes.
Here are some signs that hint at infatuated love:
- Thoughts of that individual consume your mind.
- You tend to admire superficial traits and overlook all the possible red flags.
- When infatuated, you try to go beyond your comfort zone to please the other person.
- Infatuation is filled with obsessive feelings and controlling tendencies.
- The progression towards forming a connection and developing feelings about a person is fast and quick.
- Even if your interests and compatibility are in question, it doesn’t bother you much.
- You try to grow over the person.
2. Empty Love
Relationships with empty love are bound by commitment. Unlike passionate lovers, empty lovers don’t make emotional intimacy and passion a priority. Though passion and intimacy die, the commitment remains.
Empty relationships can either come at the end of a passionate relationship or may be a product of your hesitation to develop passion and intimacy in a blooming relationship. Empty love does have the ability to spring into passionate love if you open up to your partner and give it some time.
Some indicators of empty love are:
- Love indicators, such as passion and intimacy, which lead to satisfaction and better fulfillment, are absent in this type of love.
- Obligations and responsibilities sustain the bond.
- You don’t feel physical attraction towards your partner.
- Spending quality time with your partner seems like a task rather than something you enjoy.
- Meeting common interests and the same level of enthusiasm seems far-fetched.
- Communication is no more the key to your relationship; it is highly stunted.
3. Self-Love (Philautia)
Love is not always a two-way street; it is also about loving, appreciating, and accepting oneself. Self-love is a process. Here are a few ways to kindle and benefit from self-love:
- Adopting Mindfulness: People who love themselves are aware and conscious about how they feel and think. Also, they can clearly define what they need and want.
- Self-Nourishment: Self-love pushes people towards a self-nurturing and independent lifestyle. You should maintain a healthy balance of proper diet, exercise, sleep, and social life.
- Setting Boundaries: People who truly and deeply understand self-love emphasize the importance of setting boundaries. It involves rejecting the idea of anything that causes any physical, emotional stress.
- Forgiveness: We are often harsh on ourselves for tiny mistakes and errors. However, engaging in such behavior only promotes self-loathing and self-deprecation. It is, thus, better to be kind to ourselves and treat every opportunity or failure as a stepping stone to success. In the end, we must all understand that our hearts need acts of forgiveness and love.
4. Selfless Love (Agape)
Selfless love is the art of giving and offering love without expecting anything in return. Feeling selfless at heart is the ultimate, purest, and highest form of love. People who radiate such kind of love hold virtues like kindness and compassion towards everyone. To be selfless is to speak the language of true love. A living example of selfless love would be our mothers.
Some striking traits of people who love selflessly are:
- You help your partner to achieve their goals and reach their true potential.
- You don’t hold grudges and resentment.
- Your expectations have a low benchmark.
- You prefer listening over making any unwanted assumptions.
- Compromises bring happiness rather than frustration to you.
- You put other people’s well-being above your own.
5. Romantic Love (Eros)
Strong feelings of love, intimacy, and passion drive romantic lovers. People who bond over romantic love are both physically and emotionally invested in each other. Surprisingly, even though the couple enjoys fierce passion and close intimacy, they lack commitment.
Romantic love flourishes during the initial phase of dating. Separation and detachment are easy in such bonds as there is no allegiance to the partner.
Here are some ways to detect that you have romantic feelings for someone:
- You use more skinship in the relationship.
- You can’t get enough of being with your partner.
- Kissing, cuddling, and getting intimate is what you do most of the time.
- There’s a strong affection for your partner.
6. Playful Love (Ludus)
As evident from the name, playful love is all about flirting and having a good time with your partner. Usually, couples get playful by teasing each other, flirting openly, making the partner feel euphoric, and getting their heart to flutter. Playfulness is a love language that helps the relationship to bud and blossom into something fruitful.
A few ways to know you are high on the playfulness meter:
- Dates are a frequent occurrence.
- You indulge in touching and flirting.
- Spending quality and a good time are high on your agenda.
7. Affectionate Love (Philia)
Platonic or affectionate love exists among friends and family members. This form of love is not linked to any sexual connection. Loyalty and respect drive such relationships.
Here’s how platonic manner manifests in relationships:
- You support your friends and family members when they are in crisis.
- You engage in open dialogue and communication.
- Trust and faith are fragile. So, you try not to betray someone’s belief in you and break their trust.
- Being truthful is appreciated.
8. Familial Love (Storge)
Storge is a love connection seen in bonds like parents, children, and best friends. Though it has a close resemblance to philia, this type of love runs in close-knit families and deepest of friendships. Unconditional love, deeper connections, and acceptance form the foundation of such relationships.
Here’s how you can gauge the presence of familial love:
- Forgiveness comes easy to you.
- You are full of gratitude and gratefulness towards the other person.
- There’s a commitment to build a healthy relationship.
- You keep strengthening the bond by creating memorable and impactful moments.
9. Long-Lasting Love (Pragma)
A love that reaches the stage of pragma has witnessed years of companionship, bonding, and experiences that promote a healthy and positive bond between the couple. It is backed by affection, commitment, and continuous efforts towards the relationship. A partnership built on such a dynamic brings out feelings of content, love, support, acceptance, and care.
Here are some ways to know that you have built a relationship on long-lasting love:
- Effort plays an important role. You make a conscious effort to strengthen your bond and show your partner that they are loved and valued.
- Any adversities or hurdles in the relationship are worked out together.
- There’s a commitment to building a healthy relationship.
10. Obsessive Love (Mania)
Obsessive love or mania is loving someone while overlooking boundaries. In simple words, it is to love someone so much that it reaches a point of saturation. Typically, obsession-linked relationships are characterized by constant reassurances of love, looking for a safety net from the partner, unhealthy attachment patterns, and possessiveness. It results in sowing the seeds of co-dependency and an unhealthy one-sided relationship.
The following are some ways to tell if obsession is a factor in your relationship:
- There’s a need to track and monitor every movement and action of the partner.
- You love the idea of controlling how they feel, think, and act.
- There’s a lack of emotional maturity.
- Unlike other relationships, obsessive relationships can’t strike the give-and-take balance.
- You feel threatened when your partner is out of your radar or space.
Love works in combinations. Different types of love can come together to build exciting experiences that leave a lasting impression. In many connections and interactions, you can feel different kinds of love at the same time. While love doesn’t follow a rule book, understanding such combinations can help you strengthen your relations and improve your love language.
Types Of Love That Form Different Relationships
- Platonic/Friendly Relationships: The combination love code for friendship is affectionate love, self-love, and familial love.
- Romantic Relationships: The combination love code for a romantic relationship is enduring love, playful love, and romantic love.
- Familial Relationships: The combination love code for a family is familial love, selfless love, and affectionate love.
To Wrap It Up
At some point or the other, each one of us experiences the emotion of love. What’s more interesting is that the feeling is almost always unique with every different person. So, it helps to understand the dynamics of your relationship to know how you love someone and vice versa. In this post, we tried to navigate various types of love and how they manifest in different relationships. Hope it helped you get some insight into the forms of love that exist and co-exist.
- 15 Different Types Of Relationships
- 15 Differences Between Love And Being In Love
- What Is True Love? 13 Characteristics Of Real Love
- Unrequited Love